Great post at Men of the West (a site I need to pay more attention to) on how the left is forcing the right to resort to violence, which will backfire spectacularly. Some scenes that have been coming to my mind lately, in addition to the one he gave from the great Quigley Down Under:
We didn’t have a TV for several years growing up, but the radio was often tuned to country music. A song that had an impression on me was “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers. The story is that a young man with a bad temper has learned to control it and turn the other cheek, because his father’s fighting led to a death in prison. This causes people to think he’s a coward, and eventually three men rape his girl, and then he lets loose and ends them.
Then there’s Ender’s Game, with whom many of my readers will be familiar. At age 6, Ender explains his philosophy of violence:
“We’re willing to consider extenuating circumstances,” the officer said. “But I must tell you it doesn’t look good. Kicking him in the groin, kicking him repeatedly in the face and body when he was down–it sounds like you really enjoyed it.”
“I didn’t,” Ender whispered.
“Tell me why you kept on kicking him. You had already won.”
“Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too, right then, so they’d leave me alone.” Ender couldn’t help it, he was too afraid, too ashamed of his own acts: though he tried not to, he cried again.
Another example, which isn’t as direct but keeps coming to mind because of the wording, is from the Hitchhiker’s Guide series. The planet Krikkit is enclosed in a thick cloud, so its people are not only not aware of other life in the universe, they’re unaware of anything else in the universe beyond themselves. When they manage to travel into space and discover other stars, their reaction is a bit extreme, but…
“It’ll have to go,” the men of Krikkit said as they headed back for home.
On the way back, they sang a number of tuneful and reflective songs on the subjects of peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms.
Another related scene is from Roadhouse:
Dalton: I want you to be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.
Guy: Well uh, how are we supposed to know when that is?
Dalton: You won’t. I’ll let you know.
From Smoky Valley, by Donald Hamilton, which features an ex-captain in the Union Army who goes west for his health and has had his fill of violence so he won’t even wear a gun, but eventually he’s forced to fight:
“That’s enough,” a voice said behind him. “You’re killing him.”
There was something odd about the presence of the voice in this place at this time, but he had no strength to waste upon the problem. “Yes,” he said.
“Let him breathe,” the voice said.
I could probably go on all day: “He brings a knife, you bring a gun.” Western history and literature are full of this dichotomy, of men who are capable of great violence choosing peace even at cost to themselves, holding out violence only as a regrettable last resort, but then going at it full-bore when forced. We certainly have men on our side who like to fight and seek out violence. But perhaps more importantly, we have many men who don’t like to fight — for whatever reason — so if they have to fight, they want it to be quick and final. It’s not about anger; by the time they’re forced to fight, they’ve gone past angry to implacable, seeing the fight as an unpleasant task that must be done, so it should be done as efficiently and decisively as possible.
The Left also has men of the first group, who like to fight. But it really doesn’t have the second group, because that mindset flows from things the left rejects: a commitment to objective reality, traditional virtues, defense of home and family, etc. Instead, the Left has people who like to take cheap shots, because they think they’re too smart and enlightened to fight face-to-face like dumb jocks. We’ve seen that online the last couple years, as the Alt-Right has begun using the Left’s tactics like doxxing against them. Do they respond with, “Finally, a worthy opponent! Let the battle be joined!”? No, they respond by whining to authorities and concern trolling for mercy. They don’t want to fight; they want only to attack.
The same will be true in the physical realm. Leftists thought it was great fun to “punch Nazis” at Trump rallies as long as the cops disarmed their targets and the Right continued to play fair. As some on the Right accept that playing fair and being nice have become counter-productive, and it’s time to escalate and put a stop to the nonsense, the Left will run and cry to Daddy Government and Mommy Media. But by that point, it’ll be too late for shaming to work. Once you’re sitting on top of the bully pounding away at him (add A Christmas Story to the list above), shame isn’t part of the equation anymore. You’re just making sure he doesn’t do it again.
If the Left keeps pushing, it will get ugly for them very fast. The best thing would be for all the college kids who think throwing a few bricks at right-wingers sounds like a fun afternoon romp, to realize they’re out of their element and find something else to do. Maybe the Left’s core fighters and paid mercenaries would back off without that crowd to hide them and give them fake legitimacy. Or they’ll keep it up, and it’ll be easier for people on the Right who still want to play nice to see what’s going on, and step up to end it.