Wednesday, January 21, 2009


"My mother said violence never solves anything." "So?" Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly. "I'm sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that."

"Anyone who clings to the historically untrue — and thoroughly immoral — doctrine that "violence never solves anything" I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
---Robert A. Heinlein, "Starship Troopers"

Ok, for now, I think this third quote from this book is enough. I'll finish this up and then move on to something else.

Violence. Its a fundamental part of nature, a part of this world we live in. It can be a volcano that destroys an entire city (e.g. Pompeii) to a human act that destroys an entire city (e.g. Nagasaki, Hiroshima). What's the difference? Either way an entire city is gone. Exactly, as referenced in the beginning of this quote, the same as Carthage.

The way I interpret this quote may be strange, but I don't believe that the author is saying that violence should be the first attempt. Maybe not even the third. But the problem is that when you get down to it, diplomacy has very rarely worked, and violence is what resolves the matter, eventually and definitively.

I would further add, that it is not just violence, but as much violence as needed. Look at the situation in Israel. They have defeated Palestine a number of times throughout the years. However, they keep bowing to the pressure of the "world community" and keep stopping short of completely solving the matter.

Do I advocate violence for everything, or as a first resort? Not at all. Do I feel that it can be justified when it is used correctly? Absolutely.

Well, there ya go... now don't hit me!


mmpaints said...

You'll get no scolding from me, I think this way too. Avoid the confrontation if at all possible but always have it in your mind how to finish it in your favor.

HermitJim said...

Wasn't it Teddy Roosevelt that said "Speak softly, but carry a big stick!" ?

Have to agree that from time to time, violence is called for!

Good post!

Ramon said...

Hmm, we lacked the political fortitude to finish what we started in Korea, Vietnam, Afganistan, Iraq, ..... If you are going to start a fight you better decide in advance that you are willing to finish it at all costs.