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You’re On Your Own, by Robert Gore

You’re On Your Own, by Robert Gore

ichef.bbci.co.uk

If the world seems incomprehensible now, just wait.

Within a twenty-four-hour span the Catalonian people voted 90 percent in favor of secession from Spain, despite the Spanish government’s effort to violently squelch the referendum, and a man in a Las Vegas hotel room opened fire on a concert, killing fifty-nine and wounding over 500. There’s no tangible connection between the two incidents, but they illustrate incipient forces still gathering steam that are transforming the world.

No government, military force, or intelligence unit has figured out how to stop those determined to kill large numbers of people if the killers are willing to forfeit their own lives. Nor will they. Individuals and small groups have the capability to amass and use large amounts of lethal weaponry, killing military and civilian targets in a guerrilla war, or victims on the deadly end of their random bullets or bombs.

Arguments that this can stopped by limiting access to weaponry are specious, serving only as cover for further expansion of government and curtailment of individual liberty. The trend towards cheaper, more widely distributed killing power stretches back to the invention of gun powder. Guns can now be manufactured at home with 3D printers. The cows left the barn long ago.

Standing in opposition to the forces of decentralized violence are the forces of centralized violence, governments. Catalonia offers a useful illustration. Violence was the government’s loud and clear cry that it had no other argument for preventing Catalonian succession. The wealthy region pays a disproportionate share of Spain’s taxes and gets less back than it puts in. Catalans are a distinct ethnic subgroup, attenuating any so-called blood ties between Catalonia and Spain. Suppression was only partially successful and 90 percent of those Catalonians who voted chose independence.

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