[-empyre-] please resend this as a straight text - it came garbled - thanks Alan

Jonathan Marshall Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au
Mon Nov 17 10:51:27 EST 2014

For what its worth, I would agree that violence is an attempt at communication - at getting a response from others

One of the problems of communication theory is that people often seem to assume that 'good' or 'succesful' communication is the norm when in fact good communication is a special case of communication, and a relatively rare one at that...

It might be useful to recognise that communication always involves power, in that it aims at getting a response from others, whether this is agreement, disagreement, getting people to do something, or see the world in a particular way and so on. This is inevitable, and of course a quick way of getting that response would often involve a move into threat or violence. Consequently, there can be an easy spill between attempts to communcate and violence, whether this is because those with relatively high power can't be bothered to persuade, or think their chances of persuasion are small, or because those with relatively lower power are annoyed with being ignored...  or because both are convinced that the other would not listen anyway....

This does not mean that violence and good communication are the same, or should be rendered equivalent, just that violence and communincation are sometimes likely to blend in particualr contexts.


>Sorry for being quite direct: but if you refuse to understand violence as communication 
>it will be very difficult to come to a critique of violence. (And you shut your eyes before 
>the possibility that communication can be violence.)

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