VIA: The Enigma of Steel
I notice that a lot of people like to refer to themselves as “pacifists.” If I were a betting man, I‘d say that about 10% of them are what they claim to be, and 90% are full of shit.
First off, pacifism as a belief system, of going forth and doing no harm, is a good thing when chosen freely and voluntarily. I would like to think that we, as a society, would want to encourage people to ‘go forth and do no harm.’ I am not an anti-pacifist, or a warmonger. I am generally skeptical when the political and social war drums start beating, but I understand that there is a time and a place...and a very important set of protocols to be mastered when violence becomes an option.
There is a (I’m sad to say) large population of self-described “pacifists” who are simply afraid of and unskilled in the use of violence: a population who hides behind the title as if it were some sort of moral armor.
I prefer a different term for these people: victims in waiting. I have more bad news: such victimhood never makes for good armor when armor is most needed.
You see, there is a stark difference between being a pacifist and simply being someone who is afraid of violence. If you are on social media, or even hanging out with friends (I like to think that some people still hang out with their friends in real life, and don’t just sit behind keyboards,) and are attacking other peoples’ belief systems, their way of life, their ideas, or their identities; if you like acting superior and being snarky, I have news for you: you probably aren’t a real pacifist. If you find yourself referring to others as “libtards,” “rednecks” or whatever the vitriolic political insult of the day is...you are basically exercising what is the opposite of pacifism, and are simply choosing to perform these exercises from a physically safe vantage point. Reducing your ideological adversaries to monosyllabic sound bytes is not a trait of a real pacifist. This is simply being aggressive in an artificial environment where there is no fear of physical harm.
This is what a real pacifist looks like:
I have a buddy who served on a SWAT team for years, where he was involved in many high risk operations. He left the PD and basically turned his back on all aspects of violence. This person consistently scored perfectly on firearms qualifications courses including when under physical stress. This person threw grenades into dangerous folks' houses and kicked their doors down. Today, this person won't even touch meat because it was procured by violence. When a person like that decides to not harm others, and to live peacefully in a life of harmony rather than conflict, he is a true pacifist, because he makes a choice to do so.
Just because you choose not to train in martial arts, to not acquaint yourself with the tools and tactics of personal security; and instead, rely on persons better than yourself to maintain your physical safety, you do not become a pacifist. You simply become unprepared. In order to truly be a pacifist, you must choose to be a pacifist. In order to choose to abstain from violence, you must be able to inflict it in the first place. Similarly, you must be trained in the art of diffusing violence, which, in my opinion, is JUST as important as being able to inflict it, if not more.
Otherwise, you’re basically just proud of something that you have no control over - similar to the self-interested pride that many racists and ultra-nationalists espouse. I understand and recognize tribe as important, but if your belonging to the tribe is your ONLY source of pride, then you are dead weight. You must be a functional member ---> if you are a nationalist - serve your nation; if you are proud of your race or heritage, serve your race or heritage (provide jobs and opportunity for persons in your ethnic/ racial/ minority group - give them leadership and guidance because you understand your culture and will be able to connect with members of it in a way that outsiders never will.) I am of the opinion that one’s own deeds and one's own ability should be the primary source of one’s pride, not necessarily one’s heritage or lineage...but that is for another day.
“Only a warrior chooses pacifism, others are condemned to it.” Is a quote I encountered often in my martial arts training, and it is absolutely true.
If you’re unable to do something, then there is no “choosing” not to perform that something. If you're still calling yourself a pacifist, that may be you trying to fill the gaping hole in your personal security plan with ego. And when the glass break, when the bullets fly, and when the rapist/ robber/ drunk guy pulls out his knife, ego counts for shit.
“Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.”
- Robert E. Howard
Disclaimer (this should not be a surprise:) I make no claim to being a pacifist. I had a job for many years where I had to inflict violence in order to protect life, property, and myself. I sleep just fine at night too.
I’m not over here on the internet trying to say I’m the toughest guy since Simo Häyhä either. (I don't care if you disagree - I think he is the baddest bad ass of the entire history of western civilization's bad asses). I’m not – there are way more tough, smart and dangerous mofos out there – there are people who are stronger, faster and more cunning than I am. I am okay with that. I have another good friend...let’s call him “Tripp” who put 2 rifle rounds through the same quarter at 500 yards. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that, so don’t take this as patting-myself-on-the-back. I'm glad he's on my side.
However, I did learn a few things about the nature of violence in my decades of martial arts training and years of police service. Feel free to agree...or to disagree with any of this – I am all ears.