Abstract: The essay is divided into 2 parts. Part 1, For a Rectification of “Violence”, discusses within a “political epistemology of inflicted lesion” first the denotation and yardsticks of violence, then systemic or “structural” violence, and finally argues for counter-violence as self-defence when necessary. Part 2, On the “1968 Moment”: Characteristics of Violence, the Defeat, and the Cost, is historical, it deals with the “1968 Moment”: its violence, defeat, and the cost, as exemplified in the long “Sanrizuka struggle” of farmers helped by students against the expropriation for a larger Tokyo airport. It then compares the Japanese characteristics to those of the French May ’68. It concludes that the main historical achievement of the youth movement came about in the USA, where it contributed to ending the US intervention in Vietnam. As concerns all other major collective and radical aims and instances, the movement failed, and the causes are briefly indicated. A long note gives data about civilians killed by State vs. “group” terrorism ca. 1965-2004.
Keywords: 1968, epistemology, youth revolt, Japan, France, violence
First published as „Words and Lesions: Epistemological Reflections on Violence, the 1968 Moment, and Revolution (with Particular Reference To Japan).“ Critical Q 62.1 (2020): 83-122.