A Monopoly on Violence

This is the term of art used to describe and justify government’s control of military and police functions.

There is an obviousness, an inevitability to the rationale behind it that leads from, “There are bad-guys.” to “We need to defend ourselves against evil-doers.” to “Stop! Or I’ll shoot!”

And, then we accept the entire package, wholeheartedly or with reservations. But what if we look at the entire question from the outside…?

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Dissensus, Hygiene, Quality, Rhetoric, and Integration; a Stab at a Synthesis…


Dissensus is a tough master. If I choose to follow dissensus I pledge that though what I espouse holds no intent to violate any other, I will refrain from destroying anyone, though they espouse my destruction and this refusal might lead to my own death.

I see no other way to make a break with all the business-as-usual that so certainly leads us back to an assured destruction. I refuse to destroy and I cannot insist anyone must agree with me. All I have is my belief that these paths; chasing after power, seeking to control, demanding obedience, violence from its slightest, most hidden form to all the unimaginable Enormity of our situation; that these are mistakes I cannot afford to make.

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Cross-Post from Antonio Dias, Attending Quality

DaisiesAttending Quality

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Uncertainty and Cause & Effect

There’s something tickling out there at the confluence of our refusal to accept uncertainty and our belief in cause & effect.

Even here, as I ponder these two concepts, I’m falling into the expectation that relation equals cause. I was about to say that we refuse uncertainty – vehemently, violently, with suicidal insistence – because we believe in cause & effect.

How else can we talk about relation? This happens, that happens, there is some relation. After all, everything-is-in-everything.

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I haven’t got time for this!

This common complaint came to mind recently in relation to the resistance I often encounter to my interest in looking at the basics, at how we tend to glide right past fundamental discrepancies – incoherence – in a rush to “Get on with it!” What came to mind was how this had been the attitude of surgeons and physicians when the concept of antisepsis was being pioneered. Rushing from patient to patient, wiping his crusty blade on a crustier leather apron, weighed down by the press of amputations yet to be done – “Lives to be Saved!” He would bridle at talk of stopping to wash his hands, “I don’t have time for this!”

Two seemingly disparate connections resonated with this image. The first was from a video of a Krishnamurti dialogue on attention. The second was the sense I’ve had for a while of considering practices pointing at finding coherence as a form of hygiene.

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