If you can fight you generally don’t have to. When skillfully integrated, the ability to respond with aggression and violence decreases rather than increases the probability that actual aggression will become necessary. If you say “No!” early in the cycle of oppression and you mean what you say which means you state your refusal in no uncertain terms and stand behind it then the scope for oppression on the part of oppressor will remain properly bounded and limited. Forces of tyranny expand inexorably to fill the space made available for their existence. People who refuse to muster appropriately self protective territorial responses are laid open to exploitation as much as those who genuinely can’t stand up for their own rights because of a more essential inability or a true imbalance in power.
Naïve, harmless people usually guide their perceptions and actions with a few simple axioms: people are basically good; no one really wants to hurt anyone else; the threat (and certainly, the use) of force, physical or otherwise, is wrong. These axioms collapse, or worse, in the presence of individuals who are genuinely malevolent.
Jordan B. Peterson
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
[Daughter Jaime and I share an account on Audible and generally pick books that we are both interested in and then discuss them. This was one of the books she picked that, from the title, I wasn’t particularly interested in. Even after she said that this was a book that she was putting on a list for her son to read when he got older I just didn’t have any interest. But then, I ran out of books on my phone and decided to at least start it rather than immediately go searching for another book.
I am extremely pleased with what I found.
Among other things Peterson is a psychologist. In this book, what he tells us is how our minds work and how to make them work better.
What Peterson says in the quote above works on many scales on many topics. From the personal, to the political, to the international. The grand scope of this would not come as a surprise if you read the chapter. He tells us the knowledge in this quote was learned by animals 100 million years before the arrival of dinosaurs. It is an essential part of all animals today.
Extrapolating only the smallest amount you realize what he says is an argument for the right to keep and bear arms. It is instructive on how to retain our rights.—Joe]