Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Likelihood of violence from non-dominant groups

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In the overlap between the previous text ([1]) and the observation that many current societies are extremely Left-dominated, I strongly suspect that there is a tendency for political criminals, terrorists, and similar, to be found among those whose ideology/opinions/wishes/whatnot (hereafter sloppily shortened to “ideology”) are far away from the dominant ideology or ideologies.* This could be explained by those close to the dominant ideology simply not having the need for certain actions. Those far away typically differ (obviously) in that they see a larger need for change, but also (less obviously) in that their opinions are often marginalized, condemned, suppressed, whatnot, which reduces the availability of less extreme actions (especially, use of the democratic processes). A very good example of the former is independence movements: those content with or preferring non-independence really have no need to to use any methods, let alone extreme methods, to achieve a change, while those who wish for independence have to actively work for it (and some among them might be willing to use more extreme methods).** The latter is well illustrated by the treatment of immigration critical parties and persons in Sweden and Germany in recent years, often for expressing opinions that were dominant a few decades ago.*** Another example might**** be the difference in behavior between the old Irish and the new Scottish independence movements: the latter is given much more room in public debate, is allowed referendums, and whatnots—and is much less violent.

*Note the difference between “most criminals are X” and “most persons who are X are criminals”. For instance, above, the average seeker of an independent or “single Irish” Northern Ireland was likely never a builder of bombs and attacker of policemen.

**A further complication is that there might be outright asymmetries in laws. For instance, some years ago, I saw statistics on political crime in Germany where a superficial look seemed to indicate more crime on the “Right”, but this turned into a rough parity between “Right” and Left, when asymmetrical crimes were excluded, e.g. that it is illegal to wear a swastika but not a hammer-and-sickle.

***Cf. any number of earlier texts for examples; also note a somewhat similar discussion of consequences of feeling unfairly treated.

****Many of the other circumstances are different, including religion and time since integration, and these might be more important.

A particularly negative side-effect is that this can skew the public image of who is good or evil, willing to use what methods, and similar; where it, on the contrary, often is reasonable* to see signs of violence as indications of a lack of influence or as a reaction negative treatment by others. For instance, in Germany, we have the paradoxical situation that media obsess about “Right-wing” violence, while Germany has a long history of Left-wing violence (and my impression of other countries that I am familiar with is similar). Few people on the Left today have strong incentives to e.g. use violence against the “establishment”, because Leftist ideas are so common in the “establishment” and e.g. very extensive wealth-transfers take place according to Leftist ideals—and the risk that a second RAF would appear is correspondingly much smaller than in the 1970s. (Notwithstanding that the RAF was even further Left, by some distance, than e.g. the SPD, which currently co-rules Germany.)

*Which should not be taken as “the violence is reasonable”: an evil action is an evil action. However, the discussion in [1] applies in that the one faction has been tested and found wanting and the other is untested (not “tested and found sufficient”).

Of course, there are other causes of violence, like the common “we are good; ergo, our opponents are irredeemably evil” and “the end justifies the means” thinking that is so common on the Left, as with e.g. the Antifa. (I would not be surprised if the Left remains the dominant source of political violence in today’s Germany, but it is hard to tell, because Leftist violence is given far less attention in media and public debate. Indeed, there is an absurd hypocrisy among many, who consider Leftist violence justifiable and condemn “Rightist” violence where ever it occurs.) Similarly, much of the pre-WWII Leftist violence took place between Leftist factions, who deemed each other heretics, just as different Christian factions did at even earlier times: there seems to be some mechanism by which some consider those with almost the right opinions the worst enemies.


Written by michaeleriksson

December 8, 2019 at 11:19 pm

One Response

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  1. […] **This deficiency is what tipped the scales when I contemplated whether this text was worth the trouble. Note a few earlier texts dealing with the nature of evil, including the quite recent [1] and [2]. […]

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