Violence & Protest | Philosophy Tube | Summary and Q&A

December 3, 2021
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Violence & Protest | Philosophy Tube


Violence and its role in political action are explored, considering the context and ethics of actions such as environmental protests and the French Revolution.

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Key Insights

  • 🙈 Political violence, such as targeted sabotage, can be seen as a form of direct action within non-violent movements, sparking debates on its effectiveness and ethical implications.
  • 😒 The context of violence, including the justification for its use, influences perceptions and reactions from different actors, such as law enforcement and the media.
  • 😒 Opposing perspectives on violence can be seen in the French Revolution, where the use of violence was justified by some as a means for societal change, yet condemned by others as a violation of the social contract.
  • 👨‍⚖️ The definition and perception of violence can shape discussions and actions around issues such as police brutality, protests, and the struggle for social justice.
  • 🗯️ Violence is not always limited to physical force but can also manifest through systemic structures, policy decisions, and the denial of basic rights.
  • ✊ The examination of violence in political action requires a critical analysis of historical, cultural, and social contexts, as well as an understanding of how power and oppression intersect.
  • 🚱 The complex relationship between violence, politics, and ideologies necessitates ongoing discussions on the role of violence in effecting change and the importance of non-violent alternatives.


achilles wrath to grease the diet full spring of woes unnumbered heavenly goddess sing that wrath which hurled to hades gloomy rain the souls of heroes to untimely slain declare o muse in what ill-fated hour sprung that fierce strife from what offended power in 2016 four thousand environmentalists in germany shut down a coal mine germany has a lot ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What was the motivation behind the environmental activists shutting down the coal mine in Germany in 2016?

The activists aimed to draw attention to the significant environmental impact of coal mining and its contribution to climate change. They believed that direct action was necessary to disrupt the fossil fuel industry's operations.

Q: How does Simone Weil view violence in the Iliad?

Weil sees violence as a central theme in the Iliad, both glorified and questioned. She suggests that violence is omnipresent but that Homer, the author of the Iliad, struggles to make a definitive statement on its ethical implications.

Q: Why does Andreas Malm advocate for targeted sabotage as part of a non-violent movement?

Malm argues that non-violent environmental activism has not effectively addressed the urgent need for climate action. He believes that targeted sabotage of fossil fuel infrastructure, while remaining non-violent towards people, can create pressure for change and dismantle the current fossil fuel system.

Q: What are some of the key considerations when discussing violence and political action?

Key considerations include the effectiveness of violence in achieving political goals, the ethical implications of violence, the context in which violence occurs, and whether non-violent alternatives have been exhausted.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • In 2016, environmental activists in Germany shut down a coal mine, raising questions about the use of non-violent activism in the face of climate change.

  • The French philosopher Simone Weil argues that violence is the true protagonist of the Iliad, reflecting on the complexity and contradictory nature of violence.

  • Environmentalist Andreas Malm advocates for targeted sabotage of fossil fuel-emitting devices as part of a larger non-violent movement for climate change action.

  • The debate around violence and political action raises questions about its effectiveness, ethical considerations, and the context in which it is carried out.

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