Russian / Soviet Army Surplus Items
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 Post subject: Re: A Story and a Question to All
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:10 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:29 am
Posts: 4
This story I found really interesting, because I've had similar arguments with some of my relatives, though slightly different. For example, my mother is very anti-gun. She is against organizations such as the NRA, and she could do without 2nd amendment rights, all of which I disagree with. At the same time, paradoxically, she thinks that the government needs to step up its enforcement of the law, even suggesting that they send in the military to stop gangs and criminal organizations within the country, which I also disagree with.

Personally, I am somewhat of a pacifist, in the sense that I believe in avoiding conflict wherever possible, I agree with Gandhi on a number of topics, and as Sun Tzu wrote "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." However, I do believe that we should have the right to defend ourselves and our ideals using violent force, if necessary. In certain cases, there is no other option.

I am not quite an anarchist, though I do agree to a certain extent with Marx's philosophy of stateless communism. I feel it is best to reduce government regulation as much as possible. To quote Tacitus "The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." This does not mean that I am l in favor of the "free market" taking control either, but that the government should focus on improving the lives of its citizens and protecting their rights against ignorant majorities or greedy corporations, before putting them in prisons for disobeying its laws.

To answer the primary question Taurus posed, I like to collect military equipment mostly for its aesthetic value. I definitely respect the history of the equipment, and I certainly appreciate its utilitarian aspects in a survivalist situation, and maybe someday I'd like to try airsoft or paintball, when I have the time and money. But I am an artist at heart, and I like to buy things mainly to complement my eccentric style. Soviet gear in particular is representational of some of my personal views, and historically I believe that the soviet army fought better and more justifiably than most other armies of the 20th century.

Some people react negatively to military equipment because it represents something different to them. There is a lot of subconscious fear associated with war and combat. They don't want to put on a bulletproof vest because it represents the possibility that they might be shot, and they aren't willing to face that fear. People aren't always trying to waste your time when they argue a foolish point, they are only ignorant of the truth, and afraid to seek the deeper answers in an attempt to prove their point.

 Post subject: Re: A Story and a Question to All
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:01 am
Posts: 18
Location: Boise, Idaho
A late reply by me:

I'm fascinated by militaria and military history; I've been in the US Army for years. Having experienced a war in Iraq I can say with confidence that, no, I do not love war nor do I desire it for anyone. I just see it as a thing that --sadly-- is sometimes necessary when peaceful resolution fails.

That said, I think it is possible to be interested, technically, in all sorts of military items, equipment, tactics, training, strategies, etc. and yet that doesn't mean that you "buy into" the political aspirations of the country represented. For example, I am fascinated by the war machine of the Third Reich-- I've studied it, read about it, and have books about it, even though I am actually Jewish and lived in Israel for 4 years. I certainly would never have wanted them to win, but I can take a tactical scenario or strategic front and "fight it" in my mind as a thought exercise and imagine how I might have done it differently. That certainly doesn't mean I endorse their politics.

Growing up, I hated and feared the Soviet Union and thought "Communism is bad! Socialism is bad!" But years of rampant robber-baron capitalism has left a lot of people out in the cold, and I changed my mind, and thought that there are some lessons from these philosophies that we can apply. But I wouldn't want a full, "everything for the military" style oligarchy, either.

I think a lot of these people who jump on collectors, paintballers, hunters, etc are --much like vityaz said-- unable to feel secure in their own beliefs, and have to shout as loud as they can to anything that might get them to look at things in another way. Or, they have a stereotype in their minds about what military collectors or gun owners are all "like", and they cannot perceive of anyone not fitting that mold.

I've certainly met people who think that anyone who owns a gun is a psychopath, or if you collect camouflage then you're some type of nut in a racist militia. There's not much you can do about them; like alcoholics they have to be the ones who decide to change.

 Post subject: Re: A Story and a Question to All
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:29 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:34 pm
Posts: 1315
Location: United States
An interesting reply Coyote, that was a response I was looking for. I acknowledge your interest with militaria from being within the armed forces, I sometimes believe my father was the one that coined my interest in all of this when I was 8 and found his box full of military grade equipment that they had let him keep from the Desert Storm conflict. I didn't know much about his military history aside from the fact that he was in the National Guard as a tank engineer, later I found out he also served in the Marines which I assume was how he saw conflict in Desert Storm. Even at a young age I desired to acquire his equipment, I wanted to wear his flak jacket that had all the accessories that he was first issued when he hit the field, how he kept them all I have no idea, even his helmet was all current issue at the time, I remember the chocolate chip camouflage and how I knew that's what it was even at a young age because of one of my GI Joe's that he bought me had that pattern on it as well. I remember so little about him, but what I do remember is his military history and his lack of willingness to tell me about the terror he saw there, only bits and pieces he would open up about, yet I was still fascinated in the idea of war. Only later did I figure out that it wasn't as glorious as the advertisements make it out to be, but that is all another story.

So you could say I have a personal background with my desire for these items and the appreciation I have for them, I feel obligated to find and preserve them when I receive them, most of them have not even been washed, and those that have been washed I did it very diligently and carefully by hand. And when someone, particularly the individual that said this and their background, comes up and tries to impose their beliefs in saying that it all is terrible, that it all is unnecessary, that we should all be ashamed of having any interest or support for these pieces of equipment as well as the men and women they represent in our armed forces, I become terribly angry at that individual. The amount of naivety shown by that person was unfathomable, yet they continued to try and prove their point, but I shut them up like I shut up the previous people who talked down on the people who suffer through war, I showed them how stupid and pathetic their own ideology was and how foolish it is of them to not only disgrace my father's work, but also the work of those who fought for their country, people like you, people like Vityaz, all of them earn my uttermost appreciation, and I give that appreciation to them regardless of their political background, religious belief, and so forth, because they deserve it for what they have seen, something I could never understand myself.

And so that is why I decided to share this story as well as my response to the people here, because at times I cannot understand how people could be so misconstrued at times about these sorts of things, that they don't even take the time to listen during history class or pay attention when their parents try to teach it to them the right way. It is simply too much at times, and I appreciate the responses that you and everyone else has given, it all helps clarify the little things that bother me so much about people like the one conveyed in this story, it makes quite a difference.

And I must also say thank you for what you had to do in Iraq, the conflict we had there, I sometimes saw individuals blaming the soldiers for all that was going on there, it almost reminded me of Vietnam with how badly mistreated those soldiers were back then as they sometimes still are now. And although I don't blame people for not supporting the wars we have, I look down on those who do not support the soldiers who have to bare witness to failed politics at their worst...

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