Coup and Mutinies: Why the bad name


Jersay
#1
A coup d'état (pronounced /ku de'ta/), or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government through unconstitutional means by a part of the state establishment that mostly replaces just the top power figures. It may or may not be violent in nature. It is different from a revolution, which is staged by a larger group and radically changes the political system. The term is French for "a (sudden) blow (or strike) to a state" (literally, coup, hit, and état, state). The term coup can also be used in a casual sense to mean a gain in advantage of one nation or entity over another; e.g. an intelligence coup. By analogy, the term is also applied to corporations, etc; e.g. a boardroom coup.

Since the unsuccessful coup attempts of Wolfgang Kapp in 1920, and of Adolf Hitler in 1923, the Swiss German word "Putsch" (originally coined with the Züriputsch of 1839) is often used also, even in French (such as the putsch of November 8, 1942 and the putsch of April 21, 1961, both in Algiers), while the direct German translation is Staatsstreich.

Tactically, a coup usually involves control of some active portion of the military while neutralizing the remainder of a country's armed services. This active group captures or expels leaders, seizes physical control of important government offices, means of communication, and the physical infrastructure, such as streets and power plants. The coup succeeds if its opponents fail to dislodge the plotters, allowing them to consolidate their position, obtain the surrender or acquiescence of the populace and surviving armed forces, and claim legitimacy.

Coups typically use the power of the existing government for its own takeover. As Edward Luttwak remarks in his Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook: "A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder." In this sense, use of military or other organized force is not the defining feature of a coup d'état.


Mutiny is the crime of conspiring to disobey an order that a group of similarly-situated individuals (typically members of the military; or the crew of any ship, even if they are civilians) is legally obliged to obey. During the Age of Discovery, mutiny particularly meant open rebellion against a ship’s captain. This occured, for example, during Magellan’s journey, resulting in the killing of one mutineer, the execution of another and the marooning of two others, and on Henry Hudson’s Discovery, resulting in Hudson and others being set adrift in a boat. While many mutinies were carried out in response to poor conditions within the military unit or on the ship, some, e. g. the Connaught Rangers mutiny and the Wilhelmshaven mutiny, were part of larger movements or revolutions.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutiny (external - login to view)

I never wish for a coup or mutiny by the army of Canada because I do not believe the people of Canada need a coup or mutiny for any reason. However coups and mutiny have such a sad or bad name when it just rolls off of your tounge.

But aren't some coups in like Africa or South America and other places like in India actually good or were good for the people, I am talking about the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny for example or the First War of Independence.
 
fuzzylogix
#2
I agree, Jersay. The term "coup d'etat" means a sudden and decisive use of force by a small group of people to overthrow a government. There are various ways to effect a coup. One way might be using the force of your incredible political influence and wealth to get voted in as President of a major nation, and then using your power to act in a very undemocratic dictatorial self interested way.

Another coup could be a group of individuals overthrowing the dictatorial government ruling it to bring true democracy to the country, and then ruling in a way to truely serve the people.

Which coup is truely the right or wrong one???

It is not so much the coup itself, as the subsequent method of governing and leading the country that determines the benefit for the people.
 
mabudon
#3
Odd that this comes up- not to get too deep into it but rather something kinda tangential- I read that the vote about the Afghanistan mission (ending as it did nearly toe-to-toe) represented a "coup" for Harpers government, which kinda renders the word impotent IMO- I think it's just folks getting more permissive with descriptions and generally letting their vocabularies be dictated to them by the MSM rather than such sources as a Dictionary- in the 20th century rush to make "talking points" work much better (ie "mushroom cloud", it doesn't MEAN anything but if it's invoked in the right way and with the right gestures it means "YOU are in deadly peril" whereas all it really is is a description of a specific type of explosions aftermath) it has effectively hogtied our language and made the correct usages of a LOT of really useful words totally irrellevant..

See also "freedom"
 
Jersay
#4
You both raise interesting points on the matter. One about the aspects of what occurs after a coup by the governing party and the other saying that this word has been used to much that it doesn't really have any meaning anymore.
 
mabudon
#5
Well, THAT was EASY
 

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