Violence Protects the State

Stephanie N. Van Hook, Executive Director of Metta Center for in Petaluma, California, has written a commentary in Znet on How Protects the .  Here is an excerpt:

in opposition to the relieves the and the citizenry of any guilt for a brutal response to all —and it refocuses from the nominal issue to the issue of by . Thus any by serves the well (just ask anyone employed by the who has hired an agent provocateur). It is a weapon of mass distraction. Stop worrying about the uptick in home foreclosures, the dead being shipped back from Afghanistan, and the new increases in the Pentagon’s proposed budget—look at the violent window-breakers from Occupy who threaten us all!

is not just protest, it is not simply occupying space and it is not just about adversarial confrontations; it’s about our

In short, in order to delegitimize a violent system, we have to delegitimize . This requires us to adopt a principle about human beings and human dignity: we will not use against others because we want to create a vibrant , a merciful , a generous because we as human beings have the potential to nurture these qualities within ourselves and each other. We will not degrade human dignity because it is not worthy of ourselves as people; let this be the motivation for our long-term struggle. The of the violent State system would stand much less chance against a movement committed to this , compassionate spirit of .”

The debate between violence and is age-old.  Though, has sort of come of age in the period, particularly with proving nonviolence’s effectiveness in domestic regime .  The current relevance of this topic is related largely to the occupy movement captures a lot of popular unrest with our own domestic regime.  With great injustices, is a natural and healthy response.  Unfortunately, violence is not a natural and healthy response to .  We need to channel the energy of our and against into ways of living that will actually result in a new and better way of living together as .  I believe that nonviolence represents that way of living.  If you want something different from violence we are going to have to do something different and violence.  Violence begets violence.  begets begets .  You get the picture.  It seems that lectures on means and ends have become a common theme in my and in my blogs recently.  I the of the means producing the ends.  I just wish this approach got more . I guess that when it comes to violence, it is very hard to overcome old habits and venture into territory that presents a lots of personal uncertainty and (by disarming).  While controlling others through , terror and violence, seems to be able to go a long way, controlling others ultimately short-circuits our ability to live in peace and with one another.  I believe it is worth a lot of to make living in peace and possible.  Let’s not allow the state to divide us through violence, either its own, or through provoking violence in us.

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