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Structural and Counter-violence in the Radical German Left: Ali Jones

While many would think of violence as the physical force applied from one human to another, or perhaps on the larger scale of world wars between nations, the last few decades have witnessed a relocation of force from specific ‘subjective’ instances to a dissipated wider structural violence.

Using the example of the radical German Left since the 1960s, this presentation examines these different types of violence, and the consequent reaction of ‘counterviolence’ through examples such as the 1968 student movement, or the 1970s terrorist attacks of the Red Army Fraction (RAF). It then applies this new understanding to a case study of the ‘Autonomous’ Movement of the 1980s and 90s, in order to understand the importance of such distinctions. This presentation uses examples of a major scandal involving sexism and accusations of sexual assault in order to argue that counter-violence has been relocated from acts of terrorism to a Foucauldian formation of the political subject.

Presented 11 January 2017.

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