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Old 01-28-2005, 12:52 AM   #16
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Well the Japs were absolutely brutal during the war, I do not think that that type of behaviour is ever removed from a society or a people. In the long history of mankind time and time again we have seen human beings resort to barbarity ~ from the darkest parts of Africa to the supposedly enlightened and cultured Germans of the mid 20th Century it is a common streak. Man's own indifference to man seems to be the common factor. I am not entirely convinced of a universal law of violence in this world. People kill other people, for money, sexual gratification, power, difference of opinions, religion or in some cases simply because it is fun ~ different reasons for different issues. I would not correllate a killing in vengance to the mass murder by religious terrorists ~ the motivations are different, while both claim to be avenging something the religious mass murderer has a religious justification and a zealousness about the deed that is quite different to others.

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Old 01-28-2005, 02:52 AM   #17
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Interesting discussion, especially the one about the Japanese - good arguments, nbcrusader and melon.

"..ruling elite who actually NEED the violence in our society to maintain the status quo and keep the middle class afraid of the (naturally criminal) lower class"

Maybe the elite needs violence in society, but I ´d rather say, the whole system of justice needs violence. Why is there so much violence in prisons? You know, the old fact that people go into prison for a relatively small cause (let ´s say continous shoplifting) and leaving prison as full - fledged criminals. Well, the point is very simple. Without violent criminality, society wouldn ´t care of locking away the criminals. Police, prison directors etc. want money. They are financed. If criminality rates are lowered, they ´ll get less money. The more prisoners, the more budget they ´ll get, in the long run.

In the U.S. society, fear is used to manipulate the middle class.

The point about middle and lower classes is interesting indeed. In South Africa, most crimes are now (after the end of apartheid) committed by uprooted Blacks whose hopes to escape poverty have been disappointed. The Black middle class, re-emerging after apartheid, now moves away from the masses of their former comrades (since their former common enemy, the White man, is now less frightening than the Black robber).

However, we need to differ. If there are uproots in form of violent acts that hope to change a social or political system (f.e. to overthrow a dictatorship) - [and with this, I clearly mean violent acts by people who are suppressed by that system, not violent acts like wars started by foreign governments] - then it is hard to argue that this kind of violence has its roots in shame. Rather it has its roots in the necessity to change that social or political system.

It may be interesting to note that one of the very few forms of violence (if not the only one) that are excused in the New Testimony, is the overthrowing of tyrants by the people who are suffering under them.

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Old 01-28-2005, 11:38 AM   #18
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Hiphop, I'm glad you mentioned the violence in prisions. It amazes me that our society doesn't understand this more clearly. Gilligan spends quite a bit of time on this acutally, demonstration how prisoners are systematically shamed and the violence against wardens and other inmates that results. He demonstrates that prison officials use this "divide and conquer" system of one half of the prison population to control the other half. They don't so much allow beating and rape as actually encourage it, according to the interviews with wardens that he does. Horrifying!

I also see a connection between the overthrow of tyrants and shame....

More later, am playing catch up on this thread LOL

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Old 01-30-2005, 12:08 AM   #19
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interesting discussion - with some real food for thought
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Old 01-30-2005, 08:50 AM   #20
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Thanks so much Jamila!


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