Violence in other parts of the world is very much related to the events leading to the French Revolution. For instance, the long standing militia and armed struggles in the Middle East can be explained through the cyclic violence model as well. In Syria, for example, the government forces are ever embroiled in armed resistance with armed outfits that suddenly crop up in the cities or transform from an earlier existing militia. Usually, war breaks out when the armed militia bomb a city to establish its control. The government retaliates by invading the militias hideouts and killing them in numbers. Since the militia fighters want the government to feel their force, they respond with more bombing of government buildings and killing innocent citizens. Eventually, a fully armed struggle ensues that results in the destruction of infrastructure, the economy, the death of civilians and combatants, and a refugee crisis that spill over to neighboring countries. The cycle of violence between the government and armed terrorists has also been reported in Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine, and Russia among other nations.
Coming closer home, street gang violence has taken the government years to control because security forces respond to violence with more violence. Criminal gangs in cities in and outside America have a tendency to engage in homicides and organized crimes as they fight over turfs and drug markets. Waves of violence in New York City and Chicago can be attributed to the constant revenge waged by one gang against the other. For example, Gang A finds that Gang B has established a market in Gang As territory. Gang A hunts down and kills members of Gang B engaged in the sale of drugs. In retaliation, Gang B in the defense of its members responds by killing the rival gangs members. The street battles draw the attention of the police who try and calm the warring gangs by hunting them down. In the process, a police officer is gunned down during the fights. In response, the peace force increases its hunt, and the war now becomes one between the gangs and the police. In summary, something that started as street fights becomes a public security concern that may take years to stop.
Domestic violence also follows the cyclic model. One study showed that alcoholism is a leading cause of domestic violence (Yigzaw, Yibrie, and Kabede, 2017). Consider a situation where a man comes home in a drunken stupor and beats up his wife. In case this behavior has been going on for a while, the woman in revenge plans to harm her husband on herself or with the help of hired goons. Incidentally, the man discovers the plot and comes with his goons to fight those of his wife. The instance that started as one blow now becomes a bloody fight that may lead to death or bloodshed on both sides. Even though domestic violence may not get to this level, one insult revenged with another is sufficient to spark a fight between the man and the woman which may eventually lead to the breakup of a marriage.
The above discussion proved that indeed violence begets violence, and thus a violent episode should not be approached with a violent solution. From the French Revolution, the Middle East to the Civil War and the World Wars, the initial violent event always led to the instigation of violence. Martin Luther warned against using war to approach hostile situations since it hinders effective dialogue. In line with Kings philosophy, I concur that before avenging ones enemies with violence, it is prudent to swallow the bitter pill and initiate talks.
Averdijk, M., Van Gelder, J. L., Eisner, M., & Ribeaud, D. (2016). Violence Begets Violence. But How? A DecisionMaking Perspective on the VictimOffender Overlap. Criminology, 54(2), 282-306.
Dickens, C. J. H. (1859). A tale of two cities (Vol. 1). Chapman and hall.
King, M. L. (1958). Strides toward Freedom. Department of Audio-Visual Extension, University of Minnesota.
Tegbar, Y., Yibrie, A., & Kebede, Y. (2017). Domestic violence around Gondar in northwest Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development (EJHD), 18(3).
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