The Unfortunate Merits of Ruthless Violence

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. —Thomas Jefferson

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state. —Jefferson again

     Anyone familiar with history will know that, as a rule, any civilized society that is opposed to violence, or just afraid of it, inevitably gets itself conquered by less sophisticated invaders (or just a less “civilized” minority within the culture) who are NOT opposed to violence. Our cultural forefathers in the western Roman Empire became so effete in their civilization that they were finished off by Huns and Germanic tribes. The eastern Roman Empire (the “Byzantines”) were so sophisticated that they were successfully invaded by the Persians, Arabs, Bulgarians, and Turks mostly. The peace-loving Chinese were conquered repeatedly by violent pastoral barbarians like the Mongols and the Jurchens of Manchuria. Buddhist India was slaughtered and destroyed by raging Muslim invaders. Even in the 20th century the highly sophisticated French, for example, were steamrolled easily by the Germans, who appeared really to enjoy steamrolling civilized weaklings. I could easily continue with this name-dropping, but I suppose you get the idea. Not only are the final winners ruthless in their violence, but they often enjoy it. Some barbarian religions even claim that a man who dies in battle is guaranteed of heaven, and a few have limited heaven only to fallen heroes.

     Really, what can stand up to enthusiastic ruthless violence? A decadent civilization can prolong its existence, and stave off its inevitable demise, through money and technological superiority; but gold, fortifications, Greek fire, or hypersonic missiles are of limited value when the population lives in fear and half of them will be opposed to spilling one drop of blood even to defend themselves. When a civilization gets really degenerate, as late Rome was and as ours evidently is now, a significant proportion of the population (the Christians then and the “progressives” now) are opposed to their own culture and want it to be destroyed. An excerpt from a poem composed by my father presents the situation fairly well:

Your destiny is written in the books upon your shelf,

For History invariably returns unto itself,

     And all the seers and the sages

     Who survived throughout the ages

Have decreed that you will castrate yourself.

History is full of gutless bleeding hearts like you

Who destroyed themselves for lack of gut and thew;

     And the heroes of the past

     Will have their laugh at last,

For they know that you are finished—you are through.


The Romans lasted near a thousand years,

An Empire carved with axes, swords, and spears;

     The world trembled at their feet

     And saw their harvests reaped,

Their cities raped and plundered, through their tears.

But they grew rich and spoiled and lazy just like you,

And the men who survive this combo are too few;

     All the jewels on their sandals

     Couldn't stop those howling Vandals,

And they fell like gutless wonders always do.

     Let your wife make your decisions;

     Drink your beer, watch television;

But your children, who are sleeping in their beds

     Will be softer yet than you are,

     And that's taking things too far:

Oh, you've really put a curse upon their heads!

Does your daughter, when she trembles in her sleep,

     Hear rockets roar, and hear the marching feet

Of men who know a craving and a thirst

     For loot of war—and know they'll take her first?

You're as weak as milk, and soft as currant jelly,

So beware the Vandal with the empty belly:

     He will never leap the net to shake your hand;

     He will never try to make you understand;

          He will kick you in the nuts,

          Grease his tank treads with your guts—

     At least you'll do to fertilize his land.

     So this is the situation. Strong men make good times, at least for their own people, good times make weak men, weak men make bad times, and bad times make strong men. This is the cycle of history, and we have apparently arrived at the weak men making bad times stage. If we are fortunate, the strong men made by the bad times will be some of our own and will rejuvenate the civilization, as happened to some extent to the “Greatest Generation” during the Great Depression. If we are not so fortunate, the strong men will be foreigners who invade (or immigrate in huge numbers) and essentially end a great experiment in Western Civilization.

     It is a dilemma. Pacifism and non-harming are certainly morally superior in and of themselves, though weaklings and cowards may use pacifism and non-harming as justifications for their own weakness and cowardice. Also a vehemently non-aggressive culture tends to breed plenty of weaklings and cowards who have never had to face true adversity. So the downside of uncompromising nonviolence is that a population endorsing it becomes sheep for the first horde of wolfish barbarians to come along.

     So what is the solution to this problem of ruthless violence ultimately trumping nonviolence? It seems to me that all we have to do is to look back on historical solutions to the problem. The Greeks are considered the fathers or founders of Western Civilization as we know it; and in addition to democracy, a phonetic alphabet with vowels, the beginnings of advanced mathematics and science, and a few other important innovations, they also were the first to turn warfare into a science—they utterly excelled at ass-kicking. The Romans also were instrumental in establishing classical Western Civilization throughout most of the western world at the time, and established such important elements as government by laws instead of by dictatorial decree (which broke down quite a lot after the first Caesar), a relatively accurate calendar, and some miracles of civic engineering—but they too were tough-ass fighters during their rise and at the height of their glory. And after the Romans started getting rich and spoiled and lazy in Rome and the other big cities, there were for centuries enough semi-civilized tough men on the frontiers to keep the legions strong. Nowadays we still have some very tough special forces guys in our military, though feminism, gay pride, trans rights, public relations, and handing out food packets seems to be more important than killing enemies in the politically correct and degenerate American military. Even elite groups like the Navy SEALs are being weakened lately through emphasis on diversity and inclusion over actual individual merit. Our most effective forces now are probably weaklings sitting in computer rooms launching missiles and making cyber-attacks. But even they won't stand up to an army of militants who simply refuse to give up.

     What I am getting at here in a roundabout way is that the only way to face ruthless barbarian violence is with ruthless civilized violence. This implies that men with principles and honor, not just a love of fighting and killing or greed for rape and pillage, are our best bet against Huns or Communists, just as well-trained and principled police officers are traditionally our best bet against criminals. Men who do not necessarily like to fight, but fight to defend their country, their culture, their family, their ideals, and their way of life, prove to be superior fighters to undisciplined hordes. What is best cultivated from a Darwinian point of view of survival of the fittest is a love of peace but a martial ethic and a preparedness to fight and die for the sake of honor and duty.

     We had this at one time, before the civilization was essentially castrated by feminists, communists, and a diversity of moral degenerates spoiled and pampered by the good times made by strong men of the past. We have two choices really: remain a society of decadent castrated sheep and wind up ruled by ruthless barbarians, or else become strong and ruthless, yet self-restrained and principled fighters of the enemies of freedom and self-governance. As Jordan Peterson has said at least once, “You should be able to be a monster, and then not be one.” Or be one only to the barbarians who threaten to destroy your civilization’s rights and freedoms.

     As a Buddhist I apologize for endorsing violence like this, even in self-defense, but saintly virtue is a luxury afforded only by saintly renunciants. As Thomas Jefferson (founding father of  independent America or racist and sexist slave owner, depending on your view) wrote, in the secular world the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. In a free society you must be strong, self-disciplined, and ruthlessly violent, if necessary, to protect your own.


  1. Good post. In earlier years, I frequently (mainly in central London) intervened when, e.g., 4-5 louts were kicking someone on the ground. I was never angry or aggressive; it was that this was not right and I would not allow it. Often the attackers turned on me, but they saw no aggression , no anger, simple determination, and desisted from the attack. An extreme example was when about 200 football supports chased about six of their opponents, one fell to the ground and was being kicked from all sides. I knew I could deal with this, and started forward. Unfortunately, a new girl-friend and an old guy grabbed my arms - i would have had to hit them to intervene. When about 30 Newcastle supporters gathered, the 200 ran off, leaving the guy unconscious. So the West need s to inculcate this attitude: this is wrong, and I will act to stop it. But unfortunately we are going the other way. Here in Australia, we are not so far gone as the US, but are building tanks which will have no conceivable role in any conflict we might get involved in, rather than weapons which might deter a potential aggressor. (We might get nuclear subs around 2040 ...)

  2. Sweden is on fire right now because a small right-wing party is burning Korans at events. This should actually open the eyes of the Swedish people, but nothing will change. The strong are the Muslims because their children are not raised to be wimps. Our children are trained to be non-violent, which would actually be a good thing if we weren't Islamized by our politicians. Even my country Germany only produces wimps and men who just look away when somebody is in trouble. If nothing changes here in the next few years (due to a miracle or a drastic event such as war), the only option left is to emigrate, preferably to a Buddhist country. Because they don't like blacks or Muslims.

    1. It's to be feared that being not accepted holding or smelling strong like gross wrong view. So one might not wait till the house burns, dukkha enters.

  3. "So what is the solution to this problem of ruthless violence ultimately trumping nonviolence?"
    Isn't that why you shaved your hair and attempted to give up money and sex and therefore war also, having nothing, therefore actually not caring?? Buddha told his monks to remember the "simile of the saw"! (See Majjhima Nikaya sutta). Now Pannob is back is the game, unwilling to be plundered! Hahaha! It's not your fault Pannob, they are corrupt right? The idol worship and bowing to lying abbots and living with women anyways, really takes a toll on one's meditation! Why didn't you just wander? Back in the Kamaloka!! Mortal combat Tower defense now! Or are you gonna go cut the head off the beast or be a cuck that steals from the nice guy now?? I bet most monks would fight too when a real fight or flight situation occurs. Now I have to fight too?! I wanted to give to a carefree monk who warded off the malice!

    1. 0/10 Would not read again. Next time use your real name, bhante Reeee. The butthurt coming from this faux monk commenting as anon is real. Looks like good old Johan and his Google translator has a new friend.

  4. What the hell kind of glowing clone drivel is this? An ex-monk inciting others to violence?! What have you done with the real Pannob, clown!? Fake sympathizer! He is golden buddha boy prisoner now in a DUMB and you cloned him didn't you!!! Not sure the real dolls will be enough, better lower thier price tag to satiate the schizos! Hahahaha, nearly 3000 years after parinibbana and Great Buddha still sends you liars to Hell, you try so hard and think it's a game! Homeage to Buddha! Go read the Rebuke to Mara sutta about Mara who has a fish head in Hell for an aeon! Haha! Reveal the occult, you clown, then maybe it won't rain on you!

    1. I've written posts like this as a monk also. Iit is valid and relevant for most of the human race, considering that most of the human race doesn't renounce society, and that includes most monks. The monks of India were slaughtered like sheep by the Turks, those who didn't run away or convert to Islam.

      As for the Rebuke to Mara, that is a very weird one, in which Mara inhabits the belly of Maha Moggallana, and thus I consider it more fairy tale than teaching of Buddha. It is interesting, though, that Kali is mentioned as a relative of Mara.

    2. Just so you know, you must not and should not post the comments of an obviously insane person.
      P.S.: Ajahn Martin Piyadhammo wrote me, there is another Piyadhammo from Berlin. He never went to Burma before. But if you ask in the comments of the recent Youtube video if he would participate in a discussion, i think he would participate. Youtube - Forest Dhamma

    3. Well you know, from an orthodox Buddhist perspective EVERYONE except for an arahant is insane. Puthujjano ummattako--the common person is insane.

      So the ven. Piyadhammo who gives Dhamma talks on YouTube isn't the one I knew in Burma?

    4. What makes you think you aren't the gambler Bod969? Or even a schism maker or reviler? (Only ordained can be schism makers according to Vinaya...) I've done my studies and real life experiences of these places and peoples also. You imply there is no cloning? You think a society run by liars wants a sotapanna arising in thier wageslave dominion? You better think about who you take refuge in and scrutinize them, you can't disprove any of those things can you? Furthermore insane is defined as blacking out, not remembering what one did, as far as Vinaya is concerned, which is not the case here. You really should think about it more. I could offer pages of valid, sound,, and true polemics against modern sanghas, all based upon Sutta. Do you simply blindly propitiate as a sychophant lickspiddle? Learn the sutta and vinaya and be an island to yourself dhammafren, basic sila is way to heaven!! Evil is real and is extremely deceptive and actually super harmful and cold hearted! Must avoid fake frens!

    5. Inhabiting the belly, sounds like a parasite. I used to wonder if it meant the Ven.Monk drank alcohol and battled the "spirits." Anyway, why are there more and more 100s of thousands of tent cities, where people live lives of torture, and become thieves? Why aren't they becoming monks and nuns? If one isn't doing the desired dominant politic agendas as a wage slave, you are nothing to them, and they don't want you to be enlightened! Monks here live in million dollar playground parks with women and eat 30 tray buffets, and call themselves celibate beggars, and now don't even let laypeople visit due to the common cold! They are political cults bro, duh! Containment traps for those spiritually inclined. They definitely work in collusion with evil political agendas, which is counter to the Real Business of Man, which is the Dhamma. Being renunciate monks, Buddha taught them to remember the "simile of the saw" to help them.

    6. The main reason why homeless people living in tent cities don't become religious renunciants is because their kamma is not nearly good enough for them even to have a concept of genuine Dhamma. The political elite don't have to keep people from becoming enlightened because they also have little concept of genuine Dhamma and are grossly unenlightened themselves. Most monks are not living lives of luxury, and there are a few, a small percentage, who are striving conscientiously and practicing as well as they can.

    7. It seems like the monks living in monasteries are hanging out in a leisure resort while getting fed 20 course buffets - no alms even. I can see why you left robes within a short period after returning to the US. Im seeing some very young western monks with very little experience and knowledge that seem more concerned about their social media following and smart phones than actual practice and scholarly studies.

    8. Best reaction here so far and maybe liberating.

  5. The Buddhas advice is very clear, focusing on it in MN21: bear it without letting metta fade, for the protection al both (as his teachings go always inbetween.


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