Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Throwing Rocks at Pacifists

My Smile Politely column is up. It's about rock throwing and being an mediocre pacifist.

7 comments:

brownie said...

Are you sure you just didn't get mad, and hop out of the car to kick his a**, then get scared when he appeared to be able to kick yours? And that all the rest of this is just rationalization and pointless erudition?

Just asking.

Amy said...

Dan, I struggle with the same thing. A friend of mine recently accused me of claiming to be pacifist when I'm gonna call the cops if there's a conflict. And he's right. I'm not pure pacifist. But it's as close as I can get right now.

I've been blogging a lot about violence lately, as I working through Rene Girard's Violence and the Sacred. Might want to check some of my writings out. www.storiesfromtheredtent.blogspot.com

Dan S said...

Hey Amy, it's been awhile! I read your piece on calling the police and really liked it. You are right that pacifism isn't about being passive. What I struggle with though is how pacifism often can't do much once out of control violence starts. It's better at trying to create conditions that prevent violence in the first place.

Dan S said...

Brownie, you are a stinkhead.

See, I'm still a bad pacifist, since violence starts with the name-calling.

Fingtree said...

I suppose it's the Jew in me that would have most likely reacted in a Gaza strip rock throwing kind of way. It was good that it was you and not me :)

patrick said...

Hm... Interesting one, Dan. I'm not sure that calling the police can be equated with a violent act (I'll have to go read Amy's blog), though it does certainly put control of the situation into the hands of people who aren't pacifists.

I've been in situations similar to this and they're never easy to figure out at the time, because there's too much adrenaline involved (this is why police get actual training). Looking back, it seems like you found one possible answer, and that was to drive up the road to where your family was safe, and then call the police, but stay on the scene. This way, when the cops show up you can identify the person throwing rocks and can serve as a witness, in case the situation threatens to escalate to more violence. This also deals with the question you have about using the police remotely--if you're on the scene, you're still directly involved. Your helping take responsibility for the safety of your community and family.

Without calling the police, the situation would be able to continue unabated, which seems contrary to pacifist principles, yes?

brownie said...

In case you didn't notice...

You didn't answer my question...

Stinkhead though I may be...