The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Every time I hear, or read, some one express the thought "violence never solves anything", I want to scream: "Have you NEVER read Heinlein?"
Young males (and females, to a lesser extent) still want their dose of adrenaline rushes and scars and even to taste some pain. In this sanytized world, it is too difficult to get that in innocent ways, so young males resort to less innocent ways: gang activity, torching cars and rioting in France (there, the problem is aggravated by Islam, but at heart it's the same).
If you notice, rural areas where kids are more exposed to the natural world and all it entails, manifest less signs of degenaration and moral confusion.
In agreement with the article but I also think there is another two components.
1) The bully willing to abuse the system and no follow the rules gets immune to the violence he creates and it escalates.
2) People just get pushed over the edge. When someone could just punch someone and resolve the issue quickly before it built into hate we could get it out of our system. it now builds up until we have had enough, snap and then when we go at it there is a lot of hate to be let out.
In the UK our nanny state which is a lot more advanced than yours is causing many law abiding citizens to take legal weapons in their homes to combat burglars. It never used to happen and I've no doubt that many people carry, and are prepared to use, illegal weapons in the UK as well. It's easy to do when a small penknife is illegal.
It still amazes me that these people do the same things that have failed and expect different outcomes. Hanging is too good for them.
Just look where the "violence never solved anything" mantra has gotten us today- Iran continues to cry "death to America" time and again, they talk endlessly about annihilating Israel and they've even now threatened to attack American troops in the Gulf, turning the region into "burning hell". Look at the Islamists around the world who tell us over and over that they want to eradicate our culture, our way of life and enslave non-Muslims- people who exult in murdering innocent people. People who name as heroes those who slaughter women and children. Look at Hamas and their commitment to destroying Israel. The list goes on and on.
Time and again they threaten and the no-violence politicians continue to think that they can reason with them. We're practically defenceless against the bullies now because of it.
In other words, kids today are actively prevented from gaining an experience or insight into the use or abuse of physical force, and the innevitable consequence is that they're clueless.
I also tend to agree that most kids live in a comfy, injury free bubble.
My kids are now 4 & 5, and they're little daredevils.
As parents, we do our best erect around them a protective envelope. In the cases of most of the other kids we know, the parents design the envelope to preclude _any_ possibility of injury, and as a consequence, their kids are pretty timid and meek.
We, on the other hand, have specifically designed the envelope of limitations to _include_ the possibility of minor injuries. (It's designed pretty much to preclude death or permanent injury.) Because our kids _can_ and _have_ injured themselves, taking what used to be the usual bumps and scrapes of childhood, they have learned how to avoid the natural consequences of an active life, without avoiding the active life itself.
This is how kids develop what we call "good judgement", and the best thing is, its self enforcing and comes from within, which means we don't have to helicopter over them 24/7 worried they're going to take another scrape.
Heck, our kids know where the hydrogen peroxide and bandaids are, and are normally expected to repair themselves.
I almost shouldn't have to mention this, but being the Internet, you can't always take some things as writ.
OF COURSE, tear drying, tlc and sympathy are unconditionally available. This also eventually provides the venue for "and what did we learn from this?" when appropriate.
"Love and (appropriate) limits" is the key to parenting.
Great Post - I squared off behind school a few times as a kid. We also used to play "Kill the Guy with the Ball" during recess. The guy with the ball runs - the rest pursue and tackle - then someone else picks it up. We would come back to class filthy and bruised - and able to pay attention for a little while.
I got a call yesterday from the school nurse - my kidergarden boy got a bruise while wrestling with a pal. I didn't say "so?" but I was thinking it the whole time.
Uh, Bram, the proper term for that game is "smear the queer". But you can't even say that in a school without getting suspended, maybe expelled.
I agree with all that's been said here. But there is another factor to all this. In Serenity they tried to pacify a population with drugs, and while most just laid down and died, a minority went to the other extreme and became ultra-violent and predatory. Ben did a little research and found that many, if not most, of school/mall shooters are kids who were on pacifying drugs at the time (i.e. anti-depressant, anti-anxiety meds). There is a definite causal link at work here.
Interesting thought. Sure, that was just a plot thought for Serenity but since suicidal tendencies are such a common reaction to anti-depressants (especially in teens) I'll bet someone could do a very interesting study on this.
When someone tells me "Violence never solved anything" there's always that flash temptation to sock them in the nose and tell them to never say that again. Fortunately I've always been able to resist these practical lessons and simply follow Heinlein's lead in referring them to the citizens of Carthage.
I'm glad that a few people brought up the exchange from Starship Troopers, which goes as follows.
"Violence never settles anything."
"So? I'm sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that."
The point being not so much that violence doesn't solve problem, but that it can be the most permanent solution; thusly should be employed with caution.
I like the concept of violence; humans as an animal will always respond to pain of some sort. Whether intentional or accidental, self-inflicted or not; we feel pain for a reason. It teaches us not to perform actions that bring it, it often provides an adrenaline rush.
As people have already said violence solves many things. Whether or not it's a satisfactory solution is dependent upon your point of view. I agree that "soft words turn away wrath". Sometimes. I've had good experiences with that. However if it doesn't work you must be prepared to meet violence with violence.
Agreed. But we're raising generations that are unprepared, and they live with a small but very violent population that is more than willing to prey upon them. People who don't have time to be mugged, for example, and who are shocked (shocked!) at the sight of nature, red in tooth and claw.
As Trefor Thomas stated, to be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem. To be unable to commit mayhem is not the mark of the civilized, but the domesticated.
The domestication of the public continues apace.
When I was a kid we also used to play "Kill the Guy with the Ball" and we didn't call it "smear the queer" because we didn't know what a queer was - that was a term that hadn't been invented or brought to our region, yet. Pre-historic really.
Later I got my daily-dose of legitimized violence playing water-polo.
This doesn't have much to do with the central theme of the article, but the statement "Young males (and females, to a lesser extent) still want their dose of adrenaline rushes and scars and even to taste some pain." from FabioC earlier stood out to me.
I wonder if this is a part of what's driving the normalization of ever-more-radical body modification among the younger generation? Tattoos and painful piercings are tame now; the new edge is scarification and BRANDING.
It's certainly a way to experience pain, prove to yourself and others that you can take it, and wear a permanent "badge of courage" afterward...
Kudos for not only knowing the difference between an ass-whippin' and an ass-whuppin', but for also knowing how to spell "whup" correctly. One of my top ten pet peeves is seeing it misspelled "w-h-o-o-p".
As for "violence never solved anything"... it may not be the preferred solution, it might not be a productive solution, but to say that it's not a solution is simply ignorant. As noted in the Heinlein quote, it certainly worked on the Carthaginians - not to mention it solved the problem of Nazism rather effectively.
"Whoop" is an Indian- or Rebel-yell. Doesn't everybody know that?
"I wonder if this is a part of what's driving the normalization of ever-more-radical body modification among the younger generation?"
That's a damned good question. I think you've hit upon something there.
"Ass-whooping" is a mis-spelling that drives me almost as crazy as "towing the line". "Ass-whooping" is something that happens in San Francisco's Gay Day celebrations (but may or may not involve violence).
You're correct Kevin. Society is doing it's best to domesticate everyone rather than civilize them. It's one thing to try to keep kids from fighting in school but quite another to keep them from fighting ever.