Comment: Carroll Quigley, Bill Clinton's mentor tells us why,

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Carroll Quigley, Bill Clinton's mentor tells us why,

in his book Tragedy and Hope, it is in the people's best interest to make sure their weapons are on an equal scale as their ruler's.

"When weapons are cheap to get and so easy to use that almost anyone can use them after a short period of training, armies are generally made up of large masses of amateur soldiers. Such weapons we call “amateur weapons”, and such armies we might call “mass armies of citizen-soldiers”. The Age of Pericles in Classical Greece and the nineteenth century in Western Civilization were periods of amateur weapons and citizen soldiers. But the nineteenth century was preceded (as was the Age of Pericles also) by a period in which weapons were expensive and required long training in their use. Such weapons we call “specialist” weapons. Periods of specialist weapons are generally periods of small armies of professional soldiers (usually mercenaries). In a period of specialist weapons the minority who has such weapons can usually force the majority who lack them to obey: thus a period of specialist weapons tends to give rise to a period of minority rule and authoritarian government. But a period of amateur weapons is a period in which all men are roughly equal in military power, a majority can compel a minority to yield, and majority rule or even democratic government tends to rise. The medieval period in which the best weapon was usually a mounted knight on horseback (clearly a specialist weapon) was a period of minority rule and authoritarian government. Even when the medieval knight was made obsolete (along with his stone castle) by the invention of gunpowder and the appearance of firearms, these new weapons were so expensive and so difficult to use (until 1800) that minority rule and authoritarian government continued even though that government sought to enforce its rule by shifting from mounted knights to professional pikemen and musketeers. But after 1800, guns became cheaper to obtain and easier to use. By 1840 a Cot revolver sold for $27 and a Springfield musket for not much more, and these were about as good weapons as anyone could get at that time. Thus, mass armies of citizens, equipped with these cheap and easily used weapons, began to replace armies of professional soldiers, beginning about 1800 in Europe and even earlier in America. At the same time, democratic governments (but chiefly in those areas where the cheap new weapons were available and local standards of living were high enough to allow people to obtain them)."