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29 June 2010

Criteria for the Use of Violence in Resisting Oppression and the Destruction of the Environment

In response to the statement "When is violence better than non-violence? When there are no other options." I think it's a little more complex than that, so here are my criteria - I reserve the right to add or subtract from this list as new issues arise:

1) There is absolutely no chance that any human being or animal will be physically harmed by the action.
2) The environmental harm caused by the action is less (cumulatively?) than the environmental harm caused by the activity to be stopped.
3) The action will not bring about massive resentment or antipathy from the local community or from the general public.
4) The action will effectively and permanently stop the activities.
5) There is no other option.

I don't know if there are any circumstances that meet these criteria, but I'm willing to entertain the possibility that there are.

1 comment:

Jeremy Trombley said...

With a little more thought, it occurred to me that these rules may be okay for abstract discussion dealing with vague generalities. However, I don't think they hold up to practical experience, necessarily. Pragmatically speaking, any action, whether violent or non-violent, will have to adapt to the particular circumstances at hand. I still think that in the majority of circumstances with which we are faced violence is not the most pragmatic solution.

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