I’ve recently been thinking about the manner in which people and institutions resort to violence. Of particular interest, is the view held by some people who argue that resorting to violence is beneficial or necessary. ‘Beneficial’ and ‘necessary’ violence is difficult to define and categorise, rather provocative, and, often sensationalized. To my mind, Gandhi’s writings on non-violence offers some degree of insight.
Gandhi’s thoughts on non-violence is deeply rhetorical. However, categorising his writings as rhetorical is not sufficient reason to abandon referring to them. It is helpful, sometimes, to admit that we can get all too strategic in our thinking. Placing importance on special kinds of rhetoric (i.e non-violence amongst human beings), could be a means by which one could create alternative self-understanding. Self-understanding that could value and appraise social relations beyond strategic paradigms. (Not to say the strategic paradigms are not important!)