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QotD: Thich Nhat Hanh on Violence

If nonviolence is a stand, then it would be an attack on violence. But the most visible form of violence is revolutionary and liberational violence. So if you stand for nonviolence, you automatically stand against actual revolution and liberation. Quite distressing! 'No! We are not against revolution or liberation. We are against the other side, the side of the institutions, the side of the oppressors. The violence of the system is much more destructive, much more harmful, although it is well hidden. We call it institutional violence. By calling ourselves nonviolent we are against all violence, but we are first against institutional violence.
--Thich Nhat Hanh

Comments

neptunia67
Dec. 9th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm still ruminating, but I have an initial thought on passive-aggressiveness, which is what it seems he is talking about here. I think passive-aggressive violence can be more destructive than physical violence because it has the ability to change the thinking/attitude of an entire society. It's sneaky and causes harm in many ways.

It's hard to wrap my thoughts around such a big subject. I'll think more on it.
liveonearth
Dec. 9th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
Yes. Define Institutional Violence. I suppose institutions can be passive aggressive, though I don't think they do it in the defensive way that individual people do it. Seems to me that institutions are violent indirectly, by the way that they let some people fall through the cracks just because they don't fit into the definition of the population to be cared for. Definitely needs much more contemplation.

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