London Times

"There are four features that can be used to classify violence. One, it is used either to maintain injustice or, two, to react to injustice; and three, its users are either conscious of its cause and significance or, four, uncunscious of them. Probably the cause of an act of violence is often a mixture of theses things, and this could be true for both sides of a confrontation.
These four features work in this way: the ruling class has a conscious, though false, rationale for its violence; it calls these the maintenance of law and order. At the same time, it unconsciously fears its victimes and so tends to be violent anyway. On the other side, the victims of unjust social relations may act violently to make these relations more just. Their degree of consciousness can range from workers protecting their jobs by smashing machines to a revolutionary party fighting to take over a whole country. Or finally, they may merely react violently because of an unconscious motive, an unidentified discontent. When this happens their victims may be innocent - indeed they may be chosen for them by the ruling class, as sometimes happens in racialism. [In some respects the young murderers in 'Saved' belong to these group. Some of their cries while they murder the baby are ruling class slogans.] This is the way in which working-class anger and agression can be used to strengthen the unjust social relations that cause its anger and aggression, and the ruling class can recreate, in an increasingly inhumane form, the social conditions which it claims as the justification for its power."

Edward Bond
'On Violence'

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