Negotiate from a position of strength

From reading James Higham’s post we get this:

All things being equal, the English [and British] population have not been particularly gun-oriented, compared to the Americans and we like to think we can solve everything by negotiation, relying on the friendly bobby on the beat to take care of the occasional naughty person. “Allo, allo, what’s all this then?”

It occurs to me that the liberals in our society have a strong tendency in the same direction. Many liberal politicians insist we should “talk out our differences” rather than utilizing force on both a personal as well as international scale.

While I agree it is much preferable to have a verbal exchange before exchanging blows, bullets, or ballistic missiles the verbal exchange is doomed to failure unless both parties are in positions of some power. That power does not necessarily need to be a physical threat. It doesn’t even need to be a physical action. It could be something as nebulous as “I won’t like you anymore” or something like the shame of violating someone’s trust.

The less power you have during the negotiation the less favorable your outcome. If you are much weaker physically and unable to bring additional forces to the “negotiation” the psychopath wanting to rob or rape you isn’t going to spend a lot of time “talking out the differences” in your two positions.

In tribes of up to a few hundred people physical force isn’t even needed. The community bonds and dependency are so strong and important that violating the rules of your tribe is very rare. Only in intertribal conflict is force a necessary component in conflicts. Crime in societies where individuals and small groups can be anonymous and autonomous is much much higher. The victims have much less power in the “negotiations”.

Many people apparently do not understand, are unaware, or are unconvinced of this fact. It’s easy to hypothesis why they don’t. Humans and proto-humans spent millions of years in small tribes and only a few thousand years in the much larger groups and only a few hundred years in cities with more than a few hundred thousand people. Many of the people advocating individuals give up their arms are feeling the impulses of very primitive urges that evolved millions of years ago. It feels like the right thing to do because the instincts were correct until the last few thousand years. The phrase “it takes a village” is appealing because of this instinct.

Things have changed. It’s time people realized it. This is Why the Gun is Civilization. It brings equilibrium to the negotiations.

7 thoughts on “Negotiate from a position of strength

  1. I’ve one tomorrow savaging the left and this is exactly the type of thing:

    While I agree it is much preferable to have a verbal exchange before exchanging blows, bullets, or ballistic missiles the verbal exchange is doomed to failure unless both parties are in positions of some power. That power does not necessarily need to be a physical threat. It doesn’t even need to be a physical action. It could be something as nebulous as “I won’t like you anymore” or something like the shame of violating someone’s trust.

    The less power you have during the negotiation the less favorable your outcome. If you are much weaker physically and unable to bring additional forces to the “negotiation” the psychopath wanting to rob or rape you isn’t going to spend a lot of time “talking out the differences” in your two positions.

    Exactly. If it’s known you have a weapon or eight and you’re quite prepared to use them, plus you can, that alters the picture significantly in how they attack you with impunity or not. And it doesn’t mean firearms necessarily. In argument, if you’re pretty formidable, they’ll think twice and do their homework or get blown away.

  2. “Peace through strength”. That simple phrase says it all.

    “Peace in Our Time” is of another type– it can’t be understood without its proper context, it’s a lie even in its proper context, AND the left continues to cling to it in spite of its having been proven wrong generations ago. Four words containing layer upon layer of idiocy and delusion.

  3. I went looking f or the first quote in my quote file… Somehow the rest, as they happen to be stored inthe file, say pretty much what I had in mind. I like the idea of problems stemming from anonymity.

    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
    – Thomas Jefferson

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    – Thomas Jefferson

  4. @ubu52

    “…why every country needs to have nuclear bombs.”

    Except you assume that all nations will behave rationally and be restrained by the threat of counter-attack. Iran and their crazy president have publicly stated that the annihilation of Iran in response to their nuclear destruction of Israel is considered acceptable losses. In their fanatic religious world-view this will usher in the last iman and be the end of the world per their eschatology. Let me put it in stark terms…Iran will be like Nazi Germany, but with a nuclear weapon.

    Ridiculously weak countries invite attacks, so they need to upgrade to a reasonable military. Military campaigns can be met with opposing forces and coalitions to stop aggression. There is often sufficient time to put a break on aggression through political pressure and delaying actions. However, with nuclear weapons, which are so powerful, if only one gets through it can devastate a country. Thus, they can upset the balance substantially. So, I have little problem with declaring a number of totalitarian countries with a$$hat dictators as being barred from ever owning them. It’s not too hard. If you sabre-rattle and make wild-eyed statements and execute political dissidents and crush your people or play footsie with terrorists, then the odds are good that having nuclear weapons is a bad idea.

  5. Braden Lynch said it well.
    An analogy might be Rob’s quote from Thomas Jefferson, that “no man should be debarred the use of guns”, which is good only if everyone has the same menu of occasions on which guns will be used. To advocate this without exceptions for convicts and those adjudicated mentally ill is to give a gun to the likes of Richard Ramirez, who was disqualified from possessing guns when he did his evil.
    It is the same with nations and nukes.

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