Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RTC Conflates Nonviolence with Pacifism

As I have mentioned on several occasions, I carry a gun most of the time. I am not a pacifist. More interestingly, I have attended two Restore the Constitution rallies, and I was armed each time. So it was with some sadness that I recently saw a post on the RTC site that seemed to confuse pacifism with nonviolence. That post can be found at Nonviolence is for Civilians. Go read, then come back.

The word "violence" comes from the same root as "violate." To commit violence is to violate another person, to take away their natural rights by force. Self defense is not truly violence, since you are not trying to take away another's natural rights by force, but merely attempting to stop a violation of yourself. It is not, as some put it, "protective violence," but correctly called defense.  We should use the term "defense" and get away from the term "protective violence," for using this terminology allows the gun grabbers to also conflate violence with defense, and then propose a solution to nonexistent problem.

Pacifism is a philosophy which takes the Lord's injunction to turn the other cheek quite literally.  Pacifists believe that you not only must turn the other cheek, but also must let the violator pound upon you, even to death.  Such people believe they will earn points with the Lord, perhaps, or not incur "bad karma."  It gives the person who espouses such a belief an apparently pious stand, while completely ignoring nature and natures God.  What such a belief does is replace a knowledge of human nature with nothing but hope.  When the Lord gave his injunction to turn the other cheek, he was talking about how a higher status person treated a lower status one.  In those days, the higher status person would slap a lower status person across the face.  Since most people use their right hands, the left cheek would be slapped.  Jesus said that rather than feel resentment, offer the other cheek, in other words, shame them.  Make them feel small.  Jesus didn't say to take a beating, or allow them to kill you without a fight.

One way to read Jesus is as a guerrilla who was fighting using unsymmetrical warfare.  You can understand Ghandi and MLK in similar terms.  We know, for instance, that MLK had armed bodyguards around him most of the time.  The Deacons for Defense and Justice guarded not only MLK, but the crowds who came to hear him speak.  I don't know about Ghandi, but I suspect he must have had similar guards to have survived.  There is even an indication that Jesus had armed bodyguards.  When Jesus was taken by the Romans, Peter drew a sword and cut off the ear of one of the high priest's servants.  Did Peter always carry that sword?  Mike Vanderboegh has famously given a command to the Three Percenters, "No Fort Sumters."  What that means is that our side will not fire the first shot-conversely, we will finish the fight.  That is a nonviolent statement, in that our side will not violate their side, but it is certainly not pacifism.


  1. "Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay — and claims a halo for his dishonesty." -- Robert A. Heinlein, Double Star

  2. Francis,

    Once again, you have manage to capture the essence of what I was trying to say.

    May the peace of the Lord be with you,