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Thread: "The greatest country on earth,"

  1. #1
    Regular Member Haz.'s Avatar
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    "The greatest country on earth,"

    Hail Switzerland

    From Lewrockwell.com by Joseph Sobran - Jan 21, 2002.

    Whenever I hear some one brag that America is "the greatest country on earth," I want to ask, "Have you ever been to Switzerland?"
    Well, I have. I spent a whole week there once. Very dull. No war, no international crisis, no crime, none of the things that give life its savor for red-blooded people like us. Nobody even knew who the president of the country was. The Swiss have never even had a great president. Their national hero is still that guy with the crossbow. Their national pastime is yodeling.
    I don't intend the blasphemous suggestion that Switzerland is the Greatest Country on Earth, but it has a fair claim to be the sanest. It has had less history over the last thousand years than most African countries have had in the last generation. You know the old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." The Swiss have no memory of interesting times. They have a proud history of not making history.
    Switzerland sat out two world wars, for which it is resented by the sort of people who think war is a duty. The Swiss seem to feel that the rest of the world can enjoy mutual slaughter perfectly well without them.
    They have never joined the United Nations, NATO, or the European Union. They are content to hunker down within their sheltering Alps, while Americans will cross two oceans, simultaneously if necessary, to get into a good war. Nor do they have troops, battleships, sub-marines, and military bases around the world. And no nukes.
    In short, the Swiss are what all right-thinking people have learned to call "isolationists." They have stubbornly maintained their independence. As a result, an awful lot of Swiss didn't die violent deaths in the twentieth century.
    Oh, by the way, the Swiss aren't afflicted by terrorism. Osama bin Laden has probably never heard of Switzerland, unless he stashes his money there. It may not be the Greatest Country on Earth, but nobody calls it the Great Satan, either.
    Not that the Swiss aren't ready to defend themselves. The men are required by law to serve in the militia and to keep firearms in their homes. But when they say "defence," they mean defence - not empire, not New World Order, not "global leadership."
    They have a federal system of government, and in Switzerland "federal" still, oddly enough, means "decentralized." Each canton treasures its independence. The national president has little power, little opportunity to achieve "greatness." The Swiss franc is one of the world's most stable currencies. Swiss banks are the world's most secure vaults.
    Naturally, a country like that, free, peaceful, and prosperous, isn't going to be left alone. A few years ago there was an outcry against Switzerland as a repository of "Nazi gold," which turned out to be a scam, an attempt to blackmail the Swiss. They were given a choice between coughing up billions or facing international opprobrium and sanctions. It later transpired that the Nazi gold was mythical, the accusations a cynical smear campaign.
    Independence is always hated by centralizers and inter-nationalists. The papacy is hated because the Pope, unlike politicians and journalists, can't be bought or bullied. Switzerland is hated because it remains aloof from the "international community." I'd offer other shining examples of resistance to the pressures of inter-nationalism, if I could think of any.
    Switzerland has enjoyed the kind of history Americans once hoped for. But while America has been drawn back into the quarrels of the Old World its people had hoped to escape, Switzerland has in effect managed to secede from that world's strife without leaving the continent. If you want excitement in Switzerland, you just have to roll your own; the state won't provide it for you. You can sum it up by saying Switzerland is a country that has lost more lives in skiing accidents than in war.
    The story of Switzerland is the greatest political success story of the modern world, yet we never hear about it. Why not? Because it puts all other states to shame. Most rulers want to Americanize their countries; but if they really cared about their people's welfare - lives, liberty, property, and all that - they would try to Swissify. It's a sign of the times that I am forced to coin this indispensable verb!
    When a criminal invades your home and has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.

    My Definition of Gun Control: The idea that dozens of people found dead in the Broadway Café, Tasmania, and many also seriously wounded, all while waiting for police, who were called to show up and protect them, is somehow morally superior to having several armed and therefore alive civilian's explaining to police how the attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Sounds boring, but boring is better than grief.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member Large Caliber Kick's Avatar
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    Sounds like a slice of paradise.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    This is essentially what the Founders had in mind for America (self-sufficiency). They pretty much despised the European mindset and political structures and wanted none of that here in this country. Two of them warned frequently of the dangers of foreign entanglements (think they knew something??). While the Swiss have geography on their side, they also have something else which has for generations allowed them to remain Swiss: a homogeneous population which is something America only had for a very short period of time.

    The best we could hope for in this country would be to once again have a self-sufficient economy where international trade was not a controlling factor but one of mutual benefit. That and to also be debt free to other nations. Throw off the chains of obligation along with financial and political ties to other nations and think "America first" in all we do. But this is not about to happen in my lifetime and I seriously doubt if we'll ever see it again.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    There are some "holes" in the blanket of greatness being wrapped around Switzerland. You have to be voted onto the island if you want to become a citizen. There are things you may not do there that folks from other places (not just the USA) consider elemental human rights. Until recently some of their banking laws helped hide some of the most henious crimes and criminals, and prevented victims of those crimes from recovering property they had proved several times over was stolen from them.

    But since I do not want to become a Swiss citizen (not sure I could qualify) it makes no great nevermind to me how they run their country. They do make nice watches and chocolate, but then so do several other countries. If I ever need sanctuary I hope they still offer it to almost all comers.

    stay safe.
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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    While the Swiss have geography on their side, they also have something else which has for generations allowed them to remain Swiss: a homogeneous population which is something America only had for a very short period of time.
    We never had it. From the moment the first European stepped foot on the shores of North America, there was a seriously different mix of new and old Americans, the ones from the middle of the second millennial, and the ones who came from one of probably 3 migrations over the last 12,000 to 30,000 years over the ice bridge.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    We never had it. From the moment the first European stepped foot on the shores of North America, there was a seriously different mix of new and old Americans, the ones from the middle of the second millennial, and the ones who came from one of probably 3 migrations over the last 12,000 to 30,000 years over the ice bridge.
    I was speaking of the New World settlers who first came over the pond to these shores. If we are to include the indigenous population in the mix, then we must note that there were many Indian nations and tribes on these lands. And a good number of those were at war with each other at one time or another.

    So since the first settlers to this country came from the British Isles then yes, one could say there existed a homogenous society for quite a while.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  8. #8
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    So since the first settlers to this country came from the British Isles then yes, one could say there existed a homogenous society for quite a while.
    But the first settlers to this country did not come from the British Isles, so one cannot say "there existed a homogeneous society for quite a while." They came from Asia, are referred to as "Paleo-Indians" after the paleolithic time period, and arrived throughout the 40,000 B.C. to 25,000 B.C. time period during which the Bering Land Bridge connected Asia and Alaska. It was afterwards, between 23,000 B.C. and 16,000 B.C. that the Ice Age cut off the route.

    However, we can say there existed a genetically homogeneous society for quite a while: An article in the American Journal of Human Genetics states "Here we show, by using 86 complete mitochondrial genomes, that all Native American haplogroups, including haplogroup X, were part of a single founding population." - Source: Fagundes, Nelson J.R.; Ricardo Kanitz, Roberta Eckert, Ana C.S. Valls, Mauricio R. Bogo, Francisco M. Salzano, David Glenn Smith, Wilson A. Silva, Marco A. Zago, Andrea K. Ribeiro-dos-Santos, Sidney E.B. Santos, Maria Luiza Petzl-Erler, and Sandro L. Bonatto (2008). "Mitochondrial Population Genomics Supports a Single Pre-Clovis Origin with a Coastal Route for the Peopling of the Americas". American Journal of Human Genetics 82 (3): 583–592. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg. 2007.

    However, that was long before the first European settlers arrived. In fact, that homogeneity may have disappeared long before they arrived by means of both Pacific and Atlantic water migration.

    American Indians were significantly different than the first European settlers, yet so much more like one another as compared to the Europeans that could argue there was a pseudo-homogeneity that existed for between 10,000 and 15,000 years prior to European arrival. Regardless, once the Europeans stepped foot onto North American soil, the people of North America were not homogeneous.

    The European settlers themselves, however, remained somewhat homogeneous for a short time, but it didn't last long. By 1634, some 20,000 Puritans had settled in New England, but between 1610 and 1776, some 50,000 convicts had been shipped by Britain to the U.S.

    In fact, our first Census, held in 1790, counted 3,929,214 people, a little less than 1% of what it is today, and by that time was a healthy mix of several major Christian faiths, with 80.6% being white, 1.5% other freemen, and 17.8% slaves holding a wide mix of belief blends from their history and Christianity.

    By comparison, historians estimate the Native American population at the time of Columbus ranged between 50 Million and 100 Million, approximately 20 times that of the settlers in 1790. However, by that time, most Native Americans had been wiped out due to disease.

    ***

    Bottom Line: Even the European homogeneity only lasted less than a decade due to the near-simultaneous influx of convicts.
    Last edited by since9; 10-03-2011 at 04:31 PM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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