A strong people is a peaceful people, and widespread practice of the martial arts is a key way to develop the kind of society ready to not be governed. Talk delivered at the 2014 Porcupine Freedom Festival in Lancaster, New Hampshire.
A man walks calmly through a park. Another man approaches him and, after a brief exchange (consisting mainly of “I don’t want no trouble, man” from the first and “Eyyy, Chuck Norris!” and “Wanna go, huh? Let’s throw down right here!” from the second), a fight breaks out. One of them is going to end up on the ground, battered and defeated. Morally, does it matter who wins? Yes, yes it does… very much so.
Today’s first world citizens have it good. The spoiled denizens of North America, Western Europe, and selective parts of East Asia have grown up in a world of unprecedented prosperity, civil rights, and overall life expectancy. The unintended side-effect of this wondrous age in which some of us live is the ease of living in denial as to the harsh realities of the world. This has given birth to the concept of a “post-violence world,” which, unfortunately, is as dangerous as it is ridiculous. Now we have a culture that puts self-defense in the same moral category as other violence.
The fact is, folks, that no matter how good the world gets, it will never be perfect. Why? Because human civilization will always include people, and people are scum. There will always be someone who, given the opportunity, will visit violence and destruction upon his fellow man. It is logistically quite impossible to keep everyone protected at all times through law enforcement, and citizens must therefore take some steps to protect themselves from their malicious fellows. But far beyond that, self-defense, as a concept and an inalienable right, is a moral necessity.
I believe in the inalienable right to exist. No government body gives you this right, you are born with it. You are innocent in existing. If anyone seeks to harm or destroy you, they already threw their right to perfect safety to the wind. Removing your right to self-defense, i.e. the right to struggle to continue existing, is essentially making your right to exist innocently conditional at best, nonexistent at worst. The idea that each and every one of us is guilty simply by existing is morally reprehensible.
In this world we must make a stand against violence and the abuse of the innocent. Understand that the violent don’t listen to words. They only listen to the fist. We must therefore maintain the ability to use the fist righteously.