Thursday, June 03, 2010

Comment on the Belmont Club:
"People Who Need People"

Napoleon cleared a crowd with "a whiff of grapeshot" and ended the Revolution. The Left likes to bleat about "disproportionate" force but the only formula they have says that use by the Other is legitimate and excusable at any level while resistance at any level is illegitimate and inexcusable. The Left pretends it regulates methods, because they are incapable of making value judgments about goals. So they ban an arbitrary criteria like "assault rifles" which are really just cosmetic distinctions because they cannot honestly say that some people are bad and should not have access to weapons while others are good and can be trusted. The reductio ad absurdum is they only attempt to control the harmless who may follow the law and they give up on even attempting to curtail the actions of those who the law should reasonably constrain. What is legitimate or not is not dependent on the methods used but on the ends sought. Only in relation to the end can proportionality be considered. To preserve protect and defend the Constitution of the United States violence against evil men with armies hiding behind children may be justifiable. To advance the cause of sadistic supremacists determined to drag the world into the 7th century no act is legitimate. Any act done to harm the fragile community of Liberty is illegitimate and many acts done to frustrate those seeking to do those illegitimate acts are acceptable.

That does not mean that anything goes. Goldwater restating Cicero probably overstated the case. It made for fine oratory to say "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" but the job of a Statesman, or Officer in combat, is to determine what, given the goals, is sufficient and to draw the line between necessity and extremism. It means that something goes and the forces of freedom must decide what is needed to achieve their goal.

At Harfleur Henry V according to the Bard threatened,

If not, why, in a moment look to see
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;
Your fathers taken by the silver beards,
And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls,
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
Once he had the governor's surrender Henry commanded "show mercy to them all." Napoleon was no champion of Liberty, but he probably was justified in dispersing the crowd and preventing further bloodshed at that time.

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