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3 posts tagged with Violence by languagehat.
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Debt, slavery, and violence in history

Debt: The first five thousand years. Anarchist anthropologist David Graeber (previously) writes about "debt and debt money in human history" in Eurozine. Lots of thought-provoking stuff here; I'll put a sample in the extended description. (Via wood s lot.) [more inside]
posted by languagehat on Aug 23, 2009 - 44 comments

Acts of sacred violence

What’s "Sacred" about Violence in Early America? Susan Juster discusses the "oversized colonial martyr complex" with its attendant paradox: "colonial martyrs were everywhere, religious violence... in short supply." She begins:
One of the most chilling images in early American history is the deliberate firing of Fort Mystic during the Pequot War of 1637. Five hundred Indian men, women, and children died that day, burned alive along with their homes and possessions by a vengeful Puritan militia intent on doing God’s will. "We must burn them!" the militia captain famously insisted to his troops on the eve of the massacre, in words that echo the classic early modern response to heretics. Just five months before, the Puritan minister at Salem had exhorted his congregation in strikingly similar terms to destroy a more familiar enemy, Satan; "We must burne him," John Wheelwright told his parishioners. Indians and devils may have been scarcely distinguishable to many a Puritan, but their rhetorical conflation in these two calls to arms raises a question: Was the burning of Fort Mystic a racial or a religious killing?
She avoids easy answers and makes some interesting connections. If you want to find out more about the Pequot War, there's good material in the History section of this site. (Main link via wood s lot.)
posted by languagehat on Jan 9, 2006 - 35 comments

The most popular day for office murders in Cali is Sunday.

Martin Amis visits Colombia. Life in the hellholes of Cali:
To say this of human beings is to say both the best and the worst. They can get used to anything. And I got used to it too. You find yourself thinking: if I had to live in El Distrito, I wouldn't stay at Kevin's but at Ana Milena's, where they have cable TV and that nice serving hatch from the kitchen to the living room... Similarly, I now found myself thinking: you know, this crippled murderer isn't nearly as interesting as the crippled murderer I interviewed the day before yesterday.
One of the scariest things I've read recently. (Via Arts & Letters Daily.)
posted by languagehat on Feb 7, 2005 - 19 comments

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