Violence or Nonviolence?
Through the years I have often wondered if my pacifistic tendencies were naive, considering that the forces of empire are violently destroying the very biosphere of our dear mother Earth. In smaller and narrower contexts those same forces of empire perpetrate violence in a myriad of ways on almost everyone and everything.
My beloved country, the USA, the first modern democracy could have never been founded without the violence of revolutionary war. Jefferson declared that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots. It made me question my own convictions.
What was true then, may no longer be appropriate now. Now I am older and perhaps a bit wiser. I better understand that violence only begets violence. I have learned from the prudent actions of Gandhi and Dr. King.
I now realize the the environment is more fragile and stressed than ever before and that more violence, conflict and war only serves to distract us from the monumental tasks of reforming our outdated barbaric habits. If we are to repent and to make amends to the folly of our past, we can not afford to repeat the same mistakes.
Violence will only reinforce the use of the military-industrial-police state that we rebel against. Violence is the instrument of oppression and we have oppressed ourselves enough. Enough is enough, nonviolent civil engagement in our only means for salvation.