Monday, November 06, 2006

Passive Violence

Wealth Without Work
Pleasure Without Conscience
Knowledge Without Character
Commerce Without Morality
Science Without Humanity
Worship Without Sacrifice
Politics Without Principles

--Mahatma Ghandi

Gandhi called these disbalances "passive violence," which fuels the active violence of crime, rebellion, and war. He said, "We could work 'til doomsday to achieve peace and would get nowhere as long as we ignore passive violence in our world."


Lifewish said...

Any thoughts as to how to fix a societal attitude of passive violence?

I guess religion could be one solution, but that seems too easily co-opted as a tool of passive (or even active) violence. A mythos of some kind does seem to be a popular solution - are there any others?

I kinda like this post I just came across, which advocates telling kids "you are a human being, descended from an inconceivably long line of survivors and adaptors who have scraped their way up from the muck and you have no ****** right to be a failure".

Bro. Bartleby said...

I don't see any 'fix' on the horizon. Things that hold families/tribes/societies together are not in vogue today, such as fixed standards and power hierarchy, to name just two. Of course I embrace Christianity, even though my 'brand' is certainly in the minority, nevertheless, over time Christianity seems to self-correct, in the sense that the words of Jesus are the bedrock, and no matter how some sully these words, the words cannot be perverted, and when the human failings of some turn to dust, the truths live on, the plumb-line remains, and those who come later still have a standard to measure themselves against. This aspect of religion, social control, I think that Christianity allows for the greater individual freedoms, in that Jesus seems to accept that one can live under a secular government, yet still practice one's own beliefs. Instead of rallying the crowds to overthrow the Roman government, Jesus merely says, "pay your taxes" ... seeming to say that the Roman government cares for the material needs of society, so pay for it with your money, and God cares for the spiritual needs of society, and pay for it with your love. I think this is where Thomas Jefferson got the idea of the separation of church and state. Once a people can make this separation, then I think you can create the conditions for a freer state where some can 'self govern' themselves by their religion, while others without a religion or another way to self control, will then be governed by the secular state. The state is a kind of default authority, like the parent that tells the child, behave yourself, or I will make you behave.

Lifewish said...

over time Christianity seems to self-correct, in the sense that the words of Jesus are the bedrock

Interesting concatenation there. Would Christianity still self-correct if there were any problems with Jesus' words?

Bro. Bartleby said...

"Would Christianity still self-correct if there were any problems with Jesus' words?"

Perhaps the 'problems' would wither away, leaving behind vestigial problems? And all the while The Way would continue.

John said...

I would suggest that Christianity is incapable of self correcting and for 3 reasons.
It is just plain old not true and it is an integral part of the western imperialist misadventure and its drive to total power and control.

And that the Divine Radiance and the possibility of Radiant Divine Life were long ago banished from the western cultural landscape. This was the essential meaning of Nietzsches famous god is dead statement.
This process was the real import of the so called "enlightenment" and the rise of scientism as the arbiter of what is true, real and possible. See for instance:

The culturally devastating results of the anti-"culture" created in the image of western scientific (and entirely exoteric "religious") ego-man are described in these 2 essays.