Pacifism and Personal Responsibility

Ironbear at Who Tends the Fires has written a thought-provoking essay on pacifism.

His central theme, “Pacifism is the ultimate abdication of personal responsibility,” managed to bring into view the underlying irrationality that always puzzled me about pacifism. I could never think with the concept of pacifism, so I simply discarded it as a viable solution to anything many years ago.

I failed to analyze pacifism in terms of what it meant in terms of taking responsibility for oneself and others. I should have.

Even though I was a gun owner and marksman for many years, I don’t agree that gun ownership is the solution Ironbear seems to feel it is. But, I feel he is dead right that the unwillingness to use force when necessary is non-survival and leads to removal from the gene pool.

I insist on taking responsibility for my actions and for others who share my life. I consider those who will not take responsibility for themselves or others to fall in a suspect category that ranges from “unreliable” to “dangerous to be around”.

Read his excellent post and decide for yourselves.

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0 Responses to Pacifism and Personal Responsibility

  1. Clarence says:

    Gun ownership IS NOT a solution to anything, but possessing the will to use that gun when necessary IS. I’m with Ironbear all the way.

  2. Ironbear says:

    Coolness… thanks for the kind words. And glad you enjoyed the essay.

    I don’t believe that gun ownership [or weapon ownership in the metacontext] is a “solution” per se, so much as I do that it’s a facet that tends to define a certain mindset: a weapon practicioner absolutely has to think through the issues I outlined. A weapon practicioner has to face squarely the realization that he/she is possessed of an implement and skill that has deadly consequences, and determine within themselves wether they have to capacity to use that or to walk away from it. “Skill” is inclusive… I practiced martial arts til I seperated my shoulder in ’91 – a deadly skill is in the “weapon” category to me.

    That’s what forms the dichotomy of mindsets I was trying to illustrate: it’s two divergent world views – the acceptance of ultimate responsibility on one hand, and the rejection of it on the other.

    That acceptance of ultimate responsibility: I am prepared to do this in extremis, and accept the consequences, has a tendency to shape other attitudes and outlooks, such as excercise of responsibility to one’s fellows. The rejection of that responsibility also shapes the outlook…

    *sigh* I suppose in retrospect that I could have illustrated that more clearly. There’s always stuff you leave out or think of later. ;]

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