On the Use of Force

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by W.F. Price on June 21, 2011

Thomas Ball’s suicide has prompted discussions about what is an appropriate means of resistance. Because a self-immolation is an act that precipitates a lot of emotion, some people are advocating the use of force (in many cases spuriously, I assume), and some are asking what my thoughts are on “violence” as a solution to political problems.

I don’t think it’s the right time for men to take on the responsibility that use of force entails. When one takes it to that point, there’s no going back, or at least that’s what one should assume. If a man is responsible for death, injury or confinement – even if for a just cause – he necessarily carries an enormous burden.

However, accountability goes both ways, and this seems to have been lost on state actors here. Our ideological opponents regularly advocate state violence against men, and it seems that they feel that using the state or the law as a weapon somehow absolves them of responsibility. This is exactly the argument that Pontius Pilate made as he ordered the crucifixion, and it just doesn’t wash.

So, rather than speculate about whatever feeble measures individual men could take in retribution for state/feminist abuses, at this point we need to focus on the use of force against men, and hold those who advocate as well as perpetrate it responsible.

Arresting and jailing indigent men for their poverty is unjustified use of force.

Seizing men’s children on unproven pretexts or accusations is an abuse.

Beating men in their own homes is an unjustified use of force.

Attacking compliant men with dogs is excessive violence.

Shooting despondent men in the face is unjustified.

All of these things are regularly done as a direct result of feminist policy. Feminists are not even subtle about their calls for men to be jailed on their behalf — the New York Model for Batterer Programs, endorsed by Michael Kimmel’s NOMAS, conspicuously places a picture of a man in handcuffs on its website’s homepage.

The implication is that this is justice; that batterers deserve it. Well, what about the justice for men who have been falsely accused, wrongfully assaulted by police, wrongfully incarcerated and robbed of their property? Why do the perpetrators in these cases escape punishment?

There is a clear imbalance of justice there, and before anyone starts hurting people, this imbalance must be articulately spelled out. It is never a good idea to pick up a gun and start shooting to address some vaguely defined injustice — that is savagery. Before the American Revolution, for example, patriots took pains to spell out a long list of grievances that justified rebellion. Without prior sustained efforts to redress grievances and a litany of legitimate complaints they would have been entirely without moral support, and that mattered a great deal in the course of the Revolution.

We have to make our own lists, air our grievances, and give the state the opportunity to redress them. Likewise, we, too, can demand justice for outrages against our rights and persons. Before anyone resorts to the same methods the state uses against us, we must put every reasonable effort into working with the law and the political system we have. Because this effort is still in its infancy, any calls for armed resistance are entirely premature and counterproductive, and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

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