There is ambiguity of the term “Violence”. It refers both to the compulsion, cruelty, and sacrifices as well as to a power, a strength, a might. These two distinct definitions are also interdependent. The violence can be a strength encountered and its interpretation in the perception and its representation in cultural concepts.
Ordinary perceptions of Violence concerned with negation have been shaped by the logic of the Age of Enlightenment. The general works of authors such as Russo and Leo Tolstoy in Russia are still integral to our understanding of violence.
Today turning respect to violence reference major figures from the European tradition such as Fredric Nietzsche and Feeder Mihailovitsh Dostoevskiy, Michel Foucault and Rene Girard. They rehabilitated the Violence. Nietzsche and Dostoevskiy introduced violence right into the heart of being and human existence. For Dostoevskiy the violence went hand in hand with love. These are micro-events of violence that tied up heroes to each other and connected their faiths forever. This is important Dostoevskiy's contribution to psychology of violence.
Nietzsche worked with cultural concepts. He demonstrated in “Birth of tragedy” and “Genealogy of morality” the techniques of interpretation of violence in culture. Nietzsche's position was that there is no absolute true significant or interpretation, there is only the will of the one “who speaks”. The one “who speaks” by violent seizes interpretations that already exist in culture; in order to subvert and overturn them, break them with the hammer. Truth exists only within the will of the author, not in the conformity of the author's interpretation to some absolute previously given knowledge.
I'd like to remind the two contexts, in which Nietzsche speaks about the violence. In "Genealogy of morality" Nietzsche introduces the difference between the Beginning and the Origin. The first natural morality expressed the healthy state of spirit. It continued some natural bodily practice of violence. Violence doesn't require justification by any morality. Since violence belongs to primary metaphysical element, it doesn't need any ground. Violence is the way of ennoblement in the long succession of self-determination of the will. Place of every person in the society is the result of bodily practices of violence, because the latter assembles body as a significant which is operated by culture.
There is the second context. Overturning the Christian ideals and talking about aristocracy of spirit Nietzsche replaces the traditional opposition “good — bad” by the opposition “good —simple”. Then he introduces concept “resentment”, which is evil memory, mix of anger and weakness. Weak people can't obtain power victory, but they can't humble with their defeat. They substitute the power-victory by morale-victory. So weak people are forced engage in soul-searching or overestimation. They explain, that the reason of their defeat is not weakness, but renunciation of violence, because the one is evil. They impute violence and power to strong people. So the primary elements of violence becames the concepts, which were later used by the different ethical systems. Exactly here is contained the lie for Nietzsche. The violence underlies for the consciousness therefore the one cannot be explained by it. The Christian-morality destroyed the Roman-empire, destroyed the healthy image of bodily culture. So Nietzsche derives the morality as the complex of violence and weakness. The violence is a way towards obtaining of strength and freedom for him.
Foucault as well as Nietzsche displays that every culture cultivates some practice of violence as the effort to obtain of the shape and the might. Every fragment and
segment of culture has been penetrated by the Violence. However, as he notices, now “the violence hasn't the form of right” different from power. (Will to the truth. M., Kastal, 1996, p.191). The one is displaced completely from contemporary society. We'll talk about some consequences of such displacement later.
Rene Girard considers the ritual aspect of the violence. He returns archaic sense to it. “The sacrifice is holy, but it is not holy until it is killed. Here is circle” — he says. (La violence et le sacre. M., 2000, p.7). The violence is an acquisition of the holiness; it is an interaction and unity of will of sacrifice and benefactor, who makes it.
Archaic society had the institution of pagans, who cultivated ritualisation of violence. In traditional cultures the ritualized violence was founded in symbolic center of world, the one was connected to the mortgage sacrifice, which underlined for every great city, fortress, and temple.
Now the violence displaces from the center of the discussion in art. Contemporary art-performances of artists such as Nitsh, Stellark, Brenner and art-group “AHE” practice the experience of violence. They practice violence as a strength encountered. They go through experience of violence in order to return to might dissipated in the structures of society. “Power belongs to all” says Foucault, but it collects itself in the topos of violence. Artist different from Philosopher doesn’t sit in to the pattern of a “clear” speculative creation. Today just artist presents to society what the society is displacing. He doesn't refract and doesn't supply reality, he deliberately responds to it, namely resides. If a philosopher understands margins of comprehension and conceptualization of life, artist in his turn puts to test a bounds of its experience. Artist is giving the abode-matrix for deadlock-situations. He is assimilating expense of inhabited terrain. I am talking about art and you can ask me why am I talking about art on this conference? But is there other way we can comprehend the violence, comprehend what under lies our ability to think. (Don't forget Nietzsche).
Now only art tells the violence “Yes”, the society tells it “No”. The social practices displace the violence in every possible way. As a result we have unpredictable wars, outbursts of national and religious enmities and terrorism. The violence takes the form of ritual or it dissipates in society. Terrorism is a decentralization of the violence in the contemporary society. Displacement of violence drives to its reappearance in sudden shapes.
On the one hand contemporary “humanistic” society denies the practices of the violence, developed over the millenniums. However, on the other hand forbidding and exterminating the violence, we release of the violence, make it abrupt. Here is paradox. Negating ‘place and time’ of the violence in culture, we get the violence threatening us in any place and at any time. We are losing security.