Home > You shall not kill > Nonviolence FAQ > "I don’t participate in violence at all"

"I don’t participate in violence at all"

One common misconception is that “if I do not come into contact with violence in any way, then I do not participate in it.”

Here are five key roles that each of us has in our lives in relation to violence. Check which of them are dominant in your case:

  1. Accomplice — I condone and by implicit consent agree with the so-called security forces (army, police, secret services, justice system) who are prepared to and do use threats of murder, maiming and torture
  2. Co-governor — by my own citizenship I unwillingly share in the responsibility for the crimes committed by the state and civil society
  3. Sponsor — I provide support for the apparatus for violence from my own pocket (taxes, duties, tolls, etc.)
  4. Victim — at any moment I can face unaccountable professional aggression from armed authorities who are often incapable of empathy and recompense
  5. Role model — I demonstrate to the people around me (children included) the permissibility and admissibility of staying in a violent society over the long term.

The most shameful of these roles, of course, is our inability and unwillingness to let people be — i.e. our unwillingness to stop forcing neighbors to support threats and murders financially and morally (via citizenship, taxes, education, etc.).

The Leo Tolstoy Center for Nonviolence, including its knowledge base and advice service, is provided on 'as is' basis and under the terms of agreement with its current implementation. The center is not affiliated with any organization, governmental or public. Opinions expressed on the website may differ from the views or opinions of experts, our own or others. Content sharing is allowed, but a link must be provided to the original source. All data storage is regulated by the hosting provider. To display the contact form, javascript should be enabled in your browser.