Johan Galtung; Conflicts and Violence, a platonic view !

Johan Galtung : The failure or pacific revolution against violence

« Les auteurs qui tombent dans l’oubli après la mort, sont justement ceux qui n’ont point exprimé l’Humain de leur vivant. Pris dans les engrenages de la tradition, du goût, de l’académisme, de la routine de leur époque, jouissant d’un réel talent de stylistes, ils prirent les plis de l’époque en soulevant les problèmes du jour, sans troubler l’ordre, sans rien apporter de nouveau qui pût heurter les contemporains. », Nabhani Koribaa

We approched Johan Galtung to explain his model of pacific revolution against violence, but he was too busy to answer. He can always have the right and the freedom to answer… Meantime, we will try to give critics to his ideas which are in the framework of intelectul elits far from the reality of power and it’s horror !

1- Galtung tries to define conflict and violence in what he claims to be an innovative new concept of peace in his book by drawing a triangle of violence (direct-culutral-structural) and peace (keeping-making-building). This looks insane ! Is it a way to reduce the social complexity of conflicts to a geometrical triangle. He ignored the true specific violence by means of Wealth (Capital) and Knowledge (cybernetics, psychology) and how to deal with them. We have to undestund power before talking about peace ! We can’t destroy a star with a ping pong ball !

He said ;

“By peace we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively- a never-ending process.”

This is an incredible idealistic and reductionisme posture of a complexe systemic structure !

2- The geometrical intellectual analogy used of a triangle in a flat space (not even curved) is a naïve ideology, idealisme and goodness of soul while reality, history and actual event prove that human condition is a condition of eternal complexe war; of predators and preys. The dilemma of prisoners can’t be solved only in a mathematical game simulation. Reality is not a platonian mathematic world living in Pato’s cavern. Galtung is a long continuation of peace ideologies though history. Power is a true knowledge and not a metaphysical flate space geometry.

3- Galtung talk about the fall of Empire and the end of wars. Any historian would tell you that empire falls to only make way to a new Empire. War is an invariant in human history. The USSR Empire has fallen to leave us with a unique US empire. Galtung dare even to project 2020 as its fall. This is not true, America is still powerfull as any other time and China is coming. Ibn Khaldoun talk about a never ending 4 cycles history going straight to chaos. The French and Soviet revolutions are cycles where the Capital is regenerated under another name to perpetuate the state which must not collapse. There is no end to history neither in violence nor in peace but in their stochastic cycle!

4- There is a significant confusion when Galtung talk about Power but never really pointing to the social institutions of power like Foucalt did : State who is the real power with his grip on all the resources and institutions: Natural and human resources, Finance, culture, education, Science-tec … Authority and violence are in our institutions (Foucault). Marxism made a big mistake in destroying state but putting an authoritarian socialist state in its place and so never going to their third stage; destroying the socialist state. Actually, Marxistes were looking only for the power of the State and it’s institutions of power ! The anarchists have better vision; to go to the destruction of states with their own way ; Violence or Peace ? Galtung neve explaned the deficiency in all those revolutions of violence and peace !

5- People have an internal predator in their own states, we can see it in arab spring revolution against dictators but also in democratic states like in France (gilets jaunes) and the US (the insurrection in Washington these days). Galtung is looking for reforming states, but he never explained how he can tame their violence !

6- we are in true dialectical dilemma to respond to states and power;

  • violent revolution and the state will respond by violence
  • peaceful demonstration and state will respond with cynical legal actions; He has the politicians and the media to portray the peaceful march as violent mobs. Is there a third path apart from violence and peace to resolve this dilemma?  

7- Galtung never gave an explanation to the greatest of all the conflits ; the clash of civilisation between West and Islam and how Islam is not really a threat to Western civilisation who manufacted threat to hide the hegemony and in the same time the moral failure of the West in their endless wars ; crusades, colonisations and the making of dictaturship ! The West seems to wake up to another true dangerous challege : China !

7- Galtung never gave an explanation to the greatest of all the conflits ; the clash of civilisation between West and Islam and how Islam is not areal threat to Western civilisation who manufacted threat to hide the hegemony and in the same time the moral failure of the West in their endless wars ; crusades, colonisations and the making of dictaturship !

Galtung did’t give any new insight to the nature of violence and to the mean to fight violence by peace ! Another failure in the long successions of intelectuals in the West who tried to undestand complexity by mixing ideals, ideologies and some mathematical figures to give a scientific figure to a Platonic vision. We undestand then the picture of Trump with the book !

Jamouli ouzidane

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