The crosscurrents

Judith Butler's case for non-violence
by
March 2021, no. 429
Buy this book

The Force of Nonviolence: An ethico-political bind by Judith Butler

Verso Books, $29.99 hb, 224 pp

The crosscurrents

Judith Butler's case for non-violence
by
March 2021, no. 429
Judith Butler (Miquel Taverna)
Judith Butler (Miquel Taverna)

Judith Butler is acutely aware of the extent to which violence is an accepted part of human affairs. ‘The case for nonviolence encounters skeptical responses from across the political spectrum,’ Butler writes in the opening sentence of their latest book, The Force of Nonviolence. It is not so much that most people unconditionally advocate violence. Rather, it is considered an inexorable feature of life, a necessary measure to resist evils and prevent atrocities against populations and the marginalised. Nevertheless, Butler pushes back against that orthodoxy, declaring that we must ‘think beyond what are treated as the realistic limits of the possible’. It is a bold yet hardly indefensible claim. Indeed, the bleak alternative would be to doom the future of humanity to the internecine violence recently demonstrated in Washington, Ethiopia’s war in the Tigray region, and Australia’s inhumane asylum-seeker detention policy. It is, perhaps, a duty of writers and philosophers to free themselves from the mire of the status quo and to pave a way forward that ushers in a better, more equal world.

Nicholas Bugeja reviews 'The Force of Nonviolence: An ethico-political bind' by Judith Butler

The Force of Nonviolence: An ethico-political bind

by Judith Butler

Verso Books, $29.99 hb, 224 pp

Buy this book

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