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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

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Shane, Ben, and Scott said...

Shane, Ben, and Scott

Political activism can incite both utilitarian and normative justifications for violence. Propaganda, for example, is used to propose rationales for specific causes. A utilitarian justification for violence gained from propaganda causes individuals who support the ideas to want to get involved in the movement. The propaganda portrays the given situation in a biased way. The normative justification is formed by the skewed moral message stemming from the propaganda.

Brian said...

Brian, Elizabeth and co. (I cannot remember everyone else),

While one might believe that Political activism can lead to only a certain type of justification for terrorist activity, on closer inspection, activism might result in both normative and utilitarian justifications. When first approaching this question, my initial thought was that utilitarian terrorism can become a political tool that the deprived can exercise as a way to advocate change. By wielding this power, one hopes to end relative depreciation. Today at the anarchists demonstration, a participant explained that these demonstrations were the cause of many anarchists losing there house and if they do not receive new residence from the government before the first snow fall (which happened to be today) they were going to riot. In this case the anarchists threatened the use of utilitarian justification (violence) as a means of trying to better their situation.
While my first opinion of normative justification put it outside of the political sphere, on second thought I believe that Politian’s and political movements try to frame their fight through normative justifications. Certainly the YouTube video which portrayed myardism as natural argued that morally, we are not equals and extreme sacrifices are necessary in order to fight the "bloodthirsty" enemy. Likewise, The President of the United States of America, George W. Bush--while not fighting through terrorist means, he may appear as a terrorist to those he is fighting--has often relied on rhetoric which presents normative justifications for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under this notion, political activism and normative justification are necessary in order to protect oneself against the horrors of the enemy.