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Political Violence creates Something out of Nothing
Richard A. Koenigsberg
  • Political entities generate warfare in order to create death. Political dying occurs in relation to an entity in the name of which warfare is undertaken. This entity is conceived as the most valuable "thing" in the world. Killing and dying enacted as political violence creates this thing.
  • Political history is the narrative of these "things" that have been brought into being by virtue of the enactment of killing and dying. Human beings worship these things. The history of the human race revolves around entities that have come into being by virtue of political violence. The sound and fury testifies to the existence of the entities that we worship. They are created ex nihilo, out of nothing.
  • Collective forms of violence—political killing and dying—bring sacred entities into being. These sacred entities are unseen. Terms like "America" or "Allah" do not point to observable entities. We say that human beings die and kill for sacred objects. Perhaps it is more accurate to state (Zhuo Job Chen) that we bring these objects into being by virtue of dying and killing. We come to know of the existence of these (invisible) objects when we generate violent political acts. The 9/11 suicide bombers sought to bring Allah into existence; to make the unseen visible.
  • Dead and mangled bodies on a battlefield testify to the existence of the entity in the name of which the battle occurred. We imagine there must be a cause for the dead and mangled bodies; an entity that generated the dying and killing. Historians worship and idolize these entities—take their existence for granted.
  • Wars and battles testify to the existence of some "thing" that has generated the sound and fury. "History" comes into being through episodes of dying and killing whose purpose is to persuade human beings that sacred objects exist. Acts of war, genocide and terrorism—create these sacred object ex nihilo.
  • Political history—the narrative of warfare, etc.—refers to the "transcendent" realm. Human spirituality is bound to political entities. The transcendental, spiritual domain becomes real by virtue of the enactment of political violence. People cannot conceive that dying and killing—the sound and fury—has occurred in the name of no thing.
  • The nature of the entity or idea for which people die and kill is fungible. In the First World War, people died and killed for France, for Germany, for Great Britain, for Russia, for Austria, for Italy, etc. The Australian nation was born—came into being—by virtue of the death of soldiers at Gallipoli (Lockwood). Dying and killing accomplished nothing—but gave rise to the idea of "Australia."
  • Zhuo Job Chen asserts that violent death is an absolute: "There is no higher purpose for dying than death itself." Death creates nations and gods ex nihilo.