Language and Violence

Topics: Civil society, State, Osama bin Laden Pages: 21 (6410 words) Published: November 25, 2011
The Abstract:

This paper will be dealing with the use of Violence and its legitimization through manipulation of language by the state in dealing with “the other”.

In an attempt to investigate the role played by the state, which monopolizes the use of violence for the sake of civilizing its people, inspired by a documentary titled “where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?”, this paper tries to go beyond spoken and written words to reach a better understanding of this role.

It starts by defining the concept of “violence” and drawing a clear distinction between its meaning and that of other related, but not similar concepts, and specifying the agents of violence, mainly focusing on the state, for the entire paper focuses on its use of violence.

Thinking in terms of methodological nationalism, this paper tries to find an answer to how we define ourselves and why do we define anyone outside this “we” circle as “the other” and how, as a result, violence became the means of dealing with “the other”. It then moves to justifying this “legitimate” use of violence by the state against the other and highlights the important role that language plays in this process.

Finally, there is an attempt to understand the usefulness of violence advocated by some against that of the mainstream thinkers and philosophers, accompanied by exploring the role the civil and the global civil society can, and do, play in finding new means of communication and dealing with one another.

It comes to the following conclusion: violence as used by individuals before the formation of the state resembles violence as used by the state apparatus, Civility is a myth. The only difference is in the agents, the targets, the interests and the domain where violence is practiced. And for that, an informed, aware and active role should be pursued by the civil society, to curb the use of violence either by the state or by any other actor.

The outline:

I. Introduction

II. Body:
Defining violence:
What does the concept of violence mean?
Making a clear distinction of violence vis a` vis other related concepts Recognizing the agents of violence
Defining the “we” and the “other”:
The constituents of identity
The way we perceive ourselves
The way we perceive “the other”
Dealing with the “other”:
The psychological mindset
The use of violence as a means of dealing with the other
The role of language in legitimizing the use of violence:
The manipulation of language
The reasons behind the manipulation of language
Providing a moral cause
Avoiding opposition
The means by which language is manipulated
Dehumanization of violence
Replacement of direct descriptors by
* euphemistic equivalence
The areas where language can be manipulated
In the public sphere
In the battle field
An assessment of the usefulness of violence
The role of global and civil society in curbing violence

III. Conclusion
IV. List of References

I. Introduction:

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” Mahatma Gandhi In an interesting movie called “where in the world is Osama Bin Laden”? A newly father-to be, fearing that his son comes out to life in such a violent world, decides to set on a mission to track down and kill Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaida, and the world will thus seize to know violence and will be a fit place for him to raise his son in. He visits Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Palestinian territories, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. He goes around and talks to people there asking them questions like: where is Bin Laden? What do they think of the Americans? How do they view terrorism and the war on it? What do they want in life? And questions of that sort. He didn’t find Bin laden, however what he found was that the people in the countries he visited are ordinary people just like himself and the audience. They are not...
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