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Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Evil Use of Nonviolence, The Righteous Use of Violence

The determining factor as to rectitude in the use of force is the motive behind it. Polar opposite motivators are love and hate. Typically it is seen that violence can derive from hatred. But nonviolence can derive from hatred as well. Occasionally one can be forced to take take decisive action when not doing so inevitably would align one with the side of hatred. Recently in the news was the story of a 6 year-old child abducted by a twisted adult. The man held the child hostage in a bunker. The police attempted to free the child through negotiation without success. The man was armed and dangerous--he had killed an adult during the abduction. The police power of the state and the officers on the scene were not given the choice of indifference. Indifference would have bespoken hatred for the laws of the land and the boy himself. The police freed the boy and in doing so killed the abductor. This is clearly a case when violence was the manifestation of love. On the other hand, nonviolence (or declining the use of military force) can be motivated by hatred. During the integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas in the fall of 1957, President Eisenhower ordered the deployment of troops armed with drawn bayonets. The situation was that racists were attempting to block integration. For President Eisenhower to have remained non-responsive and to have declined the use of military force when the laws of the land were being flouted and hatred manifestly sought ascendency, then his passivity would have underwritten the perpetrated acts of hatred.

So as to the use of force or use of nonviolence, the determining factor of rectitude must be one of motive. The proclivity within human nature to rationalize and justify with facility will forever remain a cautionary consideration in the use of either military force or nonviolence.

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