Violence is any act that reinforces or resists human hierarchy.


Both reinforcing and resisting hierarchy increase violence, because they are within the hierarchy. This is a critique of non-violence because by resisting hierarchy, it merely increases violence and tensions within the context of hierarchy.


Selective kindness and charity ameliorate the effects of violence but do not address the core issue of hierarchy. They are what turn violence into abuse by addicting people in the cycle instead of addressing the hierarchy itself. Unfortunately, while true compassion addresses hierarchy, it also makes one even more vulnerable to those that wish to affect and effect hierarchy.


Violence can happen to me or be done by me or in my presence or away from my awareness. Violence can be violent, but can also be subtle. Pain, anger and fear can be violent but are not violence. They can be part of the vicious cycle.


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I am a driver filled with anger.

I am a dog not sensing.

I am a dog owner not watching.

I am a pedestrian not caring.


I hit something with my car. If only I had realized the pain I'd cause.

I am hit by a car, out of my control. If only I had sensed that I was in danger.

I watched something I love be hurt. If only I had been more responsible.

I continue walking. Why should I care?


I could have been driving more responsibly, and not abused my power.

I could have been more aware, and not been caught up in my own world.

I could have been in more control, and not let this happen.

I could have stopped to help, and not ignored another's pain.


But I'm in pain too and no one helps me.

But I'm vulnerable and that means I won't always see danger.

But I'm never going to control everything and that means I can't stop the pain.

But I'm only able to do so much before it's too much.


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The hyenas hide in the ruthlessness of their own jungle.

They wait for the compassionate to become complacent

complaining their prey lacks the taste for ruthlessness.

They build a cage with the the bones of the compassionate.

They lay in wait for the vulnerable to become available

because that's just an ideal time to get another free meal.

When there's nothing left, they slip into self-satisfied slumber

muttering to themselves, “It was for their own good.”


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Another View


Violent means abrupt. Violence is any change that's abrupt. Therefore, to end violence one need only make changes slowly. Violence comes from the changes with which people aren't able to keep up and to which they are not therefore able to adjust.


Another View


Violence is atavistic recidivism. It was a necessary response to a world in which we had little or no control, but now as we are increasingly able to influence and change the world, our ability to affect the world has outstripped our emotional security about our place in the world. This has made us all full of fear and easy to manipulate, like a herd of cattle we can be spooked by one small sound and stampede to violence.