Initiating Violence Against Assholes Still Isn’t the Answer

 

Violence is attractive because it feels so cathartic and effective. It IS effective, just not as a method for weighing the value of ideas. Self-defense is showing that you can defend your ideas from bullies. Initiating violence is admitting that your words and ideas have failed. Isn’t justifying preemptive violence against a “violent ideology” the excuse war hawks use for fucking with Islam in the Middle East? Hows that working out?

Violence will always beget violence. Bullying begets radicalization. It doesn’t stop when you’re comfortable. It escalates until people die. What happens when they start fighting back? What happens when they bring knives or guns? How far are we willing to push it, and are we so certain they’ll respect our call for a truce when we’re no longer comfortable with the level of escalating violence? When the NAZIS are the ones fighting back in legally-justified self-defense, you KNOW we’ve gone astray.

Look, it’s easy to feel helpless when the timeline of social change is so unsatisfyingly slow, but if there’s a way that politics can exist without using human lives as currency, I’d say we’re obligated, as the good guys (and as a species), to figure it out. America, as a society, had a chance after the American Revolution to embody that ideal, and they fucked it up and instead chose genocide, slavery, and endless wars and domestic social strife, but even though the society, like a battleship, turns slowly, individuals can turn around immediately and refuse to initiate violence against opposing ideologies.

To evolve as a species, we have to recognize violence as an obsolete form of ideological negotiation, and we have to relegate it to self-defense and sport.

 

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