Saturday, November 05, 2005

Thinking About War, part 2 

I usually like to check the cnn.com quick poll of the day to see what they're interested in. Today's question seemed to stem from the riots in Paris and the violence surrounding the Summit. The question was, "Do you think violent protests get results?" Part of the reason why I love these questions/polls so much is how vague they are. Of course violent protests get results! It may not be the result you want, or even the best result possible, but causes do have effects. And violent protests often do lead to the result thought. Maybe it's not the best way to get there, in fact, it almost certainly is not, but it is a way. As a member of the Church, I find myself condemning the use of violence, but in no way does that or should that make me blind to the fact that violence is one way to get things done.

Do violent protests get results? Yes, of course they do. I'm thinking in particular of a little protest started a while ago that kicked off formally with the opening words, "When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..."

And yet, according to the cnn.com poll today, at least when I checked it, over 60% of the people voting think that violent protests get no results whatsover. Again, we may not like that method, as I do not, but we cannot help but acknowledge the law of cause and effect. To not do so makes us little better than the ostrich.



Your question reminds me of a bit of dialogue from Heinlein's Starship Troopers, a controversial novel not done justice by the abysmal movie that ripped it off.

"My mother says that violence never solves anything."

"So? I'm sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that. Why doesn't your mother tell them so? Or why don't you?

"You're making fun of me! Everybody knows that Carthage was destroyed!"

"You seem to be unaware of it. Since you do know it, wouldn't you say that violence had settled their affairs rather thoroughly?"

By Blogger G. Brooke, at 2:35 PM  

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