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Escalation of Violence Pass? or Prepared?

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: February 19, 2000
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

The Structural Violence of a Climate of KnowingnessAppel's Animated Figurine; see templart.htm.

List references, including Hirschman's Rhetoric of Reaction. Attittude persuasion theory on using a spokesperson and William A. Scott's Values and Organizations and Cat Scan and my theoryann.htm that says that academics have a responsibility to communicate, and not resort to rhetoric, and it won't do to simply say i'm doing it because he's doing it, that's lowering the exchange to his level and you've just accused him of being dead wrong.

Why this is structurally violent as opposed to just plain violent: because it is acting out transference behavior, based on pure affect, therefore not amenable to rational argument by an intervenor or by the perpetrator him/herself, because acting out transference behavior is based on "knowing" and not conscious or unconscious, merely affective. (Lear) I argue that we transfer to the "knowingness," and then act out that transference. The only way Lear and I see to deal with this acting out is to bring it to awareness as non-rational, neither conscious or unconscious, just pure affect. Then we can make a conscious decision of whether we want to continue to operate in that "knowingness" climate, and the climate of discourse itself will be able to reach our decision making to the extent that we become aware.

Violence carries a connotation of intended or criminally negligent (i.e. willful disregard for human safety and needs, nevermind rights.) Structural violence, to the extent that Lear and this extrapolation of his reasoning are right, represents acting out transference behavior which has no rationally-based conscious or unconscious root cause, and thus is open to the manipulation to which "knowingness" generally exposes us. Non-rational behavior can be manipulated by rational perpetrators, but it cannot be predictably controlled precisely because it is not rational. Thus, violence from the source of "knowingness" and a climate of discourse which promotes such "knowingness", should always hold the potential for unpredictable eruption. This theory would seem to explain satisfactorily the escalating violence we are experiencing, not with increasing crime, since crime is generally on the downswing, but in individual manifestations of violence, such as the Columbine shootings. . . Backup