Violence is the threat, or act, of hurting, injuring, maiming, or killing, and is the way people are controlled so it is the foundation of all authority. This simple truth is not immediately obvious to citizens living in a peaceful community because of their private experience. The occasional outbursts of violence they observe are often the result of crime, which suggests to many citizens that violence is only the tool of the desperate or deluded. They overlook the fact that such criminals can only be arrested and brought before the courts by the use of violence.
The truth that the law is only maintained by the tacit threat of violence is forgotten by most citizens who rarely breach any major law, and are willing to pay the fines imposed by the official discovery of their misdemeanours such as speeding. Even those who steal or murder generally accept the notion that public discovery will demand private penalty. However the reality is that without the threat, or actual use, of violence by law officers, the law would be ignored. People can only enjoy their property and liberty within a community because of the communityʼs readiness and ability to inflict violence upon lawbreakers.
The reality is that your continued ownership of your house rests upon the violence that you can obtain and direct from the authority of the law. And this dependence upon violence for ownership is not just restricted to a house but extends to a country. Our community can only retain ownership of its country by being able to defend its claim against any other contending community. That is, a nation must be ready and able to inflict violence upon other nations if it wishes to retain ownership of its land.
The notion of title, or right of ownership, is an invention of communal understanding. So when a community defends title it is defending its understanding. And this violent defence is not just necessary for the idea of title, but for all of a communityʼs beliefs. If a community is to assert itself then it must be ready and able to use violence: wage war. The blessing of Roman civilisation was only obtained for the world by the military might of Roman arms. Pax Romana rested upon the ability and determination of the Roman people to inflict terrible violence upon all who opposed them. The Roman Empire was built by the murder and intimidation of all those peoples who resisted Roman rule, and this was done by the example of wholesale slaughter of such peoples (barbarians). The consul Julius Caesar in his campaign against Germans who had invaded Gaul in 55 BC, slaughtered four hundred and sixty thousand men women and children; virtually exterminating the Tenchteri and Usipetes. But from the time the Romans revealed reluctance to inflict irresistible violence upon the barbarians, their empire was doomed. In AD 376 the emperor Valens had to choose between allowing the barbarous Gothic nation to be slaughtered by the Huns on the banks of the Danube, or accede to their pathetic pleas for mercy and admit them into the Roman Empire. He chose to be merciful, and paid for this mistake with his life. The rescued Goths quickly changed from refugees to invaders and destroyed the Roman army at the battle of Hadrianople in AD 378. The victors then proceeded to lay waste to the Roman Empire and eventually became the new rulers of Italy.
Western (European) civilisation was built upon its ability to inflict overwhelming violence upon all other communities. English speakers dominated it because the English-speaking community successfully mastered by war, or threat, all the other European nations. However the citizens of the West have become like those citizens of the declining Roman Empire: they have lost their courage and recoil with repugnance from the essential tool of violence. They no longer use violence to discipline their children, punish criminals or defend their community, so they suffer the consequences. Uncontrolled children become unmanageable citizens; unpunished criminals bring widespread crime, and unresisted invaders eventually conquer the land. (Anyone who wishes to see a part of Australia conquered by Asians—circa 2002—need only visit Cabramatta in Sydney). By abandoning violence as a legitimate response by authority, we are abandoning our ability to exist.
Violence is the way an understanding asserts itself, so if authority recoils from violence, it recoils from imposing control. This failure to impose clear control allows any and every citizen to behave as they see fit, and obtains disorder with its inevitable eruptions of violence. So by pretending that violence solves nothing our community has changed from a peaceful community that controls its violence, into a community that is more dangerous to its citizens than to its enemies.