Symbolic violence, finally, is inherent in the deployment and sustenance of language and its forms. There are two instantiations of this sort of violence, one of them “deeper” than the other. The first is the symbolic violence inherent in specific language; terms we use which may include hidden instantiations of domination. An obvious example of this sort of symbolic violence could be using the word “Man” when one is referring to the whole of mankind. But there, the violence inherent in that speech act has become quite visible and obvious over time (and thus it would be, realistically in many circles, subjective violence), and the point of making a delineation like symbolic violence is that it, like all objective violence, is invisible and sustains various structures of domination, subjugation or limitation unbeknownst to the user within the structure.
language is the thing that introduces us to the world in front of us. the word we experience. but it is this experience of the world that is mediated through language. this mediation is a violence of sorts. once we name something, we remove its autonomy; in that moment, the object enters into the world as something other than itself.
this same act of vioence occurs when we expend ourselves in attempting to label another. ‘Gay, straight, man, woman’, and even the word love is done violence to. put simply, language is a system to overcome. this does not mean we must never speak again, it means we must enter into language (the symbolic order; lacan) with the recognition of its inherent weakness. that language cannot ultimately meet our desires, but merely project the desires we think we need/want.
the other reality of language is that it creates untruths about reality and other people. it separates us and exiles us from the desires that inhabit us. linguistic/cultural anarchy seems to be the only option left for us to take seriously. this is the moment that we realize that once language inhibits us from meeting with the object of our desire then we must allow language to die.
isn’t the christian message about death and resurrection?
so why not apply this reality to how we interpret reality? this is not an easy stance to take, because to create new language means we have to follow after the words of jesus who once said: “you have heard it was said”(the established world;modernism;capitalism; religion and etc.) which represents the systematic expression of the world as we know it. it alludes to any idea that has been crystallized through habitual fetish and historical allegiance. and then jesus ends his introduction with: “but i say” – he revolutionizes the concept that systems are not what we need because truth inhabits us. truth enters reality when we realize that things don’t have to be the way they were. death is important here.
but resurrection (rebirth) is a sort of anarchy that defiantly proclaims that what has been established doesn’t have to be the prevailing object we all follow. in fact resurrection is an eradication of the notion of reality as being mediated by the historical. resurrection remains the hopeful kernel implanted within death itself, this is why death cannot be merely surpassed (ex: cryogenics) to sustain anything of the former is to leave traces of what was before in the wake of an ideological death. but resurrection proclaims an end to the idea that death has to have the last word.
resurrection is about new life. new perspective and paradigm.
each idea we encounter is embedded with a nuance of resurrection. ultimately if we sustain the life of an idea beyond its cultural space/time we are then at fault for supporting an already flawed system. we are then very much like the guards at the tomb who sat and watched for anything suspicious that came to steal away the body of jesus.
it is in the suspicious/unexpected act of resurrection that we find truth hibernating ehind the symbolic order.
we must be willing to welcome the unexpected acts to arrive and usher in the rupture of resurrection. it is in the embodiment of resurrection that language and the future of it can find salvation…