Violence is one of the many social sciences´ taboos. Thinking about violence, therefore, requires breaking with the social sciences. Which is a good thing and requires denouncing the complicity of the social sciences alongside the violence of the elites.
In the following lines, one shows the to be broken epistemic limits of the social sciences and a to be developed definition of violence, as a breaking tool.
A synthetic statement of the problem of the social sciences is this: the name social sciences is a words´ game. Social sciences are not sciences: the natural sciences are science. Among the social sciences, none understands what society is. Instead of organizing research on whatever society may be, the social sciences abolish all possible discussion, entertaining each discipline with dogmatic views of it: economics look to markets, sociology look to institutions, anthropology look to cultures, political sciences look to governance, communication sciences look to the media, etc.
The sophistication of social science discourses is, after all, the difficult management of the confusion of disciplines and subdisciplines that get entangled without communicating between them. There is no room for fruitful discussions about what human society is.
Society, however, is a notion commonly used in an imprecise, polysemic, controversial way, without the precision and straightforwardness that will be required to delivering scientific knowledge. Society has, above all, two presumed all-time characteristics: the national and the state features. Society, the modern society, as the single true society type, resumes what goes on within the political boundaries of nation-states. The main concern of social researchers and social workers is to recognize the advantages of normality and prevent it from being disturbed by people who are unable to integrate society. In short: the major concern of the social sciences is power; how do societies submit to state-market powers? Other major areas of social action are omitted, such as spontaneous care, the gradual crystallization of social and personal identities, or natural violence.
The social sciences are reluctant to continue their path between social philosophies and sciences, claiming invented inabilities. The most important of these excuses claim there is a difference in nature between human lives and nature. So, science serving nature´s studies would not feat the study of people.
The religiously-inspired thinking that stands back the social sciences from the world, simply by naming themselves as they are called, separates the human world from the rest of nature as if we were living in an autonomous ontological bubble; as if we could move to Mars or to the Moon at any time if the Earth does not treat us well.
Such a demarcation prevents the social sciences from thinking and conceiving what natural violence is. They imagine violence as a virus, a bacterium, a microbe, an enemy, an infernal, unknowable entity.
Of course, there are many researchers and social workers who have already realized the defects of the social sciences. The best between them seek to find ways out of the situation. Rare admit the intimate complicity between the social sciences and the modern states´ organized violence: almost all social researchers and workers present the social sciences as the allegedly non-violent part of the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence by modern states and empires.
Social workers and researchers, in fact, avoid politic action, regarding the production of integration processing of outcast and stigmatized people. Social workers claim for state norms that able them to work, as professionals, in the shadow of the threat of the use of force whenever the social intervention human targets do not show their active collaboration with social policies.
Most of the assisted people try to collaborate: they know all the psychosocial-legal-administrative diagnoses that concern them by heart, as they know by heart the elements of their official identities. A minority resists and tries to forget the fact that many people are closed in the traps of poverty and delinquency. However, it is more difficult to forget the guilt feelings incorporated in poor and stigmatized children and youngsters by schools, asylums, families, professionals of all kinds, among them social workers and policemen, courts and prisons.
For most social workers, and modern people, violence is what infects (non-violent) society based on the uncivilized nature of excluded people. The state, including social workers and police, would serve, in this view, to contain violence outside society, sometimes recovering natural, spontaneous human beings for civilization, sometimes keeping them at a distance by containment by force and social closure.
The conceptual study of this notion of violence reveals its discriminatory, elitist and dissimulating character. State violence is disqualified, as non-violence. It is presented as a mere reaction to the violence of the outcast, organized defense of non-violent modern society. In no way does this description correspond to the field experience. It corresponds rather to the dominant ideologies. As the social sciences´ obsession with power, this notion of violence can only be used by those who accept prejudices in favor of the elites and against the outcast as natural, spontaneous, instead of recognizing that they are laboriously manufactured on a daily basis. It is a way of concealing oppression as being free from violence. Prisons are a good example of this: people are condemned to be deprived of ambulatory freedom, but then they are tortured as convicts, depriving them of their dignity and even killing them, with general knowledge and indifference, of states and societies.
Violence can be defined as “reduction to the body” (Jan Philipp Reemtsma, Confiance et Violence – Essai sur a configuration particulière de la modernité (1st ed. 2008). Paris: Gallimard, 2011: 111-115). In this case, violence comes directly into contact with nature, through the body of each person who experiences violence. This definition breaks the boundary between society and nature. Violence, instead of being rare, instead of just being banal in time of war, will, after all, be a banal event, good or bad, every day and at all times. It will be one of the two possible movements of bodies: expansion from the existence of one or more bodies (growth, projection, communication) and reduction of people to their bodies (withdrawal, stop or strong conditioning of free action, censorship).