Updated: Jul 27, 2021
In the most recent Saturday Special, I posited something that I think may be taken out of context, or misunderstood by people less versed in the intricacies of intercultural interactions.
Simply this- that sometimes violence is the answer, and when it is, it generally is the only answer in that moment because all other avenues have been exhausted or are no longer able to be employed. All I meant was that violence can and does solve problems. In today's society it's the very last option to move to (unless it's not, which I'll hit in a moment) and should only be used after all other means to solve the issue are resolved or can't be reasonably employed.
Now, "reasonable employment" is a rather nebulous term, and in a court of law, I'm not sure how well saying "lesser means couldn't be reasonably employed at the time" would fair should you find yourself in that situation- so this is not to be taken as legal advice. But from a moral sense, I think I can offer some idea of what it is that I was attempting to get across. What was I attempting to get across?
Simply this- that sometimes violence is the answer, and when it is, it generally is the only answer in that moment because all other avenues have been exhausted or are no longer able to be employed. This can happen at an individual and tactical level- think the police officer being rushed by a drugged up criminal with a knife- or at a cultural level- think a dictator who has begun using the institutions of power to exterminate his political opposition or ethnic group. In those instance, asking the violent party to stop is likely to fall on deaf ears, and this is something that our founding fathers understood, and something that we, as a society, are fast forgetting.
This is the premise behind the second amendment, that sometimes violence is the answer. It's not the preferred answer, and as a result not the first answer, but it's an answer nonetheless. And we know they believed this for two reasons. One, they directly told us in their writings if not in so many words, and two they showed they believed this to be true with their actions. George Washington isn't celebrated because he argued his point with the crown in eloquent fashion using complicated word salad- he's celebrated for defeating them in a bloody war. Our nation was forged off the backs of those who knew violence was the answer sometimes, and used it to answer a serious question- should the United States be an independent nation.
The answer to that question was a resounding, "yes." And it was answered via force.
This is what I was saying in that episode- that I don't advocate for violence until I do. Violence is something we should avoid at all costs if practical. If there is a peaceful way to solve a problem, or resolve a conflict, we should make every opportunity to effect that solution. However, when the issue cannot be resolved peacefully- when one party has it in their mind that the only "peaceful" solution is total capitulation to their goals and to hell with the other side- then you move closer to violence being the solution to the problem.
Within the context of our society, we are still a ways off from violence being the solution to our political and cultural ills, but the farther we push into the ideal that one side is not just wrong, but racist and <add derogatory term here>, we move farther from peaceful solutions and increase the likelihood that we will answer the questions being posited through force of arms. As much as people say they want to answer our cultural questions in this way- they don't. Conflict in this nation won't be like in other nations. The concentration of arms is such that no place will be safe- there will be no "front lines." There will be no place you can get away- the fight will literally be at your door step. Much of what you own, and the comfort of your life, will wash away before you realize it's gone.
But this is just the pain that we will face should war break out- the rest of the world will suffer as well. With the nation distracted by turmoil within it's own borders, our ability to influence and stabilize the rest of the world will begin to falter. There will be nations that can and will step into the void left by our sudden need to deal with ourselves, and this can go one of two ways. Either the nations of the world work toward keeping the collateral damage from a US civil war from breaking through into the rest of the world, or nations take advantage of the power vacuum and enact their own plans. The latter is what I fear will be the reality of a US civil war. With our nation convulsing, states like the CCP, Iran, and Russia will move on issues that the US has stopped them moving on.
Others will suffer should we collapse into war, and the sad part is that all too many people probably don't care. Those who speak of "American Imperialism" will be thrilled that we can no longer effect international policy, and those who value American First diplomacy will be glad that we're no longer putting money and influence where it need not be. In either case, the world will suffer if we go to war with ourselves- and that's not even considering the economic ramifications of such an event.
And yet- violence is an answer to the questions of how we view ourselves as a nation, and I fear that should we continue on this path we're on, we will enter into that reality and reap the rewards of our ignorance of the issues at hand. We just have to answer the question of whether violence is the answer we want to go with. I'd hope not, but I grew up in an institution of violence, so it's still on the table (even if I'd rather it weren't). So choose wisely America. It's only the future of the free world at stake.
Battle Specter, out.
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