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Monday, January 30, 2012

Bullies and the Myth of the Fair Fight-

Take only your fair share. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Say 'Please' and 'Thank you.' These are a few of the ideals of a socialized culture. Much like the ideals of chivalry, they are more ideal than real. They can be adopted, and for the most part they are. Except by bullies. And maybe some business people. And politicians.

For the sake of social order, which is held by many as somewhat better than chaos, most people adopt at least some of these rules over time. They may just be play acting, or simply parroting the words and mimicking the actions, but for the sake of order that is often enough. We even have a myth about fighting. Fight fair. Don't gang up, and don't bring unwarranted force into the battle.

Bullies, by the way, love a fair fight. They will, of course, bring back-up and a force significantly greater than their opponent. The fair part just assures that the person to be dominated doesn't bring their own back-up or overwhelming force. Unfortunately, more or less decent young people are taught the fair fight rule, and strive to comply even when confronted by unfair forces.

Do people really want to end bullying? Then eliminate the fair fight rule. Teach young people how to form alliances, work as a team, and how to bring overwhelming force to a battle. Bullies won't want to engage where the risk of loss is much more than no risk at all. It is hard to intimidate an individual if that individual is part of a group committed to severe and decisive retaliation.

I enforced the law in a jail setting for twenty years. I never fought fair. Oh, I followed policy and procedure in executing force. That is not the same as a fair fight. Those guidelines allowed us to work as teams to bring about the primary goal; end violence. We did that with pro-active and overwhelming force. The term 'fighting crime' is not just a descriptive metaphor.

It is possible to fight well, and decisively, without being 'fair.' A bully sacrifices any expectation of fairness when they use intimidation or excessive force without cause. Working out personal issues using the weak as a punching bag is not a viable cause. Violence is justified if it is used to end violence. To do so, it must be quick, decisive and overwhelming. Then the violence must end.

Bullying cannot be ended through meetings and slogans and songs. Bullying will only end when young people are armed with the tools to avoid intimidation, manipulation and violent subjugation. They must learn the art of combat, the art of teamwork, and vigilance. With discipline and training, anyone can learn to avoid being a victim.

Will there be blood and broken bones? Probably. Definitely more so than with songs, slogans and meetings. There will also be pride, strength and order. Hopefully, there will be reformed bullies, as well.

Here's to you, kid. Break a leg. Literally.


Pliny-the-in-Between said...

I could not agree more. In my opinion all this 'hands aren't for hurting', stuff that kids are forced to accept now days simply makes the good kids more vulnerable and confused and doesn't affect the bullies one bit. Kids must be allowed to defend themselves, if needed.

Jerry said...

It's sad to say, you are probably right. Overwhelming force subdues -- and sometimes that is the only way.