Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Age of Warlords

There is a Chinese saying that one should keep his mouth shut and have people think he is an idiot instead of opening it and proving them right.

In this case, Crunchy makes the comment:
As for the Chinese, I am referring to democide in the 20th century, not the warlords prior to that who killed countless millions more.
In regard to my comment about the Age of Warlords in this comment

The Warlord Era lasted from the death of Yuan Shikai (1916) until 1928, when the conclusion of the Northern Expedition with the Northeast Flag Replacement began the "Nanjing decade"; however, when old warlords, such as Wu Peifu and Sun Chuanfang, were deposed, new minor warlords persisted into the 1930s and 1940s, as the central government struggled to keep its allies under rein, a great problem for the Kuomintang (KMT) through World War II and after the civil war. Some of the most notable warlord wars, post-1928, including the Central Plains War, involved nearly a million soldiers.
If Crunchy actually had some idea of what he was talking about, he would realise that he put his foot in it.


And since Crunchy has difficulties in reading the English language: So, I'll repost this from Matthew White:
Just a few steps down, we can trim another 20 million from our total. Take a look at China, 1935. Picture, if you will, a long, peaceful line of naive little natives queueing up to dump their guns into an industrial smelter, while off to the side, a bureaucrat with a clipboard checks their names off the list. That’s the image this list would like to create. The problem is, in 1935 China was in the midst of the Age of Warlords. Even if you know nothing about Chinese history, just the name “Age of Warlords” should tip you off. It was a pistol packer’s paradise, a lawless Wild West where all power flowed from the barrel of a gun.

But it’s not just the ready availability of guns in China that contradicts the Big Tally. No, it’s just as important what everyone was doing with all those guns — fighting for supremacy, fighting against the Communists, fighting the Japanese. In other words, gun control or not, everyone who had a side to take had already taken sides. Everyone who wanted a gun already had a gun. The enemies of the state who were killed after 1949 weren’t defenseless; they were just plain beaten.

This is what I call the Cold-Dead-Hands Test. If the only way to get someone’s gun is to pry it from their cold, dead hands (literally or figuratively), that’s not gun control. When Grant disarmed the Confederates at Appomattox, that wasn’t gun control; that was taking prisoners. When the Soviets disarmed the remnants of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, that wasn’t gun control either. Mao didn’t come to power in China by tricking the populace into surrendering their arms. He pummeled his well-armed opponents in a stand-up fight. There’s a big difference between unable to fight back, and fighting back but losing.


  1. My grandfather was stationed on a US Navy cruiser in China in the early 1930's. He said it was the most barbaric place he had ever seen. They had crews that took shifts with long poles that did nothing all day but push corpses away from the ship as they floated down the river. I have dozens of picture post cards he brought home from there that show decapitated and other mangled bodies in the streets, hanging from lamposts, etc.

  2. A gold star answer from FWM, especially since it takes us to my expertise:


    William E. Fairbairn, known for the Fairbairn-Sykes (or Sykes-Fairbairn) knife (combat dagger, etc.) and training British Commandos in his scientific method of martial arts, learned his chops during this period as a member of the Shanghai POlice.

    I produce this from Wikipedia (since I'm getting tired of typing):

    During his service with the International Police in Shanghai, Fairbairn reportedly engaged in hundreds of street fights in the course of his duties over a twenty-year career, where he organised and headed a special anti-riot squad. Much of his body, arms, legs, torso, even the palms of his hands, was covered with scars from knife wounds from those fights. Fairbairn later created, organised and trained a special anti-riot squad for the Shanghai police force, as well as developing numerous firearms training courses and items of police equipment, including a special metal-lined bulletproof vest designed to stop high-velocity bullets from the 7.63x25mm Mauser pistol.

    Also, the Comic Strip Terry and The Pirates began during this period.

    For those who think I believe myself to be really smart, if you were familiar with QI(which appears to look as if it sounds Chinese, but is actually the initials Q. I.), I am far more Alan Davis than Stephen Fry.

  3. I provided evidence that untold millions of people have died in "civilized" countries since 1900 and it all happened because of guns. Whether they were domestic murders, democides, civil wars, genocides, etc. people used guns to kill untold millions of people in civilized countries.

    My post was not a scholarly article for publication in a professional journal. I simply posted numbers from a source:
    This source clearly indicates that the Chinese have killed over 35 million citizens between 1949 and 1987 alone ... which by the way is not part of the Age of Warlords. In fact in comparing my original post to the numbers at the source, it looks like I simply mistyped 45 million instead of 35 million -- which is easy to do since the "3" key is right next to the "4" key on a standard keyboard.

    My data stands with integrity (no intention to mislead) and slightly corrected: civilized nations have used guns to kill over 115+ million people since 1900.

    1. Jesus, haven't you heard about the Gas Chambers? The Concentration camps? How ignorant are you about the holocaust?

      Let's take it even further...

      which by the way is not part of the Age of Warlords.

      Let's see 1916 through World War II and after the civil war (1949).

      But I defer to Matthew White, who unlike you knows about this stuff:

      Various estimations are:
      1958-61 Famine: 30 million deaths.
      Great Leap Forward: 15-30 million famine-related deaths.
      Famine: 34,500,000
      Great Leap Forward: 27M famine deaths

      This is even better: "how many millions died ... is a matter of conjecture."

      I don't know how stupid you are Crunchy, but famine sure as fuck isn't related to guns.

  4. Crunchy, your data is crap.

    You conflate government guns - armies and other authorized entities, with civilian gun ownership. They are not the same.

    It doesn't matter if civilized NATIONS have used guns to kill people -- did you count all the deaths in WWI and II? Failing to distinguish between wars, both civil and international, insurrections, and other events, as distinct from shootings by individuals is a dishonest argument, and it displays like a billboard your ignorance.

    We are addressing here the comparisons between the civlian individuals of civilized and developed countries and their records of firearms deaths and injuries to similar numbers in the United States.

    There is a huge difference between the actions of governments and the actions of individuals. Crunchy tries to compare the two as if that made any sense- it doesn't, but more to the point it underlines the lack of critical thinking skills and the intellectual dishonesty of the argument. They are not the same, they are not the basis for comparison or for an argument.

    Then when Crunchy writes:
    I provided evidence that untold millions of people have died in "civilized" countries since 1900 and it all happened because of guns.

    NO. Apparently Crunch is unaware of aerial bombinb, artillery, gas - as in mustard and other forms, or knives and bayonets...torpedoes and drowning.....any number of other causes.

    This is possibly even more ignorant, and more flaming stupid (to borrow a democommieism) than the assumptions about why the Japanese didn't invade the U.S. mainland.

    Crunchy, you are genuinely embarassing yourself with your factual failures and your massive epic failures to posit a logical argument.

    Are you really this stupid or are you just pretending, as a joke?

  5. Crunchy, pay attention. Deomcide does not apply; it is a failed argument.

    We have in the U.S.of A., more than 30,000 firearms deaths each year, per the CDC -- and numerous injuries. We have five times the number of shootings of children of all the similarly devleoped and civilized countries combined.

    Those are not from democide, except for once, I believe it might have been in Utah, there was a single criminal execution by firing squad a few years back.

    Other civilized countries do NOT have those numbers, not the total numbers, not the percentage per capita.

    That is comparing our firearms death and injuries IN THE UNITED STATES to the firearms deaths and injuries in other countries.

    We have more. MANY MANY MORE. It is unacceptable, we should have far fewer - as they do. In every case that was by having far fewer firearms, particularly hand guns, in the population, and by making that process more accountable and more restrictive than our inadequate laws.

    NONE of that has squat all to do with democide. Nor do you actually properly understand either the concept definition or the application of that concept. Until you do, I am done publishing any comment that simply repeats your ignorance of the topic, and your epic failure to make a coherent argument.

    Until you can demonstrate that other countries comparable to the U.S. have a similar rate of deaths and injuries from firearms -- and we do NOT have those deaths in this country from democide, or politicide, or genocide btw, in case you couldn't comprehend that -- you have no leg to stand on in your contention.

    Crunchy, where either Laci or I know more than you do on a topic, or are better at logic and argumentation, it is not ONLY because we have high IQs, and not only because we are well educated. Those things did not drift down like the gentle rain from heaven, if I might paraphrase from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (bonus points if you can name the character who used the phrase, and the act and scene). Those things did not gently sift through our hair, scalps and skull bones to settle miraculously and effortlessly in the correct lobes of our brains. We DID THE WORK.

    Do the work Crunchy. Let go of the whole democide silliness; your grip on it is at best like the mangled Rubik's cube destroyed by hammer blows. This has nothing to do with eletism, and everything to do with functional competence.

    Either make an argument that addresses the current rate of firearms deaths, or admit you can't and that you've lost.

  6. I should add that Matthew White doesn't have an advanced degree.