Somehow or other I ran across this interesting post about the ideal level of violence in a civilization.

I wonder about the relationship between violence and manhood.  Clearly there is one.  But should there be?  There is not much about violence in scripture in favor.  There is much that is against.  Of course, men of violence were great men and heroes.  Gideon, Captain Moroni, and above all Christ.  Yet there is much injunction to being peaceable.

Manliness, like feminity, is fundamental to the gospel.  Men seem to be marked by both a capacity for and willingness to do violence.  So is capacity and willingness to do violence part of manliness?  I think so.  A man gets married, he finds he’d be willing to kill, bam, just like that, to defend his wife or kids.  So probably. But I’m not sure.  Judgment reserved.

If we think of violence as a kind of trial or hardship or challenge, then society should tolerate a certain level of violence, just as mortal societies should tolerate a certain level of other sorts of hardship.  We work to eliminate problems, but a problem-free existence is not ideal.

The post itself is fun if reading poli sci is your idea of fun, which it is mine.  The basic idea of societies varying in their levels of official force, legal private force, and criminal force and relationship between them is sound and interesting. The stuff about an-cap and government through duels, well, as an SF reader and only as an SF reader, those were fun too.  (I.e., interesting but not sound, not even distantly related to sound, not even on the same Linnaean taxonomy as sound).  Sound doesn’t mean right, but it does mean founded in some reality.

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