Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Let Slip The Water Cannons Of War

Well, it looked like it was happening again. ("It" being this and this.) I passed this one police constable (PC) who looked like he was completely loaded for bear – load-bearing vest puffy with full pouches, cargo pockets bulging out from his thighs. He looked like nothing so much as the "heavy metal" man at the lovely Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner.

But as I ran past, I saw he was rear-labelled as a "Police Medic". Very cool. Part bad-ass, part of angel-of-mercy, part medical-supply-loaded Michelin Man.

On the way back, I continued scanning the faces of the police constables . . . and God, they are some pretty boys. I wanted to be able to type "pretty boys and girls" – but it looks like there's a bit of gender inequity in who they send out for riot work. In a scrap, I suppose, body mass – not to mention upper body strength – still counts. At the very end, just on Westminster Bridge, I did see one woman PC. (And, yes, she was completely beautiful.)

I hope very much that none of them get hurt tonight.

Oh! – they're cleared the way for breaking out water cannons going forward, if this keeps up. I guess it's hard to get excited about something like that. But, as previously mentioned, I think one absolutely vital principle is at stake here. Simply put, the organisation of society – without coercion; and the resolution of political differences – without violence, may be the most precious social achievements of humanity so far.

And for better or worse (mostly better), this requires that the government maintain a monopoly on the use of force. The alternative is Fallujah (at the height of the insurgency), Somalia (anytime in the last 20 years), Hobbesianism in all its blood-flecked horror. The trick, I suppose, is that the government be democratically elected, run on liberal and humane principles, and checked and monitored by all the accoutrements of consensual, liberal, pluralistic government and society (such as, critically, an independent judiciary).

I don't know – maybe I'm overreacting. Comments, counterpoints, and rebuttals to any of this very welcome.

  politics     the uk  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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