"Why is it that predators have risen to the tops of our societies? It’s because male violence is still the way we have been taught to choose."

Again, umair, you touch on a theme that emerged in my work, too, except what you call "male violence" I identify as "power," either relationally shared or stolen and hoarded. For instance, violence steals power from those who are subject to it. Power is the ability to drive forward momentum (agency, the chosen aim of our forward momentum). Violence is a practice that can slow, stagger, or stop dead a human's momentum forward, which functions to steal power. Power-stealing practices and norms (patterns of practices) can be relational (everyday) or state-level, and they are authoritarian, by definition.

(Power-sharing practices, on the other hand, enable everyone's forward momentum by not erecting unnecessary barriers, like violence. They are democratic practices, both relationally and at the state level, in processes and systems. We know the magic democracies create: when healthy, they are ecosystems where imagination, creativity, vulnerability, expression, hope, and possibilities thrive. The orientation to be democratic--to share power relationally and support power-sharing processes and systems--is mutually exclusive to the orientation necessary to be a power-stealer and hoarder--that's accurate whether you're an old white conservative rural boomer or the 45th.)

One aspect I'd add to your discussion of hierarchy emerged from my work, and that's the connection between authoritarian family cultures, the authoritarian norms I found in closed white rural U.S. cultures, and the tyrant at the top who recognized he was one of them at some point, at least in terms of using violent practices to steal power from vulnerable humans and every other animal and being on the planet. These factors are the fertilizer that helped grow the conditions for the possibility of the 45th being able to neatly use white rural Americans, "his" 2nd amendment people, to hijack a democracy.

I grew up and escaped a violently authoritarian family culture, and I recognized the power relations and practices in the cultures I lived in and began studying on 11.7.2016. They are the same power dynamics as those that function in patriarchal practices. And racist practices. And classist, sexist, heterosexist, ableist, and speciesist practices. They are all functions of a severely imbalanced power relation, and they are all authoritarian, by definition.

Thanks, again, for your work!

Written by

A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (relationaldemocracy@gmail.com)

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