Pacifism and Re-appropriated Violence

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In this chapter, I introduce a novel conception of pacifism. This conception arises out of considering two key insights drawn from Cheyney Ryan’s work, specifically his characterization of the ‘pacifist impulse’ as a felt rejection of killing and his analysis of contemporary Western attitudes to war and methods of fighting, as reflecting a condition of alienated war. I expand on these claims and argue that considering them together reveals an important problem for pacifism. Specifically, the alienated condition of contemporary violence renders the pacifist impulse impotent with respect to its usual function, i.e. to inhibit violence. In response, I propose re-conceiving of pacifism: Building on the Marxist-Hegelian notion of alienation and re-appropriation, I describe this proposed alternative view of pacifism as re-appropriated violence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPacifism's Appeal
Subtitle of host publicationEthos, History, Politics
EditorsJorg Kustermans, Tom Sauer, Dominiek Lootens, Barbara Segaert
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
ISBN (Print)9783030134266
Publication statusPublished - 2019




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