December 30, 2019
Each and every problem humanity faces is rooted in violence.
Why do so many continue believing in violence, the most counter-productive, unintelligent and expensive means of all? Violence invariably makes a problem between conflicting parties deeper and broader and every solution more difficult. It makes the original problem ten times bigger.
All problems in this world are tied to one thing: Violence – the tacit or open acceptance of the use of violence in all its many forms.
Think of wars, hatred, human rights violations, torture, poverty, injustice, prejudice, media profits (fake-omission-deception), arms trade, racism, regime-change, imperialism, nuclear weapons, environmental destruction, corruption – and hateful comments on social media…
Will anybody, from social democrats and left out, listen better in 2020 as they once did? I mean, if we imagine it is still meaningful to talk about Left and Right.
Will others? Or shall we leave them out of civilized conversations?
Violence can be physical, direct, indirect, verbal, psychological. Personal or systemic. It can be structural (built into a system and having no individual sender and recipient). It can be cultural, gender and environmental. (Study the main works, particularly Johan Galtung’s, on how to define and analyse violence).
It is always about killing potentials, hindering individuals, people, countries and Mother Nature from realizing their potentials. It’s destructive and never constructive.
We must change our norms and values! Normativity is essential and powerful. Humanity has the capacity to say: We don’t do it because it is plain wrong! Because it is below our dignity as civilised humans to do that thing.
See how fast it became outdated to smoke although there is also a Tobacco-Industrial Complex.
Think of how normal it is today in many countries to condemn parents or teachers who slap children’s faces or use the cane.
Look how fast Greta Thunberg made us all think of the norm to reduce our environmental footprint.
Anyone who believes in violence per se should be looked upon and judged as we today look upon slave owners, human traffickers, rapists, paedophiles and their likes.
Only morally and intellectually lazy people go for violence as their first choice, before having tried everything else.
Go for it in 2020: In the name of civilization, we say YES to peace and cooperation & NO to violence – in all its forms and shapes!
And we denounce and condemn the violencers – those who prepare, use and legitimate naked violence when other means are at their disposal.
Thanks, John – and, yes, we shall remember humour … because peace permits it, violence kills it.
And politics has become humourless.
PS 1 I now hear some say: Well, denouncing and condemning somebody is also violence. Granted! Our first step after the condemnation of violencers is of course to make a list of what they should do instead. But we can not continue to treat violencers differently from others we condemn on moral grounds.
PS 2 And I hear someone say: There is Article 51 in the UN Charter that states the right of countries to self-defence if attacked. I can live with that. It’s called defensive defence and if all countries had only short-range, low-destructive weapons that could only be used for self-defence but not to attack somebody else thousands of kilometers away, the world would be very close to a state of peace.