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A shaft of light

My comment below on youth crime prompted a lot of good comments. My thanks for Civitas, the think tank, for commenting about this admirable venture to encourage youngsters to learn discipline, pride and have a lot of fun at the same time.

It is not all bad news out there, thank goodness.

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6 comments to A shaft of light

  • Paul Marks

    Yes.

    Young men want to prove their physical courage and ablity.

    But the rules of honour are forgotten – indeed sneered at by the new elite.

    More than one person should never fight a person who is alone. Equal numbers only.

    Do not kick someone – and NEVER kick someone when they are the ground.

    If a person has had enough and says so – stop fighting him.

    All but an evil handful of men followed the above rules till very recently – but now many of the young (and not so young) do not.

    The rules of honour are vital – they are the difference between men and beasts.

    Good fortune to those who seek to reestablish honour among fighting men – as well as teach them other skills.

  • Lascaille

    Paul, those ‘rules of honour’ are for ritualised fighting, which is really duelling, or just settling differences. A man who really wants to fight doesn’t say to another ‘lets take this outside,’ after all, he just comes up with half a beer bottle when the other guy turns away for a second. I saw a soldier in a pub once having trouble with a scumbag, the hard lad says ‘come on then’ and the soldier spits beer into his eyes, headbutts him while he’s still blinking and then hammers a knee into his crotch… then was outside with his coat on before the guy had even hit the ground.

    Fights now have nothing to do with pitting one man against another, or settling differences, they’re just a primal conflict in which you (and as many mates as you can persuade) set out to beat the ‘enemy’ to death because they don’t ‘respect’ you. The definition of ‘respect’ includes, of course, things like ‘looking different’ because that’s challenging their worldview.

    This isn’t actually anything particularly new, it comes and goes – was reading a book the other day (Hell’s Angels, Hunter S Thompson) which contained newspaper clippings about ‘feral youth’ in the 1960s in Detroit who’d set buildings on fire and then attack the fire brigade when they turned up.

    The mentality is represented in the poor worldwide without exception and can be roughly summed up as ‘if we can’t succeed then we’ll damn well make sure no-one else from around here can either.’ The mentality is problematic but with solid policing it doesn’t get out of hand. The problem these days is that the policing is nonexistent and the community is afraid to act. That is the real problem. The mentality is not the problem because it has existed forever and has always been successfully contained in the west so far.

  • Nick M

    I see the point to both your arguments Paul and Lascaille.

    Paul, there is an argument for fighting to win.

    Boxing, fencing and similar aren’t fights. They are sporting contests. The low but effective and justified tactics of that soldier show the difference. That wouldn’t be allowed on the piste or in the ring because that’s just not the game is it?

    But in the modern urban jungle it’s different.

  • Nick M

    I see the point to both your arguments Paul and Lascaille.

    Paul, there is an argument for fighting to win.

    Boxing, fencing and similar aren’t fights. They are sporting contests. The low but effective and justified tactics of that soldier show the difference. That wouldn’t be allowed on the piste or in the ring because that’s just not the game is it?

    But in the modern urban jungle it’s different.

  • Paul: there was a story the other day about an 84 year-old U.S. Marine in San Diego who was confronted by a teen-ager with a knife demanding his money. The “honor” in the encounter extended no further than the old man warning the punk that he would be sorry if the latter took so much as one more step forward. When he did, the Marine kicked him squarely in the balls, and then walked off, leaving him “doubled over” on the sidewalk.

    There was a similar story about an 81 year-old former Army paratrooper who, once he had his assailant down (by the same means), then “kicked him in the teeth”.

    I submit that a surfeit of “honor” in either case would very likely have gone badly for the innocents. These men were warriors, and they understood evil.

    No fucking quarter. I say it’s time for some people to learn what their unilateral overthrow of “honor” really means. I understand your point, but it has very distinct limits.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – force should be met with force. And if one is up against a ruthless foe one has to fight nasty.

    However, “the poor” are not always the same as the people in Detroit on Hell Night (which is less active now – as there are fewer people in Detroit and less left to burn).

    My father was brought up in the East End of London and there were clear rules (among very poor people) which are a few men broke – men who were seen as animals, and who were NOT respected.

    However, when the Blackshirts came for their march the rules were held not to apply to them – and they were attacked with little mercy (although none, I believe, were actually killed).

    So there are arguments both ways.

    Very poor people can have rules of honour (such as no attacking the helpless, and no ganging up) so honour is not dependent on wealth.

    However, even honourble folk can hold that there are certain people to who honour does not apply.

    We might say “quite right” about holding that Blackshirts were not covered by the rules of honour, but (of course) they and others held the same thing about certain ethnic groups.