Reflections from the Wolf Pack:
Reflecting on Columbine: What is violence? What isn’t violence?
-violence versus violent
-the violent is the perception, violence is the process of that conception
-the height of the bombing in Kosovo was the same day the columbine happened
-quote…I don’t even call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence (Malcolm X)
-the question of self defense defines whether or not violence is possible
-violence as self-defense
-violence is self-defense after a delay
-violence is the means by which we create and maintain a sense of self
-I violate you to defend you
-if we agree to perceive all violence as self-defense then we re-humanize violence.
-so do you try to make it so they don’t want to defend anything
-dehumanized because violence is perceived as separate from the actor-to call if violence is to abstract it from the person who suffers
-by rehumanizing it, gets back to the social structure, if everyone can look at violence on a different level, you no longer see the other, you see yourself, so violence and the hierarchy get lowered
- Bill Moyers, Hate…not only did the Nazi’s dehumanize the Jews they did it to themselves
-quote…those who do not make peaceful revolution possible make violent revolution inevitable (MLK)
-change can be violent or peaceful.
-violence is the perceived violation of one’s sense of self
-X says that self defense isn’t violence, but that’s how he’s perceiving it, people involved or the actor may perceive it as violence
-violence is when the effect of my actions exceeds the benefits
-violence is the evolving relationship of time and space in which the self is in direct confrontation with the perceived other
-isn’t violence….time….boiled frog…violence is the abrupt process….if people took their time and got to know me and killed me peacefully in my sleep I believe that wouldn’t be violent
-subtle violence which is structural violence, it is violence but it is not violent.
-vulnerability is not causally related to violence
-is there an objective definition of violence
-the object is the other
-is there a collective definition of violence
- Violence is a moment
-Violence as perception
-when violence becomes a problem is when I perceive that it’s happening to me…does that mean we should never perceive it as happening to us or we perceive all violence as happening to us
Violence as preconception
-our understanding of violence is evolving and this is just where we’re at right now
-communication throughout time and space
-means by which we create consensual reality
-self and other, while at the same time connecting self to other
-in order to talk about a thing you must separate it out from the interconnectedness
-connection of subjective to objective reality
-subject would be intent, object would be motive
-sentencing one to death
-silence: tacit does not equal passive
-violence as metaphor-we use violent language to talk about mundane things
- Civilization as the process of learning how to share dialogue with you, requires a moment of silence. For that moment the position of I is forbidden to me, I am assigned to the position of you.
How can one dialogue with a foreigner? One has to learn his language.
Deliver me from my abandonment allow me to belong among you. (Includes friendship, love, hatred, indifference, but based on the right to speak…thou shall not kill equals thou shall not refuse others the right to interlocution (Lyotard)
-dehumanizing: we use language to dehumanize and make violence acceptable….alienation
III. Violence as culturally defined:
-violence as a roller coaster-we look for safe places to express that conflict without too much danger…we create situations of controlled violence
-parable of the boiled frog….immediacy…fighting a corporation is a long process…having them tell me that they are going to fight the welfare mothers means I don’t have to fight them.
IV. Systems Thinking: Complexity
-examination of cycles
-using violence gets you used to using violence, reinforcing pattern…practice something until it becomes subconscious and something that I’m used to and the pattern of response becomes instinctual
- Alienation related to systematic ideologies
-esp. in high schools
V. Political versus Moral aspects of violence
-capacity versus right
-public versus private
-violence as hierarchy…politics…that dialectic is maintaining the political hierarchy
-violence is hierarchy and lowerarchy---suggests that both sides have power, but who has more is the issue, violence is an “archy”
- In order to change the hierarchical situation we have to change the way we conceive of we, you, and I.
Hierarchy is inherent in human structures because there are always visible differences.
-is it possible to get rid of hierarchy
-senge, can’t get rid of it but you can lower the arch
-you can refuse to invest your sense of self in the hierarchy
-Forms of hierarchy, authoritarian, fallible leadership
VI. Short and Long Term Solutions
-intervention is violence
-do we need more or less violence
-solution equals patience equal silence
-There is no solution because if we ever come to a conclusion we have necessarily excluded something
-Without war there can be no peace
-the question is the answer, the answer is the problem
-violence is anything that supports or resists hierarchy….so we need to dismantle the hierarchy (the reason why we don’t try to fight corporations is because we don’t want to damage the hierarchy, we just want to be higher up on it)…so to short circuit violence is to short circuit the hierarchy itself
-reducing boredom…fight the aliens, need for a dream goal that doesn’t have an immediate solution…engaging on a societal level
- Patience/Silence/Suffering equals inclusion not a solution
conclusion as separateness/inclusion as connectedness
-wholeful-interconnectedness rather than peaceful/pieceful
- The question is not whether or not to use violence…it’s when. (or how?)
-what happened there is in direct correlation to what happened in Kosovo.
Other points of discussion:
The very thing that separates us brings us together
-common bond against the other
-shame as fear?
-shame is the feeling that I have not met this ideal self so I have fear that I’ll be found out that I don’t match up to that….shame that there is a gap between where I am and where I should be and fear that when that gap is discovered I will be moved down
-fear from direct action
-does shame indicate a level of morality that is not part of fear? they can be connected and you can have shame without fear or fear without shame
What would I do differently?
-listen, because I see myself broken in those people and that makes me sad.
Reconception of the project:
-how does this relate to the powers and limitations of dialogue?
-dialogue has the power to solve violence
-dialogue is violence
-is it moving backwards in the paradigm shift to try to write a research paper on violence?
-separating out violence from everything else?
-poems, palms, psalms…rather than the fist….violence vs. vulnerability