notes from judith butler’s force of nonviolence

The Force of Nonviolence An Ethico-Political Bind The Ethical in the Political by Judith Butler (

* Is there a mark-able and viable interval between Anti-Violence and Nonviolence? (i know anti-violence isn’t mentioned afaik – however, the other side of violence, the Anti, may have something to say re violence and its negations?

* do violence negation moves require humans?
(we have the gods, spirits, certain apes and monkeys as well as birds – but rocks and rivers’ waterfalls.)
— in case we privilege the visibly active deliverer of forceful acts as something to do with Violence – are we engaged in some kind of violating activities to deliver the privilege?

* The lingo oriented discussion, ie what is meant and how such meanings
perform in relation to
and with violence –
does it not miss the fact that we can define violence – and possibly its negations – from the direction and perspective of bodies? (ie epigenetics)
or indeed such a suggestion misses the point that any kind of resolve
has to come via the mutable rather then some “hard evidence” that can be taken as Anti-Mutables??

* When a reality X is violent and you want to counter that realm – can that counter move be
Non-X, Un-X, or Anti-X. (with Counter in mind)

* Self defense has a prior knowledge of that self – blm and its multi cultural dimensions?

* In other words, by acting as if the use of violence
can be a means to achieve a nonviolent end, one imagines that the practice
of violence does not in the act posit violence as its own end. The technē is
undermined by the praxis, and the use of violence only makes the world
into a more violent place, by bringing more violence into the world. –
is that a curiously dualistic observation re praxis and techne?

* * * i wonder whether words fail the discussion of violence? (from jb’s call for possible new vocabularies, and the prior discussion of violence techne-praxis-just spontaneity – aka nature.)
Thats a notice to possibly orient spoken-lingo-discussion ranges, possibilities and connection to subject. Lest we get a sort of idealism of spoken lingo enforcing itself onto every subject matter?
force and enforce?
what turns nonviolent when it’s enforced?

* the aesthetics of grief – traces? Grief in itself is a trace and a connection that lasts beyond one’s lifetime.
(again – epigenetics?)
smithson’s footprints in the spirals’ vicinity and individuality –
ie the request is dependent on numbers

* Grief as a force? Indeed, why question violence – can we not do full antigone and go grief?
(Causing grief, feeling grief, taking grief, etc..?)
Then, again, maybe we go into aesthetics rather than conceptions – since grief has a catastrophic sensation of some kind from a fold.
Here it might be curious to note that grief is connected with heaviness and guru which has Heavy knowledge of such and such. I
wonder if a phrase like: bring the heavies – which refer to means for doing damage onto another; can be said to offer another twist as the damage can have grief attached?


A few thoughts re and from “Nonviolence, Grievability, and the critique of Individualism”?
I hope the following will fail to come across as an attempt to disengage from the actual text. Since hope comes easy for fools, it might still feel like avoiding the text despite my efforts – however, maybe it’s a learning process?
Indeed, it seems the processes, the way of writing coming to focus.
When stuff like Individuality comes into discussion with dividulaities, dependencies and crossed dependencies, the ideas might seem a bit re-hashed.
When stuff like Force-Fields come in context of Resistance and a conversation of equality through re-directing aggression – the ideas may sound a bit, well, almost like taken from Marshal-Arts text books and got new hashtags.
When Equality comes connected with Values rather than Qualities, it may seem a bit hauntingly wanting.
When Aggression questions come as a group oriented – states, cultures, ideologies – rather than an act, if not a practice, that can come with a breath;
one may wonder whether we begin to have a pattern here?
When There’s a discussion about Grief, Grievability after the Imaginary – is it fair to wonder how, between the lines, these may connect? Afterall, the imaginary traces an absent onto the sensible horizon, and grief traces a memory of an absent into a sensible future?

>> After pointing these seeming symmetries during the meeting, Hilan indicated that non-violence comes through absence as well, and I could not find a way to possibly connect the 3 –
They share absence that bring them to life.
This does not mean an indication that there are Equalities in ways that values such as 1+1 come equal with 2. More like 2 apples share a connection with 2 suns in way that they are 2 and round spherical shaped. A connection, not an equation..
>> Going back to the Non-Violence question. JB points that we get non-violence when there’s a violation, abuse that may call for a violent force in reaction. however, we make that call, the expectation, Absent through the force of making violent missing in our actions.
I wonder whether we can say, through aesthetic consideration of directions, flows, pushing and openings that non-violence comes when forces a offered a door, an exit? Non-Violence as a ViolenExit rather than Violence-expression? (I think we get the force in both compositions..)
So.. with Hilan’s point in mind.. Let’s reformulate the initial Connection between griefability and imaginary, with the non-violence added:
The non-violence traces a force of absence *through* a destroyed future, (ie force of absence, by it’s very evocation, denies/destroys the future that was otherwise anticipated?)
the imaginary traces an absence *onto* the sensible horizon, and
grief traces a memory of absence *into* a sensible future?
moves seem connected as the trace into a future* – they move differently ofcourse, one by Through, the other by Onto and another by Into. All three move though directly into a future that comes traced, comes into our horizon, through taking something away, by challenging something evident:
Grief challenges the fact that a mourned person will not mourn for you – nor hear you. Grief then offers a connection with the seemingly impossible – the gone. (be it death, lost opportunity, or some other clear ending?) A connection of reassurance for co-independancy among a grieving group at the very least, or even an individual who could, through the very challenge of a memory’s absent-ability – get reminded of hope, a future that overcomes present hardships?
Imaginary comes despite a reality of forces that deny it’s plausibility – how dare you, when living all your life through a reality of commodification, of turning everything you may touch – your friends, family, water, air, food, travel, and so on – how dare you perceive a reality that comes despite all commodification’s best efforts?
Non-Violence comes despite an instinctive violent reaction to harm done to us. Again, I hope it is clear that the interjection into the expected move, alters the future by way of absence..
(ie there are other ways to alter future..)

notice how fascistic moves always detour from a presence “lost past” through to an imaginary past into a mirage-somatic future. (Hence it seems violence is required to prop up such shaky structures..)

However, here, these points, the noticed connections that might be grieved, might also fail to live as the focus of the text?

I think perhaps the focus is in something less traditional. Not the ideas, their strength and capturing thrusts, nor the infinite and prophetic nature of the theory being weaved.
I think – perhaps wrongly, as its a thought and based on this chapter only – that the real attempt here is to simply Write in a way that IS a force of Non-Violence.
OK, Check the time when JB talks of abortion. I think the bit comes out since it has a certain clarity – I think XYZ, the Pro-Life think ABC, Such and such is in fact what happens – yet, as forceful as the expression of JBs thought come, they don’t abuse the forcefulness by sliding into violence over others.
Perhaps I should show other examples?