Society as mediator of natural structural violence

It occurred to me that today’s society mostly acts as mediator of natural structure violence, rather than being violent itself. The meaning of this is that the primary thread to human existence is nature, with its abiotic and biotic thread vectors, as well as the necessity to gather resources for personal maintenance of the body-mind system. Those threads and requirements are the primary source of suffering and lack of freedom. Society only plays a secondary role as potential ally in the fight against the structural violence directed from nature against our existence.

Isn’t it a bit weird to see an impersonal cluster of entities – nature – as personalized entity projecting violence against us? Well, it may be weird, but it makes sense to understand the actual source of violence! It’s not that violence emerged without reason from the human sphere alone. That perspective hides the deeper structural forces that creates emergent forms of violence in human (and animal) society!

The fact that we are even susceptible to the threads immanent in nature makes us susceptible to the demands that society places upon us. It is those demands that play a mediating role in the transmission of violence that originates in nature. There are several ways in which society can represent itself to humans (and animals):

As negative force, in the case that it goes beyond the original thread vectors found in nature by projecting additional violence like being attacked, tortured, killed, or enslaved without provocation.

As neutral force, if society does not interact meaningfully with the individual. This is almost only the case, if society is spacially distant from the individual.

As conditionally positive force, if it provides protection against natural thread vectors and support for the fulfilling of elementary needs, under certain conditions.

As unconditionally positive force, if it does the same without demanding that certain conditions are met. This is what good parents should do. This is what society can do, if it provides the individual with the means to sustain life unconditionally.

The difference in which society acts in relation to the individual has profound implications on the relationship between the individual and society.

  1. As enemy in the negative case
  2. As insignificant entity in the neutral case
  3. As mediator of natural structural violence in the conditionally positive case
  4. As ally in the unconditionally positive case

Depending on what case the individual finds itself subjected to, its motivations to interact with society will be vastly different. It has no reasons to display any kind of hostile or deceptive behaviour towards society in the cases 2 and 4, but has significant motivation to do so in cases 1 and 3. This negative behaviour can be seen as negative feedback directed towards society to its initiation or mere mediation of violence.

The ramifications of this basic insight are obvious to some degree, and subtle to a much larger degree. Please meditate on them for a while.