A self-critical and disturbing thought to consider following the assassination of Jo Cox, MP

This morning I re-read some words in Simon Critchley's excellent book, "The Faith of the Faithless: Experiments in Political Theology" (Verso Press, 2012) and here I'd simply like to invite you to consider them in relation to the assassination last week of the British Labour Party MP, Jo Cox.

"Our subjective outrage at the facts of violence—a suicide bombing, a terrorist attack, the assassination of a seemingly innocent political figure, the subjugation of the resistance movement, or whatever—blinds us to the objective violence of the world, a violence where we are perpetrators and not just innocent bystanders. All we see are apparently inexplicable acts of violence that disturb the supposed peace and normal flow of everyday life. We consistently overlook the objective—or what Žižek calls "systemic"—violence that is endemic to our socio-economic order. Capitalism is the organization of the relations of production that violently produces inequality, alienation, and social dislocation" (p. 208).

The point is, of course, that none of us are truly innocent bystanders and, if we want properly to honour the death of a decent, honest, committed MP such as Jo Cox, then we are all going to have to work our hardest to ensure that a genuine democracy prevails, not only here in the UK, but across Europe and the world; one that non-violently is able to remove the causes of inequality, alienation, and social dislocation that conspired to make Thomas Mair, who murdered Jo Cox, the kind of man he is.


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