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Concept.png Violence Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Interest of• Evren Balta
• Neville Bolt
• Oliver McTernan

Violence is the use of force. Non-psychopathic perpetrators of violence need some stories to allow them some peace of mind. These are often related to enemy images and employ semantic inversion, so an aggressive war is labelled pre-emptive "self-defence".

Justifying myths

“There have been periods of history in which episodes of terrible violence occurred but for which the word violence was never used. ... Violence is shrouded in justifying myths that lend it moral legitimacy, and these myths for the most part kept people from recognizing the violence for what it was.”
Gil Bailie [1]


As with "non-violence", a definition is more problematic than one might think.[2]

Structural violence

Full article: Stub class article Structural violence


In June 2019, Fred Chan Ho-fai wrote opinion in the New York Times that "The protesters [in Hong Kong] should thoughtfully escalate non-violence, maybe even resort to mild force, to push the government to the edge."[3]



Page nameDescription
Black bloc
Structural violence


Violence victims on Wikispooks

Jamal Khashoggiassassinated journalist
Jim KoetheViolently murdered in September 1964 in his Dallas apartment, before he could finish his book on the JFK Assassination.


Related Quotations

Bureaucracy“are not themselves forms of stupidity so much as they are ways of organizing stupidity — of managing relationships that are already characterized by extremely unequal structures of imagination, which exist because of the existence of structural violence. This is why even if a bureaucracy is created for entirely benevolent reasons, it will still produce absurdities.”David Graeber
Harry Ferguson“Sadly, my advice today to any aspiring recruit who values the defence of human rights would be to stay away and do something better with their lives. The intelligence services are not what they were. Above all, they have forgotten the lessons that we learned during the struggle against Irish terrorism: that brutality and injustice are not the answer, they simply fuel the next generation of terrorists.”Harry Ferguson
Johan GaltungViolence with a clear subject-object relation is manifest because it is visible as action. ... Violence without this relation is structural, built into structure. Thus, when one husband beats his wife there is a clear case of personal violence, but when one million husbands keep one million wives in ignorance there is structural violence. Correspondingly, in a society where life expectancy is twice as high in the upper as in the lower classes, violence is exercised even if there are no concrete actors one can point to directly attacking others, as when one person kills another.”Johan Galtung1969
Johan Galtung“We shall refer to the type of violence where there is an actor that commits the violence as personal or direct, and to violence where there is no such actor as structural or indirect. In both cases individuals may be killed or mutilated, hit or hurt in both senses of these words [i.e., physical and psychological], and manipulated by means of stick or carrot strategies. But whereas in the first case these consequences can be traced back to concrete persons as actors, in the second case this is no longer meaningful. There by not be any person who directly harms another in the structure. The violence is built into the structure and shows up as unequal power and consequently as unequal life chances.”Johan Galtung1969
Mahatma Gandhi“I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill. I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”Mahatma Gandhi
Government“No matter its guiding “ism,” every government has granted itself the power to initiate violence against its citizens. Just because the ruling agglomerate asserts this privilege doesn’t render it philosophically valid. What it does is legitimate the initiation of violence for any and all causes — domestic and foreign — the government deems proper. Having violated the first principle of nonaggression, nothing can stop that philosophical default from trickling down to the subject population.”Robert Gore11 February 2017
Samuel Huntington“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”Samuel Huntington
MLK“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government.”MLK9 November 1967
Bill McCollum“Teen-agers account for the largest portion of all violent crime in America... They're the predators out there. They're the most violent criminals on the face of the earth.”Bill McCollum1996
Cass Sunstein“Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law.”Cass Sunstein
Adrian Vermeule
15 January 2008
TotalitarianismTotalitarianism, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia. A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud. Such a society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become either tolerant or intellectually stable. It can never permit either the truthful recording of facts or the emotional sincerity that literary creation demands.”George Orwell
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