In this article the focus is on violence, especially murderous violence, its impact, its origins, factors that facilitate and promote it and possible solutions.
Due to its intensity the impact on society and individuals are intense, to such an extent that it creates crises in more than one respect. It creates a crisis of being, of meaning, of language, of us, and of life.
Explanatory views on the origins of human violent behaviour are many. They mainly rotate around two specific emphases: On the one hand, violence must be seen as caused by external factors, like poverty, unemployment, cultural disintegration, political misbehaviour and many others, and will be reduced when these factors are eliminated. On the other hand, violence can be understood as caused by a natural inclination, as part of the human make-up, an anthropological perspective in other words, and will therefore always flourish, even when conditions are favourable, unless deliberate and inventive 'strategies' are designed and composed to curb it.
A number of factors contributing to the emergence of violence in societies by facilitating and promoting it, not necessarily intentionally but nevertheless unavoidably so, are identified. These factors may be different in kind but together they create a cultural climate that is conducive to criminality and in particular to murderous violence. Political history, climate, rhetoric and strategies may promote it in a substantial way. The use of violent language can be seen as an intensifier, and very often as justification, of violent behaviour. A general cultural climate of mechanisation, petrifying strategies, and reductionisms created in the sciences, technics and technologies, the embracement of economisms of a kind, and the related idolatry of the market and of dead money are equally strong, although in a very subtle way, facilitators of violence. It seems as if the immersion in a nihilistic mode of existence, a mode of existence generated by all these factors together, reinforces this general disposition immensely. Together they are constituting a death culture which constitutes a disposition of frustration, anger and annihilation.
The main question is: Are there solutions to this death-loving culture, a culture in which the forces of evil reign, with its severe implications and consequences. Although it is clear that where there are human beings there will always be the possibility of violence - each consciousness in its encounter with another contains, and will always contain, this potential threat. A very strong impulse towards violence, especially when we link it to language, is carried by the strong forces of informatisation. Political, revolutionary and even counter-revolutionary rhetoric, slogans, messages, songs and conversations are all the time happening in terms of the sharing and the transmission of information considered to be relevant in any specific situation. It involves not only individuals, but whole communities and societies. A kind of socio-pathology is created. Confronting such a societal, collective situation calls for counter-informatisation activities. It is also true that human beings are able, when they apply different intellectual, emotional and volitional intent to redirect these energies towards constructive alternatives. With the immensely powerful support of information and communication technologies the belief is that this culture of death can not only be curbed substantially, but that it can be replaced by or transformed by redirecting its energies, towards the creation of another culture, the culture of life and a love for the living - the ideal socio-therapy.
This should start with the establishment of intelligent communities based on the principle of collective intelligence. For this to happen the dynamic forces of noetic imagination should be installed or acknowledged in all of these intelligent communities in order to mobilise not the power but the force of humans and in particular the spiritual force of love. This well-mobilised newly invented human energy should flow into and through the existing institutions. For these efforts to demonstrate a significant impact the constructive and enthusiastic input of all informatisation institutions would be required: families, schools, churches and religions, political parties, non-governmental organisations, cultural organisations, companies and businesses and the media. All should contribute to the re-invention of being, meaning, language, and us with the direct consequence of a re-invention of life. There exist ample opportunities for this in all these institutions depending on how alert they are for matters of life over against matters of death. They should all compose the message of the invention of spirituality, love, community in a new sense, and the embracement of life at all cost. In this way a newly invented, sensibly transformed, society will emerge where love reigns and where killers, the real enemies of humanity, will be eliminated like they eliminate others. Love should never be understood, or pursued, as weakness (as killers most of the time do), nor as the embracer of murderers. Love's responsibility is to destroy all enemies of life. AFRIKAANS: In hierdie artikel word besin oor geweld, veral moorddadige geweld, in die land. Die impak daarvan op individu en samelewing word bespreek in terme van die versteuring van syn, sin, taal, ons en lewe wat daardeur teweeggebring word. Die diepgaande antropologiese oorspronge van hierdie geweld en nie alleen die moontlike oorsake nie, word ondersoek. Sekere faktore wat daartoe bydra om 'n kulturele milieu te skep waarin hierdie geweld kan gedy, word geïdentifiseer. Uiteindelik word aandag aan moontlike oplossings gegee wat met behulp van informatiseringstrategieë verwesenlik kan word, soos die vestiging van intelligente gemeenskappe, die najaag van egte liefde en die herinvensie van spiritualiteit, die invensie, omhelsing en bevordering van lewe teenoor die verwoestende mag van die dood en die toereikende behandeling van diegene wat die reg op eie lewe prysgegee het deur die lewe van ander van hulle weg te neem.