May 08

Welcome to the end of the first week of our new website, On Violence. We don’t know how you found us, but we thank you for making it. We have a lot of ideas, a few answers, and even more questions. To end our first week we wanted to explain why a blog primarily about military and foreign affairs has a weekly article on art. The answer is simple: Violence is pervasive.

Violence seeps into almost every nook and cranny of every society, and has since the dawn of time. But Violence is also wrong. Even Violence that responds to Violence can still be morally, ethically wrong; it frequently backfires, is rarely selfless, it begets more Violence and those who live by the sword... so on and so on.

Every society explains itself through its art, through its tales and stories; stories that explain the world, stories that teach the young and old, stories that change minds. They always have, they always will. And since the beginning, these stories -- and art -- have dealt with Violence.

Violence. It is one of the great themes. Understanding Violence in art is another way of understanding the violence in the past and the violence of today. Perhaps, even, a way to change the face of it for the days of tomorrow.

May 06


Man abhors it.

Society condones it

Humanity perpetuates it.
As if by not looking, somehow it will go away.

An odd looking word if you stare at it for too long, as we have been creating this website.

By violence, we mean killing and injury. War and crime. Injustice and injury. We will define it later but for now we mean all violence, in all of its horrific forms.

Violence, our subject.

...and an anecdote

My freshman year at UCLA, to fulfill a GRE requirement, I took the General Education Cluster: Life and the Cosmos. One guest lecturer, a physicist cum philosopher, questioned our class about causality, asking whether or not causation existed in our everyday lives. It boggled my mind that someone could even ask that question. Eric related an anecdote to me about a fellow student in one of his discussion sections in college. The student announced to the class that he had proven philosophically that he didn’t exist. Eric remarked how much easier non-existence would make paying rent.

We bring these examples up for one reason. While On Violence will discuss the metaphysics of Violence, we will not discuss the metaphysics of reality and of existence. We feel no need, at this time, to contribute to the debate over metaphysics but feel compelled to analyze violence, and its impact on our world.

The above anecdotes feature characters (truly, there isn’t a better word for them) who would discount the entire basis for this site. We will ignore metaphysics, and even deeper ethical questions -- at least in the beginning. We choose to ignore them and we presuppose reality’s existence. We feel silly for even having to add this caveat to the first post on our website.

Violence exists, and so does this site.