One element shared among communities I been through in west asia (jordan, palestine, egypt), seems to to be violence. Since people Say, and I think they rather hope indeed, that they aren’t violent, and at a time I can perceive physically aggressive activities all around, am kind of getting a sense of brutalisation aesthetics. People brutalised to an extent that physical aggression is integral to the elements which link with and make-up cultural practices.
Lets take a few steps back.
Here’s a short outline of a fictional narrative:
Say there is a small group of people living hierarchically. Top honcho (th) hears a bit of a slant from a group member and feels they have to re-act.
Since the story is set within a hierarchically oriented group:
if TH decides to talk about the incident, they need to do that in a way which will not undermine their position within the hierarchy.
if TH chooses to deal physically with the incident, they might lose and undermine their position – but win and you know that kind of talk will be outlawed.
There are other options, but for argument sake, lets say that we decide to make TH take the physical reaction way.
How will others in the group react?
I think it might not be too far fetched to have them as individuals having a sense of relief and anxiety. Now having learned that TH is the groups’ law and isn’t into talking to resolve problems, each group member gathers that ultimate expression is with TH, and other expressions are subject to TH’s whims.
Hence, the groups characters, each in their own way might wonder and imagine from all sorts of promts, but for the wonder of If I express, the common computation will be constantly negated by possible violence. Hence each member will know that for certain wonders, their expressions will have to involve some physical violence – else they will not be expressed.
TH will also know that since they took the physical way to assert their position – the implicit practice that was set is that they, TH, will have to be removed violently if and when the time comes.
Now, Lets say one character in that group is reluctant to join this physical aggression fest. Lets say thet person attempts to save themselves from being brutalised.
How can they do that?
TH set more than just an example and a group rule, they also announced that doing things your own way is possible and easy. All one needs to do is silence everyone else.
This might seem like an enticing proposition.
I need to express myself. I need to say XYZ!!
Sure. I know there’s a chance I might be killed – but hey, I Need to say XYZ, and to say it violently seems the Only way. If I try any other way, either am talking to walls, or am going to get myself in a violent trouble anyway. (e.g. knife wielding young palestinians?)
Brutalisation makes the sense of expression seem both easy and accessible through force. Indeed, the very imagination, the wondering from the need to express is in itself subject to violence. Hence cries from need to be Listened to, and negotiation seem an expression of inferiority, or weakness rather than an element in a process of How we live together.
Therefore the person that fancies questioning the brutalisation, that feels critical about the TH actions – will have to probably struggle themselves with the sensations that call for expressing themselves easy and swiftly..
This way, the story can weave, I think a rather plausible narrative, of a brutal culture linked from and with TH’s violent reactions.
However, I think people do sense some sort of revulsion towards violence. Brutalisation compels to violence, however since we do not just abductively express – specially verbally, we induct and deduct.
I think sensation of hard-to-take-it accompany brutalisation. We can wonder, if didn’t have to express violently. We can calculate such wonders too, and I think, by enlarge, we do.
We get the west asia instances of people killing for “family honour” – no discussion and hierarchy maintenance is a must. Arguments settled by force, I have witnessed a fair few. Men and women seem to inhabit 2 different unbridged worlds, while each is anxious from the other’s Violence. (e.g. a woman’s body seems inherently violent towards men, and men are inherently violent as a reaction for being challenged by a woman’s body.. Well that is the sense I got in some communities.)
People keep telling me how peace loving they are, however they also say that some activities by these Other people “justifies” violence oriented reactions. No other ways.
When I was around 5 or 6, I recall a group of older kids, maybe between 8 and 10, being physically aggressive towards me and a few of my friends at the time.
I asked one of these older kids Why she was doing it. She replied telling me that when she was younger, some older kids were violent to her. Hence she was simply doing what was done to her. More over, she re-assured me that in time, when I get a bit older, I will be violent towards someone weaker and younger than me.
I recall, where this conversation took place because on hearing that, I promised myself not to repeat the cycle.
I do not know why I promised that.
Not really sure why I think have kept that promise.