Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent

When someone does not have supportive arguments for their ideals and plans, that leads to them implementing their very ideals and plans through force.  This is exactly what I think the January 6th insurrection was all about. To me it’s down to just plain ignorance. As Issac Asimov said, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov famously called violence “the last refuge of the incompetent.” But violence — self-defense excepted — is also the last refuge of the loser, the last gasp of those who have no more words, the tacit confession of those who know, but are loath to admit, that they got nothing’. If you can’t win the argument, win the fight. A mantra for thugs, bullies, and many Republicans. This is now normal politics. Republicans no longer talk policy or ideas; they only threaten to take away your rights or punish you if you do not bow down to their way.

Cult of Ignorance

Why do we have this cult of ignorance in the United States? Why do some use this refuge of the incompetent? I have listed some reasons that researchers have shown to be the reason:

Traits of incompetence in individual, society, or nation:
a) inability to negotiate
b) intolerance for others’ point of view
c) egotism leading to self-promotion
d) lagging behind educationally, economically and socially
e) dictatorial attitude

Reasons for violence being the last refuge of incompetence:
a) inability to influence others logically (examples of extremist organizations)
b) fear as a potent tool of incompetence to make others subservient (bombings)
c) tactic to ignite feelings of hatred within a nation

When I look at these reasons and then compare it to the people or politicans who participated in the insurrection, I can see common traits. Or just like the old saying, “Stupid is knowing the truth, seeing the truth, but still believing the lies.”


Many have claimed that what they did on January 6th was because they were patriots or the belief in patriotism.  The roots of political patriotism are found in the ancient writings of the Greeks and Romans with their concepts of loyalty to the republic. It is “associated with the love of law and common liberty, the search for the common good, and the duty to behave justly toward one’s country,” according to  Over the last few years, patriotism has been confused with nationalism and they are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a marked difference. Nationalism is more about the homogeneity of culture (your culture, not other cultures), language (your language, not different languages), and heritage (again, your heritage), while patriotism places its emphasis on shared values and beliefs.

It is that nationalism that is rearing its ugly head in our society today. But that nationalism is misused to discriminate against others that are not like them. Look at the verbage of white nationalists, conservative pundits, some members of federal, state, and local governments. I guess I kind of believe in the old Psalm:

  • For he will rescue the poor who cry for help,
    Also the lowly one and whoever has no helper.
    He will have pity on the lowly and the poor,
    And the lives of the poor he will save.
    From oppression and from violence he will rescue them,
    And their blood will be precious in his eyes.

Definitely not a belief of a large part of our society today.