Now have you ever noticed that whenever there is a really big and large demonstration; and it passes off relatively peacefully; the press and media in general convey very little by way of coverage; over the years there have been some quite biggish demonstrations and yet the coverage has been minimal, and the least possible said. Well maybe a photograph and a small report tucked away in the inside page of a daily, usually recounting how many attended with the organisers claiming one figure and the police another.
The recent march organised by the TUC received much attention, some may, and will say for all the wrong reasons; the highlighted aspects portrayed that day by our combined journalistic fraternity. The so-called violence of alleged ‘anarchists’ hit the front pages of almost all of our newspapers the next morning, as well as the reality television like journalism of broadcasting organisations such as Sky News, which if I’m right is part of the Rupert Murdoch empire.
So you're sitting at home and watching the coverage, dramatic pictures of young people attacking and taking their pent-up emotions out of the windows of tax dodging business and of well known banks, whom and let us not forget brought the economy and the world almost to it’s knees two and more years ago, but saved only and as I do believe temporarily by government intervention; bailed out by thrusting so-called public money into and holding up a rotten system of capitalism, which in turn has led to austerity (as if refraining from worldly pleasures) and the package of government cuts being implemented without a mandate. Job’s lost, with plans to sack many more workers, services and benefits cut affecting the lives of all of us in time, and dashing the aspirations of the young and possibly generations to come. And what you’re seeing on your television is the reaction of anger, an anger forged and contrived by those who say that the poorest must be made to pay for the world crisis of capitalism, except the reporter constantly tells you that ‘anarchists’ are doing this that and the other, but fails (unwillingly or deliberately) to explain why people are so angry in the first place, well I suppose that’s the freedom of the press for you.
Kit Malthouse, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, is reported in the press to have said: "I counted these anarchists myself.
“They were a nasty bunch of black-shirted thugs on Piccadilly and it was pretty obvious that they were intent on rampaging around and would be very difficult to control.”
It is because of this portrayal and characterization of protesters angry, and it has to be said at a system that fails many, denying and traversing like a bulldozer, destroying people’s lives, robbing them of the security, breaking up families and so on. I have therefore resolved to take a closer look into our violent society, the next few post and following on from my last will examine this violent society that we live in. I hope to breakdown and expose capitalism as the perpetrator of world violence.
In the contemporary world violence has become an inescapable part of modern life and beside its coercive character and brutality, it also troubles us with its two major characteristics which obstruct any clear and theoretical analysis: violence often seems to be random and irrational and its motives seem incomprehensible. Violence is often described as the exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse, and the word usually stands for forceful human destruction of property or injury to persons, usually intentional, and forceful verbal and emotional abuse that harms others. In this post and those that follow I would like to tackle the notion of violence in contemporary philosophical discussion, having in mind that violent acts cannot be fully grasped neither by scholarly empirical analysis (e.g. sociological, psychological or political) nor by media coverage of violence. That is to say, there are very few possible theoretical standpoints that can fully address this problem today, going much deeper below the surface which is, almost without exemption, always focused on violence undertaken by some easily identifiable agents (such as state terrorism, assaults, riots, ethnic cleansing, murders, wars, etc.). I would argue that, in order to analyze that problem we have to assume completely opposite approach, i.e. to start to think about violence in terms of its symbolic and systemic character instead of focusing on clearly visible acts. I hope that you are able not only to stay the course but please feel free to contribute to the discussion.