Friday, December 20, 2013

Is violence rational?

I've been following the great lawyer-journalist Glenn Greenwald for a while, in fact long before the NSA Affair was brought to light with his help. (That's establishing with some upper lip that I am hip to other channels). Here's a good, short and recently posted interview at a mainstream one, Esquire.

Preface aside, I found this quote in my files. One can debate how far causation runs, but there's no denying, to me at least, that this is indeed a major taboo, if not the greatest.

"The greatest taboo in American political culture is to suggest that America bears any blame or responsibility for the fact that people around the world hate us and want to do violence for [sic] us; that's the prohibited question, is: what have we done, what are we doing, that causes this animosity to exist."
AntiWar Radio (17:54)
The subtext or implication is another question, that of whether violence is rational or not. If planned, in a court of law we say that it is pre-meditated, and as such thus not by reason of insanity. It's important to note that rational does not mean "just" or "moral", but whether it is in proportion. See ratio.

From this, is violence rational? I fall back on the trite phrase "it depends". Self-defense of one's home seems to me to be so, whereas flying planes into buildings does not, especially under the influence of religious idiocy.