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INSTITUTIONAL VIOLENCE August 1, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Peace.
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Since it is necessary to its purpose, intrinsic to means and ends, the military necessarily teaches and inculcates violence.

Anthony Gregory at The Future of Freedom Foundation(via AntiWar.com):

The military is an institution in which the skills of killing are taught and the enemy is dehumanized. When soldiers and veterans resort to violence outside the battlefield, unapproved acts of torture, or terrorism, it is rarely regarded as possibly connected to the military culture itself. The most notable example of this was Timothy McVeigh, the convicted and executed Oklahoma City bomber, who was in the U.S. Army for several years, including a stint in the First Gulf War, where he later said he learned how to turn off his emotions. He considered himself a soldier at war with a U.S. government gone out of control, notably in its conduct in the Waco, Texas, standoff of 1993. Two years later, on the anniversary of the Waco fire, he bombed the Murrah building, seeing his crime as an act of war.

Yet although the connection should be obvious — an institution that instills into people the capacity to see other people as subhuman enemies to be killed is going to breed people with problems handling their violent impulses — it is never asked outright if the military, and especially its wars, encourage acts of violence. But as long as we are at perpetual war, living with a permanent warfare state, there will be more Abdos, Nissans, and McVeighs.

It follows, does it not, that to reduce and mitigate violence, we ought to close down the organization that inculcates violence as a matter of course. How then could be defend ourselves, either individually or collectively?

Defence is always self-defence, but self-defence is never good enough. To suppose, as it is officially put, that because a bomb was set off in Bali, we ought thereby to be engaged in a post imperial civil war in Afghanistan is even more deranged thought process than the joke about the drunk looking for his keys under the lamppost. Ought we be looking at how violence works, and if it ever does?

The military serves the state. Could a nonviolent state of affairs be possible in the world?

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