In the comment-thread to a recent post on hoplophobes, our reader ‘libertybelle’ put up a link to an excellent essay defining three human types. It deserves promotion to the front page.
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath — a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog…
Having been bullied by “wolves” as a soft and bookish schoolboy, I began to study southern-Chinese martial arts in my teens — in other words, to develop my “capacity for violence”. (For this I owe a debt of gratitude to my father, who was a judo master, and who started me on this path; and to grandmaster William Chung, my sifu for the first decade of my training, whose harsh discipline made a man of me.) I have practiced this difficult system of scientific violence ever since, and have been teaching it for the past thirty-five years.
This is the attitude that has been drilled into my head from the beginning: that violence is to be avoided whenever possible, but applied without hesitation or remorse when necessary. Those who can master this have a duty, to the people around them and the civilization they love, to be what the author of this article calls “sheepdogs”.
Read the whole thing here.