Violence is any act of aggression and/or abuse that causes or intends to cause injury to persons, animals, or property. It may include random violence, (such as unpremeditated or small-scale violence) and coordinated violence (such as actions carried out by sanctioned or unsanctioned violent groups -- including war, revolution, or terrorism).
- Arranged alphabetically by author.
- No matter what someone else has done, it still matters how we treat people. It matters to our humanity that we treat offenders according to standards that we recognize as just. Justice is not revenge — it's deciding for a solution that is oriented towards peace, peace being the harder but more human way of reacting to injury. That is the very basis of the idea of rights.
- Peace is a resistance to the terrible satisfactions of war.
- "I wish your revolt well, my friend," said Bakhtin, "but beware that you don't end up merely repeating the same old story. The state abhors only one thing in the end, and that's the sound of laughter. Violence it can understand."
- Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst.
- The most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together.
- The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
- Martin Luther King Jr., "Where do we go from here: Chaos or community?" (1967)
- Violence stinks no matter which side of it you're on. But now and then there's nothing left to do but hit the other person over the head with a frying pan.
- Violence, contrary to popular belief, is not part of the anarchist philosophy. It has repeatedly been pointed out by anarchist thinkers that the revolution can neither be won, nor the anarchist society established and maintained, by armed violence. Recourse to violence then is an indication of weakness, not of strength, and the revolution with the greatest possibilities of a successful outcome will undoubtedly be the one in which there is no violence, or in which violence is reduced to a minimum, for such a revolution would indicate the near unanimity of the population in the objectives of the revolution. ... Violence as a means breeds violence; the cult of personalities as a means breeds dictators--big and small--and servile masses; government--even with the collaboration of socialists and anarchists--breeds more government. Surely then, freedom as a means breeds more freedom, possibly even the Free Society! To Those who say this condemns one to political sterility and the Ivory Tower our reply is that 'realism' and their 'circumstantialism' invariably lead to disaster. We believe there is something more real, more positive and more revolutionary to resisting war than in participation in it; that it is more civilised and more revolutionary to defend the right of a fascist to live than to support the Tribunals which have the legal power to shoot him; that it is more realistic to talk to the people from the gutter than from government benches; that in the long run it is more rewarding to influence minds by discussion than to mould them by coercion.
- Vernon Richards, "Anarchism and violence" in What Is Anarchism?: An Introduction by Donald Rooum, ed. (London: Freedom Press, 1992, 1995) pp. 50-51.
- ... violence is the whole essence of authoritarianism, just as the repudiation of violence is the whole essence of anarchism.
- Errico Malatesta, "Anarchism, Authoritarian Socialism and Communism" in What Is Anarchism?: An Introduction by Donald Rooum, ed. (London: Freedom Press, 1992, 1995) p. 59.
- Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -
- I say violence is necessary. It is as American as cherry pie.
- H. Rap Brown, press conference (1967)
- In some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence.
- War - An act of violence whose object is to constrain the enemy, to accomplish our will.
- Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!
- Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest violence.
- Hebrew proverb
- No society that feeds its children on tales of successful violence can expect them not to believe that violence in the end is rewarded.
- There is a violence that liberates, and a violence that enslaves; there is a violence that is moral and a violence that is immoral.
- It is the failing of youth not to be able to restrain its own violence.
- [American] Football is a mistake. It combines the two worst elements of American life. Violence and committee meetings.