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Nonviolent communication
#1
[Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LuPCAh9FCc]
Very interesting. I have not processed it enough to be able to make a too meaningful comment about it just yet, however I think it is of paramount importance today, so I wanted to share it.
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#2
I've encountered the concept of "nonviolent communication" before but haven't really studied it at any great length, mostly because the sorts of people I hear talking favourably about it aren't typically the sorts of people I want to be around. There seems to be a specialized vocabulary and a stilted, almost bureaucratic formalism about the whole "process" that I just find off-putting. I regard interpersonal communication as a largely spontaneous activity, so any effort to pigeon-hole discussions into some codified "framework" is something to which I am automatically resistant. I encountered this excessive preoccupation with formality for years when I used to frequent various "activist" spaces and I'm just kind of done with it. I'm completely on board with the basic premise that discussions of contentious ideas should be approached from the perspective of everyone involved wanting to learn from each other rather than prove themselves "right," but I don't think that three-hour-long seminars are needed to hash out this very simple realization.
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#3
I just watched 48 minutes, its very interesting, specially the very first 10 minutes where he says humans got of track when they started to think man is innately evil around 5000 years ago around time of first civilizations, coincidence ?
And Matt i think you missed the point here, he is not talking about an etiquette code of talking as far as Ive seen and if you stick to the main idea.
I have putten some thought before on the fact that the way we talk molds the way we think and act, and vice versa, so maybe not everything he says is valuable but there are some good lessons somewhere in this workshop and like he says in the beginning most of it we already know ;)
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#4
(Fri, 09 Mar 2018 22:23:10 +0000, 10:23 PM)Matt Wrote: I've encountered the concept of "nonviolent communication" before but haven't really studied it at any great length, mostly because the sorts of people I hear talking favourably about it aren't typically the sorts of people I want to be around. There seems to be a specialized vocabulary and a stilted, almost bureaucratic formalism about the whole "process" that I just find off-putting. I regard interpersonal communication as a largely spontaneous activity, so any effort to pigeon-hole discussions into some codified "framework" is something to which I am automatically resistant. I encountered this excessive preoccupation with formality for years  when I used to frequent various "activist" spaces and I'm just kind of done with it. I'm completely on board with the basic premise that discussions of contentious ideas should be approached from the perspective of everyone involved wanting to learn from each other rather than prove themselves "right," but I don't think that three-hour-long seminars are needed to hash out this very simple realization.
You seem to have already made up your mind about it, and maybe I am not the sort of person that you want to be around—both of which are fine—but the way that you are representing Rosenberg's work does not echo in my own observations. If a three hour long seminar could undo decades of what Rosenberg calls jackal speech, that would be incredible to me, but it can't. It does go a little ways though. Learning to live together, and to communicate with each other, is difficult, when we've spent so many years learning how to get by as and with jackals. I see tremendous value in the realisations Rosenberg's ultimately simple observations offered.
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#5
(Sat, 10 Mar 2018 10:39:20 +0000, 10:39 AM)alexander Wrote:
(Fri, 09 Mar 2018 22:23:10 +0000, 10:23 PM)Matt Wrote: I've encountered the concept of "nonviolent communication" before but haven't really studied it at any great length, mostly because the sorts of people I hear talking favourably about it aren't typically the sorts of people I want to be around. There seems to be a specialized vocabulary and a stilted, almost bureaucratic formalism about the whole "process" that I just find off-putting. I regard interpersonal communication as a largely spontaneous activity, so any effort to pigeon-hole discussions into some codified "framework" is something to which I am automatically resistant. I encountered this excessive preoccupation with formality for years  when I used to frequent various "activist" spaces and I'm just kind of done with it. I'm completely on board with the basic premise that discussions of contentious ideas should be approached from the perspective of everyone involved wanting to learn from each other rather than prove themselves "right," but I don't think that three-hour-long seminars are needed to hash out this very simple realization.

You seem to have already made up your mind about it, and maybe I am not the sort of person that you want to be around—both of which are fine—but the way that you are representing Rosenberg's work does not echo in my own observations. If a three hour long seminar could undo decades of what Rosenberg calls jackal speech, that would be incredible to me, but it can't. It does go a little ways though. Learning to live together, and to communicate with each other, is difficult, when we've spent so many years learning how to get by as and with jackals. I see tremendous value in the realisations Rosenberg's ultimately simple observations offered.

I don't have my mind made up about anything and my comment wasn't intended as a personal slight against you or any other specific individual. Nor was I trying to "represent Rosenberg's work" in a particular light. Having never studied Rosenberg's work, I'm in no position to comment on it at any great length. My comment had more to do with my own personal experiences at activist gatherings and their various efforts to impose some type of formal "process" on how people communicate. It could very well be the case that both you and Rosenberg are attempting to do something entirely different, in which case I am more than open to other possible directions in which the idea of "nonviolent communication" might be taken.

With that said, I remain wary of the suggestion that purely verbal communication can ever be "violent" in nature. It can certainly be caustic, disrespectful, aggressive, hurtful, etc, but calling it "violent" just strikes me as alarmist and hypersensitive, not to mention eerily reminiscent of all the talk about "safety" and "safe spaces" that I used to hear people go on about whenever I would attend a free school or a teach-in. As I said in response to a question on Anarchy101.org back in September,

Within these formal gatherings, the rhetoric of "safety" often comes up in the context of discussions where it really isn't relevant to the subject at hand - e.g. "I feel really unsafe right now because you're challenging my ideology rather than passively agreeing with it." In response to such statements, one might reasonably ask, "In what sense do you feel 'unsafe?' Does the mere fact that I disagree with you make you feel that I pose you some sort of physical threat? And, if so, on what basis?" But, within the left-anarchist scenester cult, such questions just aren't kosher - and are a quick route to excommunication. More often than not, the words "I feel unsafe" are just shorthand for "My worldview feels threatened."

But, again, it could very well be the case that both you and Rosenberg are talking about something entirely different. One thing that I was able to glean from the first few minutes of this talk that I agree with wholeheartedly is the need to abandon the concepts of duty and obligation. I just can't help but notice a certain similarity between the idea of "nonviolent" communication and the rhetoric of "safety" that so often comes up in the left-anarchist/activist milieu. But maybe what Rosenberg was trying to get at is lost in translation when certain people try implement some bastardized version of it through a formal "process," which is definitely worth discussing. I'd just prefer to cut to the chase than devote three hours of my time to watching this video.
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#6
What you're saying doesn't seem to relate to anything Rosenberg is talking about. If you don't want to invest any time in understanding what he in fact is talking about, then it will be difficult to discuss it with you.
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#7
Maybe we should invite JZ to participate in the discussion. I'd be really interested to know whether he thinks slapping the label of "postmodernist" on anyone he happens to disagree with falls within the purview of "nonviolent communicaton." If you want to talk about right-fighters, let's start there.
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#8
Guys guys, before you continue put your giraffe glasses on.
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#9
(Sat, 10 Mar 2018 22:34:48 +0000, 10:34 PM)Matt Wrote: Maybe we should invite JZ to participate in the discussion. I'd be really interested to know whether he thinks slapping the label of "postmodernist" on anyone he happens to disagree with falls within the purview of "nonviolent communicaton." If you want to talk about right-fighters, let's start there.
I missed this—calling everyone a pm would be Jackal language. But so would all of your posts in this thread.

In any event, I think that the conversation starts closer to home—being something of a what so-called social anarchists deride as "lifestylist", I think I should consider myself, not JZ.
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#10
Alexander:

I appreciate the concession regarding JZ. And, while I'll admit that my comments in this thread were, perhaps, a little more caustic than necessary, I was responding in kind to what I feel (and that you've admitted) were equally "jackal-esque" comments from Zerzan himself. Rightly or wrongly, this is how real people tend to react when faced with an interlocutor who would rather spout ad hominems from behind a microphone than engage directly with his critics in the realm of ideas. So, in that sense, I think this is a case of "what goes around comes around."

I would also add that, when you look back on the tone of my comments in this thread, it's important to view them in the context of the tone of debate within the anarchist milieu more broadly. As much as I might agree with you that some form of "nonviolent communication" is a lovely ideal to aspire to, the fact is that, in the hyper-sectarian environment in which we're currently operating, we're about as far away from the realization of this ideal as things can possibly get. In a climate where people are getting into fist fights at anarchist bookfairs because one of the vendors happens to be selling a zine that certain people don't like, my slightly abraisive comments are a step up by comparison.

Furthermore, as much as I appreciate your concession that labeling people as "postmodernists" whenever it suits one's ideological purposes is a lame way to conduct a debate, I still maintain that it would be nice to hear it directly from JZ himself. Considering that you're already in regular contact with him over email, I'm not really sure what you mean by "starting closer to home." I would think that any benefit you might personally derive from this conversation could only be compounded with him as an active participant.
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