Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance
159 pages

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159 pages

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When ordinary people have done, seen, or failed to prevent something that betrays their deeply held sense of right and wrong, it may shake their moral foundation. They may feel that what they did was unforgivable. In this thoughtful book culled from a wide range of experiences, Alice and Staughton Lynd introduce readers to what modern clinicians, philosophers, and theologians have attempted to describe as “moral injury.”

Moral injury, if not overcome, can lead to an individual giving up, turning to drugs, alcohol, or suicide. But moral injury can also demand that one turn one’s life around. It offers hope because it indicates resistance to the use of violence that offends a sense of decency. Within the military and in prisons—institutions created to use force and violence against perceived enemies—there have arisen new forms of saying “No” to violence. From combat veterans of America’s foreign wars to Israeli refuseniks, and from “hardened” criminals in supermax confinement in Ohio to hunger strikers in California’s Pelican Bay prison, the Lynds give us the voices of those breaking the cycle of violence with courageous acts of nonviolent resistance.

As we become more awake to the horrors that we as a society have done or failed to prevent, and when we become aware of what conscience demands of us in the face of recognizable violations of fundamental human rights, we may take heart from the exemplary actions by individuals and groups of individuals described in this book.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mai 2017
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781629633978
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0025€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


An emotionally difficult read that will gnaw at your value system, jerk at your humanity, and light a fire under you to take action. This book tears down the prevailing societal scaffolding which reveres war and violence, and with ohso-gentle hands reconstructs a future built with the utmost respect for the individual, unwavering wisdom of collective nonviolent action, and dogged demand for accountability. It s packed with horrific, gut-wrenching personal accounts of what we all know goes on in war and behind prison walls but consciously choose to ignore; it also boldly lays out the global system of governance which emerged out of manmade human tragedies that left entire peoples, like mine, hemorrhaging to this very day; and, overarching all of this, it chronicles two longtime activists trying with every breath they have to right the wrongs of our time. Bottom line: break the cycle of violence before it breaks us all!
-Sam Bahour, coeditor with Staughton and Alice Lynd of Homeland: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians
Read this book for an accounting of the horrors and sordid motivations for America s unending wars. Read this book as a guide to resistance. Read this book to heal. Share this book with a high school student, an active-duty service member having second thoughts about the mission, a veteran struggling with PTSD, or a prisoner lost in the criminal injustice system. They will see they are not alone, and that there is hope and precedent in their urge to resist and overcome their injuries. And encourage that person to pass the book along to their friends, because as Alice and Staughton Lynd masterfully demonstrate it is more powerful to resist and recover in a group than alone.
-Rory Fanning, author of Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger s Journey out of the Military and across America
Staughton and Alice Lynd once again serve as emissaries for a rational peace. They lead us as insightful, capable, and stalwart nonviolent combatants in the struggle to achieve a more compassionate society with subtle reminders of the battles already waged. They design a path to understanding for all who seek to heal their souls. I respect them most for their tenacious devotion to opening the hearts of those who have not yet learned the language their conscience is speaking. This book challenges us to face violence head-on, but the Lynds greatest challenge to us is that we dare to live our lives in peace.
-Monica Benderman, coauthor of Letters from Ft. Lewis Brig: Matters of Conscience
Read Alice and Staughton Lynd s new book, Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance: Breaking the Cycle of Violence in the Military and Behind Bars , and understand their concept of moral injury, which poisons all social relations and institutions in our society. The Lynds trace the malaise to its sources. They not only expose and condemn ever-expanding militarism and death culture, but offer spiritual and practical guidance to non-violent resistance.
-Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States
Alice and Staughton Lynd s study of moral injury is an indictment of war and an indictment of America s prison system. Society commemorates wars but tends to forget its veterans, who often return home plagued by shame and guilt for killing; many prisoners also carry the weight of their violent actions and the Lynds do a remarkable job in connecting the struggles of the two without equating them. The individual stories in this book are riveting and painful, but they are also stories of redemption, of those who followed their individual moral conscience and rejected a cycle of violence that was imprinted on them either through the horror of war or a shattered life history. This book urges us to rethink social movements and people s history, of how individuals-through their moral example-can make history. It should be read by prisoners, soldiers, activists, social and diplomatic historians, social workers and counselors. Alice and Staughton draw their conclusions not only from detailed research, but from their on-the-ground commitment to soldiers and prisoners for decades. Like the people presented in this book, they too stand as exemplars of a moral conscience.
-Carl Mirra, associate professor, Adelphi University, Marine Corps resister and author of Soldiers and Citizens: An Oral History of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the Battlefield to the Pentagon
Alice and Staughton Lynd provide war veterans with a much-needed touch-stone for making sense of their lives after they have returned from the battlefield. For many of us, PTSD doesn t quite capture our lifelong malaise. Moral injury does. The concept of moral injury, so powerfully outlined and then enriched through their elegant choreography of data, personal anecdotes, and medical definitions, brings us all some solace. And the Lynds have masterfully offered veterans from all wars a bridge toward each other-moral injury plagues all of us. We who have gone to war and have come to realize that our moral compasses were purposely dismantled by our so-called leaders know that we cannot justifiably evade our own personal responsibility for the damage we have done. But now at least we can understand ourselves a little better. We owe Alice and Staughton Lynd a great debt.
-Doug Rawlings, cofounder of Veterans For Peace, Vietnam veteran
Understanding how being pressured to go against one s internal moral voice, in the midst of violent actions that contribute to conditions of PTSD, can be extremely valuable for soldiers as they seek healing and for those assisting them in the healing process. In this book, Alice and Staughton Lynd help us see how valuable and possibly lifesaving this understanding can be for people suffering longtime abuse or someone who, in the midst of threat of violence, wants to reach the humanity of those who are threatening violence against them. To know that even for the so-called hardened criminals, there is an internal moral line they will not cross to inflict violence on another human being, can give us hope and deepen our commitment and creative exploration of nonviolent action.
-Peggy Faw Gish, worker for peace and justice in Iraq and Palestine and author of Iraq: A Journey of Hope and Peace and Walking Through Fire: Iraqis Struggle for Justice and Reconciliation
The oppressor learns from the Roman Empire, which ruled the oppressed by the punishment of decimation whereby every tenth man was to be put to death by the other nine. Thus by murder and shame were armies made and the oppressed denied humanity. Staughton and Alice Lynd have accompanied today s executioners and victims, the soldiers and prisoners of today s empire, on and off death row, in and out of court, by law and by direct action. With decades of experience, courage, patience, and intelligence they listen, learn, and record individual human beings in the belly of the beast who struggle to forgive and to resist. The collaboration results in the highest human faculty of moral reasoning that promises to link the individual, suffering human conscience to restored humanity. Empire cannot withstand even the hint, much less the fulfillment of such promise!
-Peter Linebaugh, author of The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day and Stop Thief! The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance
When I speak against war people tell me that war is inevitable because natural. Then I ask them to name a single case of PTSD resulting from war deprivation. It is participation in war that requires intense conditioning and that usually creates horrific suffering even among those on the side initiating a war with superior technology and killing far more than dying. The suffering is hidden in part by misnaming it. This book names it accurately and in doing so identifies war as a criminal outrage, as a barbaric institution that must not be continued. Recent U.S. wars have been largely one-sided slaughters of foreign civilians, with the greatest dying among U.S. troops coming through suicide. But this book goes further and points to courageous examples of the sort of resistance that can help make all war a thing of the past.
-David Swanson, author of War Is a Lie
In this thoughtful book, Alice and Staughton Lynd have gone to great lengths to introduce people to what modern clinicians, philosophers and theologians have attempted to describe as moral injury and what St. Augustine of Hippo called anguish of soul or heartfelt grief following combat. Chief among the many laudable aspects of this multi-faceted text are the numerous and particular conscientious objector and veteran stories and testimonies that are at the heart of this concerned and attentive work.
-Shawn T. Storer, director, Catholic Peace Fellowship and its David s Heart Ministry for veterans and their loved ones
From the Israeli refuseniks to the hunger strikers in the Pelican Bay supermax prison, the Lynds give us the voices of those struggling with moral injury. Their courageous choices help them heal but also lead to creative strategies for nonviolent change. The Lynds also provide us with the key points of the relevant international treaties and domestic legal frameworks that support them. A reality check and source of inspiration for all contemporary advocates for social justice.
-Cathy Wilkerson, author of Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman
Alice and Staughton Lynd are relentless nonviolent resisters to the cycle of human violence that threatens the Earth and all its creatures. The Lynds latest work, Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance is based on the ineradicable inner light of morally wounded soldiers and prisoners. Through the Lynds, we learn nonviolent transformation from the beaten souls and struggles of veterans of combat and solitary conf

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