This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: es
experienced by those who are above them. Those excess deaths (or at least a demonstratably large portion of them) are a function of class structure; and that structure is itself a product of society’s collective human choices, concerning how to
distribute the collective wealth of the society. These are not acts of God. I am contrasting “structural” with “behavioral
violence,” by which I mean the non-natural deaths and injuries that are caused by specific behavioral actions of
individuals against individuals, such as the deaths we attribute to homicide, suicide, soldiers in warfare, capital
punishment, and so on. Structural violence differs from behavioral violence in at least three major respects The
lethal effects of structural violence operate continuously rather than sporadically, whereas murders, suicides,
executions, wars, and other forms of behavioral violence occur one at a time. Structural violence operates more or
less independently of individual acs; independent of individuals and group s (politicians, political parties, voters) whose
decisions may nevertheless have lethal consequences for others. <Continues, page 195> The 14 to 18 million deaths a
year caused by structural violence compare with about 100,000 deaths per year from armed conflict . Comparing this
frequency of deaths from structural violence to the frequency of those caused by major military and political violence, such as W...
View Full Document