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11/7/05 @ 07:57 pm   
A step towards understanding (instead of) violence
 
’m a big believer in personal responsibility and people being accountable for their actions. That said, there’s only so long you can do something to people that they perceive as unjust before they lash out. It's as certain as a natural law.

It's true even if only they think you're acting unjustly to them. If people don’t understand that or don’t care, violence will continue.

This also allows both sides in a conflict to believe, with moral certainty, that the other side started it.

Complicating the issue is that violence as a means to an end, even as an attempt to end injustice, is bound up within the larger issue of what violence, for any reason, is: a forceful attempt to achieve one's goals when someone else's goals stand in the way. Sometimes this is completely successful against the very weak, but most often what violence primarily accomplishes is socially strengthening an opposing force's resolve. Why is that so hard to understand?

(Although I think that some people who appear not to understand that actually understand it very well.)
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