Comment 30943

By punked (anonymous) | Posted May 08, 2009 at 10:52:31

Bullying is more than a difficult social problem; it is the basis for our ideas about how civil society is organized. When punishment is used to deter undesireable behaviour or when superior physical force is used to restrain individuals and groups, that is bullying. Granted it is better that such bullying should be administered by legitimate civic authorities than self-proclaimed leaders, but it is still bullying and serves as another example to youths that bullying works and is legitimate. Remember that bullies seldom work alone. They seek and need a sycophantic following to legitimize their aggression.

Finding an end to bullying isn't about determining who is right or wrong in a given situation. It is about finding unthreatening, non-violent methods of persuasion, or even avoiding persuasion entirely when it is not necessary, freeing people make their own decisions.

I don't know if there is a viable alternative to ultimately applying superior civil force when facing dangerous and illegitimate challenges to individual security, but calling for punishments and the "full weight of the law" cannot end bullying. That is just another level of bullying.

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