A couple of weeks ago, we had a couple of chapters of the book “Demanding the Impossible” by Slavoj Zizek as our assigned reading material in my GS197 class. His arguments were quite interesting, but what really caught my attention was one of the more indirect implications of his arguments, how ignorant humans can be.
In those few chapters, he tried to describe the nature of the presence of violence. Along the course of his arguments, he asserts that violence is not a disequilibrium in the daily peaceful environment that we have; and I couldn’t agree more. It’s quite the opposite, I believe. When we think of violence, we think of it as something that is isolated and something that’s not normal. That’s wrong. It is normal and violence is happening every day. Murders, rapes, tortures… Heck! There are people left to die in starvation and I believe that it can be considered violence to some extent! It’s not that no one knows that they’re starving, right?
It’s quite unfortunate and something ought to be done about this, but is there really something that we can do to get rid of all forms of violence? It would really be great if we could achieve something like that. No violence, just peace, but I don’t really think that it would be possible. Some would argue otherwise, and I respect that. To be able to get rid of all the violence in this world, these arguments would probably focus all the blame on some “thing”; and that we simply need to get rid of this “thing” and all forms of violence will vanish along with it. I don’t think it’s that simple though. What is it that creates this illusion of isolation of violence? What is it that causes violence? Is it really just one “thing” that we can simply get rid of? Racism? Sexism? The extreme individualism which comes with capitalism? Or perhaps it’s nothing but our own ignorance?