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The End to Violence Means the Need for Change

Essay by   •  December 24, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,160 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,000 Views

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The End To Violence Means The Need For Change (933)

"Full demilitarization can only come about in a society in which power is shared at the grassroots. In the nineteenth century, Henry David Thoreau called upon free citizens to engage in civil disobedience and nonviolent actions whenever there is injustice. Civil disobedience and nonviolence are an integral part of any democratic society. Even in Western democracies, the state seems invincible, and as individuals we often feel powerless, unable to have much effect. We must remind ourselves that the power of the state derives solely from the consent of the governed. Without the cooperation of the people, the state cannot exist. Even as a powerful military state that is nearly invulnerable to violent force can be transformed through nonviolence at the grassroots. Noncooperation, civil disobedience, education, and organization are the means to change, and we must learn the ways to use them. Direct democracies will come into being only when we demand our leaders that they listen to us. This is fundamental to Green politics. Power is not something that we receive from above. To transform our societies into ones that are peaceful, ecological, and just, we need only to exercise the power we already have." (Kelly, 500). Kelly uses terms like "we", "must" and "need" so persuasively that it will make readers feel just as strongly about nonviolence then the author herself. Kelly uses these rhetorical terms: rhetorical situation, pathos, and authority in this passage to express to us her views of what is happening in our world and what should be done to accomplish it.

Kelly is very good at using words to point out that in our society, it will be difficult to succeed in world peace if we do not first, speak out our concerns to our governments, and second, use noncooperation as power to enforce that. Petra shows us that we can help out. That by using nonviolence, not letting yourself be pushed around, will get you somewhere. She goes on to quote Gandhi and King and how they use nonviolence as a way to gain support and acknowledgement from the public. "Without the cooperation of the people, the state cannot exist." (500). This means that if the people do not like something, to not let the government force them into anything. If there is resistance, the government will have to do something that the people want, or else be abdicated (or not reelected). Some people of course will argue that nonviolence is stupid and that it won't work but we all are allowed our opinions. This is a never-ending issue that relates to us even today. There is the war in Iraq and there are constant crimes happening in different countries today. We all need to do something to stop the violence. Everyday people are getting hurt or worse, killing or being killed. Petra suggests "demilitarization". This is the same as "civilian based defense." (500). This means she wants us to stop creating armies and the military. She wants us to stop making and using weapons. Basically we need to stop the killing. She mentions that we have the power, not the state, to make these decisions. That means, if we do not want the state to do something, we need to be united, act as one mind, and let them know we do not want their control. For example, when the presidential elections come up, if we do not want any presidential candidates elected, we can all choose not to vote. If there are no votes, they will not be able to elect anyone. There is no election if the public is not involved. She also mentions about the Philippines uniting as a nation and overthrowing "Marcos" using nonviolent tactics because they did not want a foreign ruler. This is a very good example of nonviolence in use. That is what Kelly means when she says that we have the power.

Kelly uses language like "we think each other to death" and children are "breathing radioactive tailings" to invoke emotions from readers. That is such a strong way of saying that the mind is what is violent and not the actual act of killing. It all starts as an emotion. Anger, hate,

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