"The Term has Become Meaningless to Me": on Violence, Social Change, and Nonviolent Communication

Ben-Abba, Amitai
Date Written:  2016-04-15
Publisher:  CounterPunch
Year Published:  2016
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX19353

Violence means different things to different people. While some people find it important to show their opposition to acts like touching someone against their will or supporting an oppressive regime, others mill about in confusion around the middle of the space when facing supposedly unambiguous statements such as "murder is violent." Participants from the same family or the same activist group disagree on the classification of certain acts as violent. In our context, two important questions arise out of this apparent incoherence of the term: what are the implications for Nonviolent Communication? And, what does this mean about nonviolence as a political strategy for social change?

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