As technology progresses popular uprisings become less possible.

June 19, 2015, 9:36 am

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The debate "As technology progresses popular uprisings become less possible." was started by PsychDave on June 19, 2015, 9:36 am. 11 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 24 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

PsychDave posted 3 arguments, historybuff posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
invincible_01 posted 2 arguments, I_Voyager posted 2 arguments, DerpedLocke posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.

PsychDave, historybuff, toughgamerjerry, raz, CJismyname12, musejay1, Skeetc15, pajrc1234 and 3 visitors agree.
invincible_01, amanofprogress, I_Voyager, Upbeatethan, keyboardwarrior, kay_joey1101, jets8394, kaka, Trance, DerpedLocke, spellbeechamp, Sumerian, Alex, AngryBlogger, Gandalf, Shubham, LucyTheDebatorQueen and 7 visitors disagree.

In the case of the recent Egyptian Revolution, technology provided a way for oppressed citizens to "get the word out" on the tyrannical Hussein regime. This served as a rally cry for many people. The regime was toppled later (replaced by other evils, but that's another story).

4 years, 2 months ago

I disagree with your conclusion that a second rebellion would succeed, and that guerilla tactics would be effective.

Guerilla tactics require that the government not know who is attacking them, but technology allows those in power to keep a closer eye than ever before. Spying used to require someone in a position to overhear (or betray) a rebellion in order to learn of its existence. Now computers are able to monitor for keywords, patterns of behavior and connections between people. They can track who talks to whom, how often and to some degree what is said. These systems have been brought into place to combat terrorism, which is exactly how the government would justify suppressing those who would attack them. A single, sudden uprising could catch them unaware, but would be unlikely to take enough strategic positions to maintain control against an organized military response. The media would then portray the rebels as terrorists, anarchist, or some other terrible thing, justifying the response. More likely, the plot would be discovered ahead of time and capture some or all of the rebels. The news would be full of stories about the police catching terrorists before they could blow up office towers or threaten our children's safety, and the government comes out looking like they are defending the rights and safety of all. In the age of the connectivity, guerilla tactics are unlikely to be successful for long since the government can intercept many forms of communication.

Secondly, after the first attack, there would be a purge. Anyone connected to those who rebelled, anyone they talked to and anyone they interacted with would be examined, questioned, and potentially detained. This would again be justified as combating terrorists who threatened the safety of our home, places of work, and children. The public would come to distrust the rebels, and most likely would report anyone they knew who had ties to the rebellion. With their control of the media, the government would manipulate the image of the rebels, with their control of information they would track them down, and with their control of the military and police they would capture or eliminate them.

4 years, 4 months ago
I_Voyager
replied to...

This is also why massive wars between developed nations simply don't happen any more. The cost of the Iraq war was a trillion dollars. Imagine the cost of a war between Russia and America. If a million people rose up in the USA tomorrow with simple weapons and demanded change they might lose, but the nation would lose more just in the expense of killing those millions of people. If they lost a thousand troops and a handful of vehicles, and the tactical scenario was as I described, the failed revolution would permit a second successful revolution.

4 years, 4 months ago

I think this only makes it more difficult. The more tech advances, the more difficult it becomes. But consider a few additional qualities. Firstly, if you apply advanced technology, you expend more resources. Where-as popular uprisings expend little resources by comparison. It may be that advancing technologies just change the way in which uprisings must happen. They might have to take more time, relying more on guerrilla tactics, on sabotaging expensive equipment using cheap equipment.

Power-control inevitably pursues the path of least resistance. Short-term bursts of violence are possible. But an guerilla-siege's cost to an advanced army is larger than the cost of the siege itself. Necessarily this makes an advanced militaristic state favor political methods that use constructive methods rather than oppressive methods. That means letting people control themselves, providing an atmosphere in which resistance is unfavored. Telling a population to control itself by feeding it pop music and drugs and foods which lie to the brain and television which glorifies the state and the simple life is more valuable to a powerful nation than all its military might. That military might serves to enforce the interests of the nation far away by enforcing economic treaties and protecting those companies that take foreign wealth and bring it home.

4 years, 4 months ago

I get it wrong then. I thought it is an uprising which become popular/known worldwide and get sympathy and support from them. I never thought it was to the extent of overthrowing the government. Thank you for the definition

4 years, 4 months ago

A popular uprising is when the citizens rise up and overthrow their government (think Arab Springs).

4 years, 4 months ago

what is popular uprising? i don't really get the definition
well, i think even if the government has powerful technologies, weapons, surveillance tools, drones, it doesn't mean they could simply use it to suppress their society since international organization such as UN, always put an eye
in fact, it would be easier actually for certain event to be popular since media is everywhere

4 years, 4 months ago

I would say it goes even farther than that. Government's now have technology for electronic surveillance as well as a large degree of control over media. They control information to reduce the number of potential revolutionaries and watch them so they could preemptively detain them. In the age of state secrets and the patriot act I would agree that any revolution not backed by the military would likely be impossible. The major exception would be a revolution that's backed by America. they're fond of overthrowing governments. But they usually use the country's military to do it not a popular uprising which is harder to control.

4 years, 4 months ago

I say this because technology provides force multipliers that make rising up against those on power more difficult, if not impossible.

Historically, bad rulers faced revolt from those they ruled. The French Revolution is one example. Peasants rose up and removed the monarchy (and a great many other people).

Guns provided a force multiplier since one person who was well equipped could attack many who were less well equipped with little risk to themselves.

Newer technology like tanks, aircraft and, more recently drones, allow still smaller numbers of people to have an even greater impact on a conflict and, since they are not available to the public, this advantage is held solely by the government.

Popular uprisings have become nearly impossible in developed nations unless the military defects to the uprising.

4 years, 4 months ago
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