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“FORWARD”: NORMALIZE MURDER OR NOT? June 13, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, Peace.
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The normalization of violence, whether it is the homeless out on the streets of our cities or the summary execution by executive fiat of people by drone in NW Waziristan, or Yemen or Somalia is a way of wearing down principled opposition to unacceptable by constant repetition.

For newspapers or other mass media to participate in the process is unconscionable, in essence criminal. Non-violence, in my view, is the belief that people can be better than what they might believe themselves to be. The theory believes in the theory of civilization that people can deploy their frontal cortex, while not denying, but rather recognizing the role that the amygdala and similar centres of the brain can play in behavior. We can recognize wrong. We must recognize wrong. And the way that attitudes to others can become frozen toward others, informed sometimes by genuine fear and panic, almost invariably produces violence in all its forms. The extraordinary result is that military conditioning, without “battlefield experience”, is sufficient to create critical cognitive dissonance.

The fundamental premise of the war system, is that war is inevitable and peace is impossible. And that overt violence, if not threatening behavior, combined with those attitudes easily constructed, no less by clever public relations campaigns are the only tool kit in the garden shed that is the fruit of human intelligence and imagination. We might with courage and perseverance look into the deep sources of conflict and understand the forces at work. By removing conflict and aggression, hyped by verbal violence, we might fulfil our evolutionary potential as human beings.

Nobody would suggest that this is not difficult and hard work, perhaps at time life threatening for those involved. The success of the endeavour would be that war machines would be dismantled, the urgent issues of human population, resource waste, and the ecological crisis might then be successfully addressed. If that were to happen, we would be proud of our planet and realization of our conscious species. No doubt other dangers would arise, but we would have the experience and hard won success to go down, should that be the case, with honor embracing our full human capacities.

Non-violence is not unproblematic.

Judith Hand argues human beings have a potential for peace. It could be a male/female thing:

Note the dehumanization of some males.

Similarly, not the reliance on symbolic responses in this wholly desirable project in Broome, WA:

Martin Luther King notes that a small number of protest participants using violence can derail the  whole endeavour:

Otpor was a successful nonviolent action, measured by undermining the pillars of the existing order.  Note the contemporary relevance of the attribution of the nonviolent actors as terrorists.

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