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Does Grief Come Before Rage?

In a talk entitled “Speaking of Rage and Grief” at Cooper Union, Judith Butler posited that rage and grief are inexorably linked.

Butler asks, “Can we perhaps find one of the sources of nonviolence in the capacity to grieve, to stay with the unbearable loss without converting it into destruction? If we could bear our grief, would be less inclined to strike back or strike out?” 

She later suggests, “Perhaps nonviolence is the difficult practice of letting rage collapse into grief.”

What do you think about the relationship between grief and rage?  Do you agree that they are closely linked? Can holding your seat through the wavelike manifestations of grief help preempt violence?

Watch the full talk below:


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