Americans Don’t Understand What Violence Really Is

Racism Made America a Failed State, Just Like Its Greatest Mind Predicted. Americans Don’t Understand What Violence Really Is — And So They’re Stuck in a Vicious Cycle of It is the title of an article, published on Martin Luther King Day, by umair haque, an author I follow.

I often wonder to myself on days like this, and I try to talk about this every year on this day: what might an America that really understood MLK’s message have been like? What kind of country would that have been and become?

The answer is: it would have been a better place for everyone. A more prosperous country, in every way imaginable.

How so? MLK’s central messages were twofold: nonviolence and love. And yet Americans are such violent people — they fetishize and worship violence at such a deep level — that even “leftists” today roll their eyes and laugh at such a message. Love! Lol!!!

But they shouldn’t.

Americans Don’t Understand What Violence Really Is by umair haque, Eudaimonia and Co, January 17, 2022

The article is an interesting discussion of violence, which isn’t usually part of the discussion of nonviolence.

MLK understood — or would have — that all the following things are forms of violence. People forced to “crowdfund” healthcare — to beg their neighbors for pennies for medicine. A workplace culture where being abused and berated by your boss is totally normal. Incomes not rising for half a century — while costs skyrocket to absurd levels. The average American dying in debt. Being forced to choose between healthcare and your life savings. Having to give up your home because you want to educate your kids.

All these things are forms of violence. Violence runs deep. It isn’t just mobs of fascists smearing feces on the walls — though it is also that. It’s what Americans do to one another as everyday interaction — and shrug off as normal. Mental, emotional, social, cultural violence makes up the very fabric of everyday American life. It’s the poisonous residue of slavery. And it’s profoundly traumatic. It has lacerated the American mind, and made violence a legitimate solution to every social problem. But these forms of all-pervasive violence are what a capitalist society is limited to, because everything is competition, rivalry, and ultimately, domination and subjugation.

Americans Don’t Understand What Violence Really Is by umair haque, Eudaimonia and Co, January 17, 2022
This makes me realize Mutual Aid is an expression of nonviolence.

What we have is each other. We can and need to take care of each other. We may have limited power on the political stage, a stage they built, but we have the power of numbers.

Those numbers represent unlimited amounts of talents and skills each community can utilize to replace the systems that fail us.  The recent past shows us that mutual aid is not only a tool of survival, but also a tool of revolution. The more we take care of each other, the less they can fracture a community with their ways of war.

Ronnie James, Des Moines Mutual Aid
This is a video I made years ago.

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