31 March 2011

Killing Abstractions: A stance against war and violence

I am almost utterly against violence...I say almost because I know there are potential circumstances wherein I would react with violence. But my strong sense is that this violence would be "momentous" and personally consequential to my vitality and I would extend this to others in proximity to me who are meaningful to me.

For me, violence must be essentially "of the moment".

To be clear--I would not inflict violence on others but rather would be violent as a necessary reaction to physical harm as it is imminent or being acted upon me or those in physical proximity who are meaningful to me.

This is a concrete position. I speak against the abstractions that we have embodied in all of our living.

That a ground for me to stand upon and say this: I will never support a war. A war is an abstraction to serve ends that are well beyond a single individual's knowledge and/or understanding, other than those that are "making" the war.

I support bringing murderers to justice but believe I could only support a killing justice if I in fact were a party to the injustice in a way that made the agent responsible for it something I could not doubt. Our legal jury system is always and only "dubious" in this regard (but this is another argument).

I do not support vengeance but neither do I support forgiveness.

I find all of this ultimately massively confusing and my response to this is to say "NO" to it all. I cannot know the truth of larger actions outside myself. The taking of life that happens outside of "personal self-defense" is an act of blindly trusting a machinery of abstraction.

I refuse your wars and I refuse your interventions. Your machinery of war is an abstraction. Your belief in the "right" kind of war is an abstraction. If you live, you personally, live life as a kind of abstraction then you will be used as such and you will agree to it.

We are killing people. We abstract them in this "global" world and they are "insurgents", or rebels, or communists or jihadis, or any other label you'd like to use. They are dogs in the street by the calculus of abstraction.

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