In this book Susanne Kappeler looks at the sphere of personal relationships, as the prime context where interpersonal relations are structured and the politics of behaviour take shape. Although feminism put the ′private′ at the centre of critique, Western women and feminists (in theory and in practice) increasingly claim the private as a ′right′. In a series of case studies Kappeler analyses examples from psychology, psychotherapy and philosophy, including feminist versions thereof, revealing how all of these (re)constitute the subject′s power and dominance, legitimating its violence towards others as ′natural′ and inevitable.
Her mounting critique of our dearest notions of identity, desire and self–fulfilment, of individualism and privacy, places the lived experience of our daily lives in the context of ′large–scale′ politics of violence. Moreover, in revealing the moments of decision where we opt for violence or for resistance, she also opens up new ways of thinking about political action.
Violence and the Will to Violence.
1. Why the Personal is Political, and Where the Private Comes From.
2. Love of Foreigners and Love of The ′Other′.
3. The Personal Communication Behaviour is Political.
4. Is the Political Psychological?.
5. Psychotherapy, or the Legitimization of Irresponsibility.
6. Ego–Psychology, or My Relationship and I.
7. Ego–Philosophy, or the Battle with Reality.
8. Sex and the Intimate Relationship.
9. Female Desire, or the Democratisation of Violence.
10. Relationship as Trade, or the Free Market of Bodies and Services.
11. Needs, or the Legitimization of Dominance.
12. Identity, or History turned Biology.
Resistance and the Will to Resistance.
The Will to Violence is elegant, tightly reasoned and both morally and intellectually challenging. It engages the reader in an argument about the nature of violence, choice and responsibility. No position Kappeler puts forth can be ignored′.
Andrea Dworkin, The Times Higher Education Supplement