I don’t really know what’s wrong with the world anymore.
I mean, I’m someone who looks at the world on a daily basis. I take in all the insanity and try to boil it down for human consumption. My entire job revolves around comprehending what is taking place at a given moment and to try to figure out just why that is.
The problem, though, is that I look at a glimpse of the world and can figure it out from there, but our world is broken. Horribly, horribly broken.
As you’ve no doubt heard, yesterday was an…interesting news day.
I followed the news all day, in part because it’s my job, but also in part because I couldn’t believe all the insanity. A mass shooting and the mob outside of Tucker Carlson’s house were just…wow. (Full disclosure: I’ve written for Carlson’s The Daily Caller in the past.)
How does all of this happen?
While the coming days and weeks will be filled with supposed political fixes to one or both of these events, I’m not interested in that right now. Right now, I want to focus on what we can do. What can we decide to do to put the world in balance a bit. This won’t focus on are the mass shootings much. That’s a complex problem and I’m still puzzling out options there, but what about the incident at Carlson’s home? What can we come up with to put this crap in check?
The thing is, the answer I’ve been able to come up with is one that won’t be very popular in some circles.
I think the answer is for people to come to expect violence and be ready to meet it with equal or greater violence.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anyone should go out looking for fights or “punch a Nazi,” no matter who you classify as a Nazi. I’m talking about something else.
Robert E. Howard is a name that many know and many don’t, but most know the name of one of his creations: Conan.
Howard operated on the belief that barbarism was man’s default state and that given the chance, he would revert to that. It’s why so much of his work, particularly his most famous work, focuses on a barbarian.
One of my favorite quotes from Howard was this:
“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
There’s a valid point here.
If people are concerned that they’ll meet violence, they act differently. They don’t become nearly as belligerent. Many will outright avoid the confrontation completely. Others will figure out that being respectful with your disagreement does more good than screaming, threats, or insults.
One of my favorite examples of this comes courtesy of animal rights activists.
A while back, it was something of a thing for animal rights activists to throw red paint on women wearing fur coats in New York City. The idea was to “punish” them for supposed cruelty to the animals, destroying the demand for fur, and ending the fur trade completely.
Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t. But you know what these animal rights activists didn’t
They didn’t try that same crap at the Sturgis Bike Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.
I mean, there are thousands and thousands of people wearing animal skin. Surely it’s rife with targets for the animal rights activists red paint, so why don’t they go there?
Well, they don’t go because of safety.
You see, they can throw red paint on NYC socialites and generally escape any harm besides a bit of jail time. They know it and thus feel they have the impunity to do whatever they want.
But a city filled with bikers? Well, that’s a horse of a different color, isn’t it?
Even if the reputation of bikers is wildly overblown by the media, there’s still a far greater chance that any animal rights activist throwing red paint on someone wearing leather would get themselves pounded in the dirt at Sturgis than in the Big Apple. In fact, I’d argue that it’s even likely
While not all bikers are One Percenters, it’s still a culture that has no problem beating someone’s ass if said ass needs beating.
Because of that, there’s no effort by animal rights activist to do anything impolite in Sturgis during the bike week. That fear of violence keeps the crazies in check, just a bit.
I’m not saying I want a group of people to go around and beat up people. Gavin McInnes has the Proud Boys and, well, their reputation isn’t any better than the people they oppose. I don’t like the idea of gangs of people looking to scrap.
What I do want to see are legions of men and women who are ready, trained, willing, and able to meet threats. I want to see a new breed of warrior standing up and telling those who think violence is the way to create political change that they’re oh-so-very wrong.
I don’t want violent thugs running around the streets. I want violence to live in the hearts of ordinary men and women who will live their daily lives peacefully, but, as Shakespeare phrased it, “when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.“
We shouldn’t want
But maybe if everyone knew there were people who weren’t willing to shun it either, people would be less inclined to embrace the stupid. Maybe if we do that, we could head off the nastiness I fear is coming as things currently stand.