Sunday, June 15, 2014

Pacifism and Civilization

Imagine you and I are playing billiards.

I whup ya.

You get angry.

In the heat of passion, you pick up a cue stick and announce your intention to skewer my heart. Everyone gasps in horror, as "the reasonable man" apprehends an imminent threat of bodily harm. As you aim the stick at my chest, I grab the stainless steel lid from a nearby garbage can, and use it as a shield. You thrust the cue at me, hitting my lid-shield, and your cue splinters into toothpicks. I am unharmed.

This is "self-defense."

No pacifist I've ever met is against "self-defense."

Now imagine your horror as I pick up the garbage can lid and stuff it into your mouth till you look like a Ubangi savage.

Is this "self-defense?"

No, I am no longer defending myself. I am taking vengeance. Your attack is over.

Pacifists oppose what is often loosely called "self-defense."

Most of what is called "self-defense" is a really vengeance for a previous attack, or is aggression intended to "deter" some hypothetical future attack.

Now imagine the opposite case. You whup me, I get angry, and I take the garbage can lid and whack your cue into splinters. We're looking at the same result -- your cue is broken by my shield -- but in one case the contact between your cue and my shield is "self-defense," but in the second case it is an offense, a tort and a crime, and I owe you a new cue stick.

My behavior is "uncivilized."

Jesus commands His followers to be "pacifists."

That doesn't rule out fleeing or the use of shields, but it does rule out vengeance, revolution (such as the one that began on July 4, 1776)  and "national defense."
Our lives -- and civilization -- will not be adversely affected by China taking down the Stars and Stripes and running the Chinese flag up every flagpole in America. If China takes over the U.S., we'll hardly notice. It isn't worth killing millions of Chinese people to prevent. Civilization will be protected and advanced by missionaries, not the Marines.

If we follow the pacifist Christ, we can have "a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence." We have no feeling of security, because we are no longer a Christian nation.

“Pacifism” as taught by Christ is the foundation of civilization.

Ancient empires were violent to the core.
Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
It is only with the Advent of Christ that governments began to be civilized (eventually to be eliminated).

Pacifism leads to anarcho-capitalism.

Biblical laws against murder and vengeance, and commands to forgive, love enemies, be patient, and serve enemies by laboring for their personal benefit, are at the heart of what we call "western civilization."
Acts of love practiced by billions of people are more important than acts of "government" committed by hundreds of people. In the U.S., these people are the source of crime, as they prohibit public schools from teaching students that God says "Thou shalt not kill." Their power is corrupting, not only of themselves, but of all of us. Those people and their "mainstream media" want to direct our focus to their actions, their laws, their decrees, their judicial opinions, their regulations, their inspectors, agents, officers, and soldiers, and we are instructed to view them as the guardians of civilization -- "the thin blue line" -- but they are not. Civilized behavior is pacifist behavior.

Someday I'll rewrite this page and highlight the significance of pacifist behavior vs. the warlike behavior of the State. It is the essential lesson of history.

It is pacifism that nurtures and protects civilization.