Corn. Verhoeven Violence (2)


(We are not above Violence. Violence is above us.)

Who thinks that his own thoughts and voice have power and force that are in reality not existent, that lack of force and power that is inspiring our thoughts about violence, does set him outside of the problem and underestimates violence.
He behaves as this person on the beach. He is blowing and thinks his wind is causing the distant invisible ship to sail. The ship does use steam.

(my comments are in ()

Thinking does have some influence on politics, but very very slowly. And it is not the thinking itself that does change the world. Thinking cannot act in changing the world. We do not talk about politics here.
(I am aware of the low quality of language in these texts. But translating, even in worse English, a text is my way of slow reading and thinking)
Second. I cannot think about violence without being rebellious. Violence is not a subject I can think about with wonderment only. I am to much involved and hurt by its consequences. And violence is far away from my influence and it confronts me forcefully with my helplessness. The mistake I could make here and that would set me outside of the problem is to restrict and limit my influence to that part of violence that is directly and clearly manifest. This limitation would make it necessary to split off from the bigger fields of violence. I could say, the only violence I could change is the violence I do. I could try just as they say start changing the world begins with you. But that is a big mistake. Peace in your heart and all those beautiful ethical things hardly do touch the problem of violence in the world. Peace in all hearts will not make peace on earth. The escape route into individual and ethical aspects of violence does not even touch the problem of violence.
Violence is not a problem of individual qualities, violence is a problem connected to collectivity. We do not want to discuss inner peace.


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