15 May 2022
The lie of pacifism
Pacifism has been all the rage for many decades. I've long become convinced that people who call themselves pacifists rarely spend any time actually thinking about violence and its nature.
It is so simple to claim opposition to violence. "Oh, look at how virtuous I am, I believe that violence is bad." But have you actually thought about what that really means? Pacifism is a complete rejection of violence. Being a pacifist doesn't just mean that you oppose trampling babies. It means that you oppose violence against the most despicable, vile person on the planet. It means that you turn the other cheek to your abuser, as Jesus prescribed in the bible. Being a pacifist means you remain non-violent in the face of the severest abuse of you, your loved ones and everyone you care about. But let us not get lost in discussing whether or not that is a wise thing to do.
Frankly, I don't think I've ever met a pacifist. I've only met people who claim to be pacifists, but what they actually want is to trade one kind of violence for another against a different group of people. These so-called pacifists can't wait to be outraged when a minor scuffle happens at a protest, but when policemen brutally beat down elderly and helpless people, the same people who were previously outraged about violence cheer the police on because they disagree with the protesters. This is the nature of our society. Peace, but not for our foes. Forgiveness, but not for the guilty. Kindness, but not for the undeserving. Generosity, but not for those in need. Free speech, but not for the nonconformists. How virtuous and noble we all are, the earth itself shall be grateful for being walked on by us. The stench of hypocrisy suffocates me, it is the repugnant smell of dead values.
What are the consequences of subscribing to pacifist values? Violence is the indispensable tool that enables and perpetuates government. It is impossible to be a pacifist and not to oppose government. Under a government in power, the only people who are allowed to be violent without consequence are those who are hired by the government to commit these acts. This is called the monopoly on violence. If you say no to violence, you shall oppose or at least seek to minimise all violence and not condone the forms of violence that you like and approve of, for example against people you dislike. The monopoly on violence and thus the concept of government is an insult to the pacifist.
It is high time we restore meaning to our words. If you are a pacifist, you reject violence in its entirety. If you don't and call yourself a pacifist, you are a hypocrite at best.
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