PHIL 1550 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Structural Violence, Sonderkommando, Satyagraha

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March 12th
Pacifists: someone who is against violence. Will not practice it. Some people take this position for
religious reasons
-instrumental in indian autonomy
-He used a method called satyagraha. Which means non-violent resistance.
-promoted disobedience not violence
-problematic things with his approach: in the margins many people were still violent, Gandhi wrote a
letter to the jews on the eve holocaust telling them to shame the Nazis with passive disobedience. Jews
were facing much more hatred and his suggestion was absurd.
Violence is not always bad
-boston tea party was property destruction
-is property destruction violence?
-violence can only be against a person. Destruction of a building does not necessarily harm a person
-war is presumptively bad. Because it is one of the worse thing that could occur.
-opposes pacifism
-sonderkommando: group of jewish who were given allowances and privileges for doing work like,
leading jews to gas chambers, forcing them to work etc..
-one of the sonderkommando groups (12th) revolted against treating their people like scum. They
attacked guards and blew up an oven.
-Churchill says it’s good that they did this. They at least made some effort to stop the evil around them.
-believes Native American groups should revolt and attack their oppressors. They have a right to rebel.
-direct violence is more visible than structural violence
-a little bit of violence could prevent further violence but there is no way to guarantee this
-violence in and of itself is not negative. Should only be used in last resort however.
The Invasion of Iraq
-largest non violent protest
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