You must log in or register to comment.

AutoModerator t1_j5yai0v wrote

See the Best of r/science 2022 Winners!

Welcome to r/science! This is a heavily moderated subreddit in order to keep the discussion on science. However, we recognize that many people want to discuss how they feel the research relates to their own personal lives, so to give people a space to do that, personal anecdotes are allowed as responses to this comment. Any anecdotal comments elsewhere in the discussion will be removed and our normal comment rules apply to all other comments.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.


marketrent OP t1_j5ybnbf wrote

Findings in title quoted from the linked summary^1 about a paper^2 in The Economic Journal.

From the linked summary^1 released by the University of Copenhagen:

>The study minutely details the spread of 29 ground-breaking military technologies in all independent states in the period 1820-2010 (see box) as well as the form of government in these states.

>Based on statistical analysis of the data, the study establishes connections between states’ access to specific weapons, their economy and form of government.

>“In short, the more protesters a regime can kill using as few resources as possible, the stronger it will be.

>“But this is the first scientific study to show that regimes’ access to weapons do have a systematic, measurable effect on democratisation,” says Associate Professor Asger Mose Wingender from the Department of Economics, who conducted the study together with Professor Jacob Gerner Hariri from the Department of Political Science.

>The extensive study has taken seven years to complete. The survey of the spread of weapons technology alone contains 596,443 data points. Furthermore, the study includes a comprehensive survey of weapons history.

From the paper^2 by J.G. Hariri and A.M. Wingender:

>We collect a new, comprehensive data set tracking the adoption of 29 groundbreaking military technologies in all independent states in the period 1820–2010. Each technology represents a discrete improvement in the capacity to inflict violence.

>Based on these data, we first show that military technology spreads faster across borders than economic modernisation.

>We proceed to show that the swift diffusion of military technology impeded democratisation. To this end, we estimate linear probability models of democratisation in a panel of autocracies with a measure of military technology derived from our data set as the main explanatory variable.

^1 Modern arms technologies help autocratic rulers stay in power, 25 Jan. 2023,

^2 Jacob Gerner Hariri, Asger Mose Wingender, Jumping the Gun: How Dictators Got Ahead of Their Subjects, The Economic Journal, Volume 133, Issue 650, February 2023, Pages 728–760,


Aesthetik_1 t1_j5yeczt wrote

Well It also reduces the democratization of democracies


xanthraxoid t1_j5yj2fv wrote

Well I guess that explains the US, then...


Rugfiend t1_j5yjkhc wrote

God bless the US & UK - perpetuating death around the world for financial gain.


Flare_22 t1_j5zjpcg wrote

Though it makes an interesting point to consider regarding 2A. The more sophisticated weapons in the hands of the people, the less control the authoritarians would have from a relative standpoint at the expense of a more dangerous populace.


fitzroy95 t1_j5zn9dc wrote

Its those people with all the firearms who are the ones most likely to be imposing tyranny on the rest of the population.

Indeed, its those carrying firearms in public (esp those open carrying) who are deliberately threatening and intimdating all of those around them. None of them are spreading freedom, they are solely spreading fear, paranoia, intimidation and a threat of murder.


Dissidentt t1_j5znutv wrote

Alternate title: The US and allies sell high tech weapons to help entrench authoritarians.


Holyvigil t1_j5zx5nd wrote

The unique thing about America is the right to bear arms. So weapons that are allowed as arms simultaneously protect the people and enforce the governments will in America.


Flare_22 t1_j609dwa wrote

I was referring to the article which discusses the government's ability to suppress the populace, rather than the individuals within a population spreading any societal negatives.

Interestingly, however, if individuals are allowed to spread fear and paranoia unchecked via carrying arms then I would guess that the government is not effectively tyrannical as they would have put a stop to this.


Ok-Heat1513 t1_j60ht3j wrote

Everyone needs to be on the same playing field, these wide disparities is what is causing people in power to take advantage of their position, with basically no checks or balances..


Eyeless_Sid t1_j60ivsq wrote

Thats under the presumption that a government is inherently good or that it doesn't benefit the government to sow fear. Fear is profitable when put into campaigns and policy. Authoritarian governments can very well allow certain things to happen or to even provoke certain reactions to distract or instill fear.


fitzroy95 t1_j60u1vs wrote

fearmongering is an incredibly useful tool to keep the population aligned behind your agenda, or at least more compliant, it is often just another form of propaganda and crowd control.


Flare_22 t1_j60u6l7 wrote

I operate under the assumption that the government always wants two things: money and power. There may be individuals within the government that seek to limit this, of course, but as an entity the government always seeks money for the purposes of extending power and control. Very similar to corporations.


LastTrainLongGone t1_j61cgru wrote

You could say that modern technologies also enable the other direction. The article mentions The Arab Spring and this was largely coordinated through social media.


sb_747 t1_j61ibsz wrote

Those “29 technologies” encompass like 99% of all weapons development since the 15th century.

It’s so broad to be meaningless.


JamesRobertWalton t1_j61mic6 wrote

Well that should be obvious. Any attempt to overthrow the government by the people can be thwarted by a regime a tiny fraction the size of the people if the ruling regime has access to modern military technology.


fail-deadly- t1_j6267e9 wrote

But America has banned nearly almost weapon that America itself has/does/will arm militias with around the world. Things like machine guns, grenades, mortars, light rocket launchers, recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles, and occasionally shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles are all common weapons the U.S. government supplies to militias that fight against our enemies (even if the militia itself is not our friend). Those things are all strictly controlled in the U.S. If the average American citizen goes down to the nearest federal courthouse and asks the government to not just allow you to purchase a couple dozen stinger and Javelin missiles, but asks them for the form where U.S. government provides them to you and your local militia for free, they will either be arrested or laughed out of the building.

It's funny because in the Constitution and in the Federalist papers the framers thought it would be some extremely consequential and soul searching debates and votes about to authorized armies for more than two years at a time. Along with the local militia being about as capable as the standing Army, and in most cases they would do all the defending the country needed without even needing to raise a standing army.

Hamilton in Federalist in Federalist 26 makes two interesting points, basically that if Congress and the president conspire together for years to build a security apparatus capable of defeating liberty, then representative democracy should be replaced by getting as close to direct democracy with no delegation to representatives.

>An army, so large as seriously to menace those liberties, could only be formed by progressive augmentations; which would suppose, not merely a temporary combination between the legislature and executive, but a continued conspiracy for a series of time. Is it probable that such a combination would exist at all? Is it probable that it would be persevered in, and transmitted along through all the successive variations in a representative body, which biennial elections would naturally produce in both houses? Is it presumable, that every man, the instant he took his seat in the national Senate or House of Representatives, would commence a traitor to his constituents and to his country? Can it be supposed that there would not be found one man, discerning enough to detect so atrocious a conspiracy, or bold or honest enough to apprise his constituents of their danger? If such presumptions can fairly be made, there ought at once to be an end of all delegated authority. The people should resolve to recall all the powers they have heretofore parted with out of their own hands, and to divide themselves into as many States as there are counties, in order that they may be able to manage their own concerns in person.

Also, he basically says that if a situation is so dangerous in the world that it requires the creation of a military capable of being a hazard to its liberty then you're screwed.

>Few persons will be so visionary as seriously to contend that military forces ought not to be raised to quell a rebellion or resist an invasion; and if the defense of the community under such circumstances should make it necessary to have an army so numerous as to hazard its liberty, this is one of those calamities for which there is neither preventative nor cure.


GaiusCosades t1_j62c0r2 wrote

That is exactly not a counterargument. They wrote that there was a war induced gain for the US as a whole. That there was a gain for some people/companys in the US is self evident (Raytheon/Lockheed Martin etc.) But for making it a profit for the US, the increased profit of Haliburton et al. would have to be higher than the increased military spending which clearely is not the case.


AutomaticOrange4417 t1_j62mfqe wrote

Yea, your little gun is no match for the United States military and their dones.

The thing that has saved the United States is that the military cannot be used on American soil against American citizens. The military takes that very seriously and that's why they rejected Trump on multiple occasions when he told them to attack Americans.


AutomaticOrange4417 t1_j62mng9 wrote

I don't really have a problem with military spending because it pays my bills.

I think the real problem is when military equipment is given to local police. That's the problem that is causing democracy in the US to fail.


Fivethenoname t1_j62o1xe wrote

Subjugating a population is easier with more advanced weapons you say?