Social Coercion as Violence

I was just shared this quote by the late Marshall Rosenberg that really stuck out to me, especially as it concerns our children and those who have been denied by others the opportunity to be themselves and grow and progress, to become who they are meant to become, fully human:

“Most people refer to violence as physically trying to hurt another. We also consider violence any use of power over people, trying to coerce people into doing things. That would include any use of punishment and reward, any use of guilt, shame, duty and obligation. Violence in this larger sense is any use of force to coerce people to do things. Violence is also any system that discriminates against people and prevents equal access to resources and justice to all people. By this definition many aspects of our corporate culture, parenting, athletics and formal education could be considered violent.” – Marshall Rosenberg


Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.