Flying in Neutral


Switzerland has a long history of zealously-guarded neutrality, but the country historically combined its banking industry, mountainous terrain, and not-inconsequential self-defense forces to prevent invasion.  Famously, every Swiss adult male is in the military reserves and has a rifle in his closet.

It’s laudable to vigorously pursue peace and not intervene in the affairs of others.  In fact, these are not bad life goals for anyone.  But sometimes a bully doesn’t care about your moral strictures.  So, it’s not a bad idea to have some other means of protection at your disposal.


The Cowboy worked on a ranch near here for a spell, and in addition to improving his French he learned a few other things in Switzerland.  Here’s the Swiss approach to facing a bully (as derived by the Cowboy):

  1. Have the moral advantage.
  2. Provide a service that everyone, including the bully, appreciates.  If it involves holding onto the bully’s money, all the better.
  3. Make yourself inconvenient to beat up.  Use location, neighbors, or anything else you can come up with to ensure that you’re not Belgium.
  4. Learn how to fight, and make sure the bully is aware of your skills.  You don’t have to be especially tough, you just have to make it clear that you’ll be able to get one or two blows in, probably even a good kick to the crotch.
  5. Make sure that you’re not really worth the effort.  I mean, other than the beautiful scenery, why would you want Switzerland?

As it turns out, geopolitics might be able to teach us a thing or two.

Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 19:45  Comments Off on Flying in Neutral  
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