ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Of Violence and Violets

Updated on May 4, 2011
randslam profile image

Rand Zacharias is a published freelance writer, author, poet, artist, photographer, and all around jack of many literary trades.

You may not believe it. You may not want to hear it. It is safer to live on planet Earth in the present as opposed to any other time in human existence. It is the best of times and yet, for some, it is still the worst of times.

Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke...a "father of conservatism."
Edmund Burke...a "father of conservatism." | Source

Violent or Violet Culture?

I grew up in central Canada and during the course of my urban education read from books and short stories bearing titles like All Quiet on the Western Front , Slaughterhouse Five, Fahrenheit 491, Catch 22 and many, many more. What lesson was gleaned?

That war and violence are insanity.

After high school out came Apocalypse Now , the movie, adapted from Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, again teaching a young mind about the lunacy of’s inhumanity to man. I believe it was a valuable lesson to learn as early as possible, but some of us have never even dreamed of such a possibility—some hold no hope for the evolution of humankind. For some the idea of a rosy future only bears a bouquet of black dahlias.

These were lessons that I carried into my pacifistic life from the very beginning, being that my parents were begotten themselves in the conscientious cult of the Mennonite—another culture of non-violence. Now, don’t go blowing off with, “What kind of a bleeding heart liberal are you?”

Please, I’ve had my share of violent conflict while playing 35 years in the sport of hockey, growing up in public schools, and should someone accost a friend or family member I would take my three foot wide chest, with accompanying wide jaw, and have a discussion with said accoster who would find himself in a bit of a pinch—if not a punch. I own a 30.06 semi-automatic Remington that has taken down a few deer in its time—but won’t anymore. I don’t back down from a legitimate fight or hunt unless dialogue simply cannot be established. I haven’t found the need to create a violent culture like the news media, political panic button pushers or religious doomsayers. It is a wonderful world when watchful people take care to monitor the untruths of the authors that would rather have conflict.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle . Edmund Burke stated in a speech to the English Parliament on April 23, 1770. His context was toward the Whig party, who were rousting bad ideas in an illegal manner, and Burke was urging the Tory party to unite and fight the “bad men” from winning an election. In context Burke was uniting a political party to stand against another political party that was attempting certain persecutions, likely of a monetary nature, upon the people of England.

Ronald Reagan used a variation of the quote when the U. S. Invaded Grenada in the 80’s. Reagan used it to justify military action—violence—when the original quote of good men falling really meant Tory politicians could lose their position of political power. Life and death of a soldier was not at stake—only the position of an elected official. (See more of this misuse of web quotation from Martin Porter at

It is this idea of a culture of violence that is ridiculous in its epic onslaught. When one looks at the last 10,000 years and realizes that these days we live in are the best, and safest, time to be alive that we should shake our heads at the media, the body politic and pathetic prophets of doom. This present time period that we’ve built, been given or enjoy is the safest time during the course of all human history to be alive. It is safer than Cleopatra’s Egypt, Julius Caesar’s Rome and the European era of Renaissance—it is certainly safer than 10,000 BCE or Genghis Khan’s China.

How can I say that?

In a speech given in 2007 by renowned linguist and thinker, Stephen Pinker you can enjoy his interesting repartee of living in our present millennium. It isn’t rose-coloured glasses that I’m wearing trying to reveal a rosy future with silver clouds and golden moons that Pollyanna herself would love to live in—it is simply the factual reality that you are much less likely to be killed by violence in the 21st century than when compared to all of past human histories. Isn’t that encouraging? How’s that in attempting to make your day—week—or maybe, your year?

For all of you naysayers or theologians who pray for the soon coming return of Jesus Christ or the continuing myth of our violent planet? Christ was reported to have returned a second time, wasn’t he? Didn’t he say, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” Isn’t the kingdom of heaven in your hearts? Humanity has become more empathetic, bearing more “circles of reciprocity” and realizing the need for symbiotic and cooperative relationships globally, socially and locally.

As Pinker states at the end of his presentation after revealing this myth of violence, “It would be nice to know what it is.” Even the specialists can’t explain this continued drop in human violence.

So even though Hollywood keeps pumping out violent movies of ever-increasing ferocity, it would appear that the statistics of humankind in relation to homicide over the course of recorded history are revealing a kinder and gentler species.

Our past violent nature has been educated and not violated—but violetted. Perhaps the flower children of the 60’s aren’t all pushing up daisies, but rather, they set the table for a floral future of epic advances.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)