Violence

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Violence

Postby BadgerJelly on June 12th, 2017, 1:14 pm 

This has been on my mind for a while but I have not had the time to focus on it so I apologise if it is presented in a sketchy manner (I guess you'll be accustomed to that if you ever bother to read anything I write!)

It was something I heard Zizek mention that caught my attention. He used the term "violence" in a broad sense. We generally use the term to talk about direct physical harm on people, an act of homicide or genocide, yet when it comes to indirect acts we probably don't regard them in the same tangible way even if the fallout is much worse.

For example he mentions the financial crisis as an example. This was a bunch of greedy people purposefully causing global crisis and effectively leading to loss of jobs, homelessness, poverty, hunger and death. If we contrast this to a war in which 10,000 people die the fallout is much worse yet the perpetrators are so hidden/distance from the "violence" they are not regarded in the same light as those with guns and bombs.

Also, we generally understand that war is ripe in circumstances where inequality pervades. Such a global crisis could even be said to have a domino effect and indirectly cause more commonly appreciated acts of "violence" in the form of homicide in wars or general social struggles where people fight to survive in an impoverished environment.

Can we really let people off the hook if they know what they are doing and know that poverty will insue from there actions? How in our rights minds as rational people allow "law" to protect these "at-a-distance" homicidal maniacs?

We can easily we a figth on the street break out and rush to intervene and calm the situation down. The "violence" is apparent and easy to deal with. We understand the course of emotions in these situations and understand the lack of rational thought. In these situations there are usually people who act with a "policing" mentality because it is what just seems the right thing to do.

My concern is how do we hold people to account to this other, and probably more destructive, form of non-physical "violence" when they know what they do causes famine, death and disease?

This I guess troubles many people when they spend the time to think about it. What is more telling is that we don't really think about it much at all because we don't see the "blows being landed". We see the horrors of war on TV or the internet, and we may decide to contribute to helping by donating to the plight we see. What is not seen are the horrific acts carried out by people commiting another kind of violence. The world sees famine and donates water and clothes to Africa, yet those responsible are persistently hidden from us and we will never see a single physical violent act on someone starving. The violence to them is of a wholly different and, I would say, more ruthless form.

What are your thoughts on this matter? Don't worry I don't expect solutions!
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Re: Violence

Postby Eclogite on June 17th, 2017, 5:12 pm 

I would not call the acts you speak of violence, or violent, though I understand your rationale for doing so. Other terms spring to mind: sociopathic greed, unmitigated evil, narcissitic empire building, etc.

At the risk of pushing my own agenda and world view, the issue arises because we have not yet evolved to handle a global society, but carry with us the mores that worked in tribal communities. Charity appeals do not focus on the hundres, the thousands, the hundred thousands, who are starving, or abused, or degraded. They focus on one or two poignant examples. We understand and respond to the pain of the individual, not the (threatening?) masses.

I don't know the solution, but promoting a group of psychopaths who like to prey on sociopaths seems, at times, attractive, if impractical.

The outcome of the London tower block fire could prove pivotal in the UK. If it doesn't we should just keep on trying.
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Re: Violence

Postby BadgerJelly on June 17th, 2017, 9:34 pm 

I simply think one can act recklessly without violence happening, or one can act violently.

I would ABSOLUTELY point the finger at those involved in the financial crisis and call then violent people. They knew what they were doing and they killed people.

I don't see how it differs from dropping a bomb on a city. That is it differs in immediate effect and that is literally the only difference.
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Re: Violence

Postby jocular on June 18th, 2017, 2:51 am 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSc-91F5Wiw

(Orson Welles joining the dots in the Third Man, 1949)

A crazy sound track. A zither.
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Re: Violence

Postby Braininvat on June 18th, 2017, 10:05 am 

One of my favorite films. Thanks for reminding me of it, Jocula.

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Re: Violence

Postby Eclogite on June 18th, 2017, 1:36 pm 

BadgerJelly » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:34 am wrote:I simply think one can act recklessly without violence happening, or one can act violently.

I would ABSOLUTELY point the finger at those involved in the financial crisis and call then violent people. They knew what they were doing and they killed people.

I don't see how it differs from dropping a bomb on a city. That is it differs in immediate effect and that is literally the only difference.
I retain my position that I find the definition of violence makes it an appropriate descriptor for the behaviours you are, rightly, condemning. If it helps you in your analysis, recognition and counteracting of these behaviours, go right ahead and use it. I will continue to think of it as a misapplied term.

I thought I had made it clear with the alternatives provided that I am happy to join in pointing the finger. Just don't ask me to use a questionable metaphor as my central word of condemnation.
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