Fragments
 

December 2014

Welcome to the Fragments home page. This is more or less a personal site where you can find thoughts and information about many of the subjects that interest me: the nature of power, the necessity of social change, the futility of war, the stupidity of violence and the promise of strategic nonviolence. These topics and more are explored by presenting fragments of ideas in essays, stories, quotes, rants, poetry, graphic art and photographs.

Although most of this material has appeared in printed form—either in the zine Fragments or in various other publications—some of the text and graphics in these pages have never been published anywhere else. Unless otherwise attributed, everything on this site was written or created by me, James VanHise.

This site is broken up into seven main sections, the links to which are shown below. Some stories may appear in more than one section. A few of the longer pieces have summary pages with graphics.

On this page you will find links to photos I shot in Los Angeles and Prague between 1984 and 1998. There are also links to a few graphics constructed mainly from "found images."

The theme of this section is the futility of violence and the unpredictable consequences of using military force. Here you will find thoughts on the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the September 11th terrorist attacks, the relationship between violence and power, the limitations of military power, and the myth that humans are naturally violent and war-like.

This section features some short text fragments on the nature of power. The topics include: the different types of power, the ambivalence of power, the relationship between power and violence, and how power can be used to liberate as well as dominate and manipulate. There is also an essay about attacking poverty by empowering the urban poor and a review of Gene Sharp's classic book The Politics of Nonviolent Action.

Strategic nonviolence has the potential to empower citizens, thwart coups, overthrow dictators and defend nations. This section includes historical accounts of nonviolent civilian resistance in the Philippines and Czechoslovakia. There is also an essay on civilian-based defense and a book review of The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp.

On this page you can find two first-hand accounts of political demonstrations that I attended many years ago. One took place in Washington, D.C. and the other in North Carolina. There is also an existential essay about life in Los Angeles during the early 1990's.

This section features stories, poetry, fantasies and creative writing exercises, some of them inspired by dreams.

In this section you will find eight essays and short text fragments about the process, the necessity and the inevitability of major political, cultural and social change.

Photos and Art - War and Violence - Power - Nonviolence - Personal Stories - Stories, Dreams and Poems - Social Change

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