March 03, 2004


Posted by Marcus Epstein at March 3, 2004 12:53 AM

I agree with David. McGrath’s article was essentially about “turf wars” a la West Side story about whether blacks or whites would control some local club or disco. Both sides agreed to go to the brawl, and unlike West Side Story, no one got stabbed or shot.

If anyone has the basic understanding of how human societies have operated for hundreds of thousands of years, this is completely natural activity. Like I said in my last post on the subject, I would refer people to E.O. Wilson’s chapter on aggression in On Human Nature.

Pat Buchanan similarly celebrates his boyhood fights in Right From the Beginning, which many neocons and leftists used as evidence of his fascist authoritarian personality. Murray Rothbard dismissed this and wrote, “[Most articles about Buchanan], dredges his ‘authoritarian Catholic’ background (ooh!) and the fact that he fought a lot when he was a kid (gee whiz, like most of the American male population)."

I agree that Fleming's article imploring everyone to go hunting and get in bar room brawls was a bit over the top, but so are these blogs saying that normal, healthy, behavior of boys and young men is somehow some great crime against the non-agression axiom.

Obviously fights can get out of hand, just as bullying can, and if someone seriously injures another person they should be punished. But a black eye and few bruises never killed anyone who wasn't a hemophiliac, and I don't see any reason to dwell on how we must root this terrible aspect out of society. Most males my age that I know start or get stuck in a fight every once in awhile and regardless don’t see it as some terrible crime against their rights.