Monday, May 11, 2015

A few words in praise of violence

We've seen lots of quotes on Facebook about the effectiveness of non-violence, most popularly those of Martin Luther King, Jr. These sentiments look very fine, especially on a poster decorated tastefully with flowers or adorable small animals. There are, however, those who dissent from the beloved civil rights leader:

We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.  Winston Churchill

Those who “abjure” violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.  Attributed to George Orwell.

  [M]akin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;

Rudyard Kipling, "Tommy"

I could quote more, but you get the idea.

I am not advocating violence on the part of citizens in democratic countries like ours, where we have free speech, a Constitution that protects us, and the power to vote the rascals out (and elect new rascals). But in nations run by kleptocrats and religious fanatics, violence is the  alternative chosen by those who do not choose to be slaves.

The government of the United States tried asking the Southern states nicely not to secede, but somehow it didn't work, though tried over and over. The only thing that put the idea permanently out of their heads was the bloody work of Grant and Sherman.  Nearly a third of the young men who fought for the Confederacy were killed or wounded--a terrible price to pay for a terrible idea.

Hitler also did not respond to reason, and giving him a few countries to gobble up did not work either. 

The Jewish prisoners in the death camps would have been grateful to see Allied bombers raining death on these institutions but the powers that be didn't want to make the Germans mad at them.

There is such a thing as just war.  Violence works.  Violence settles things.  Slavery was ended.  Europe and the Far East were liberated.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Miriam.
"Peaceniks" who agitate for broad-stroke non-violence look very suspicious to me; these are people who do not differentiate right from wrong.
Infantile and cowardly.

Dick Stanley said...

Well, thanks to our man-boy leader Little Barry, they got us out of Iraq, ISIS arose in the vacuum and Ramadi has joined Mosul in falling to them, Baghdad is next. But, hey, violence never solved anything.