Betrayal and loyalty: The origins of violence

Renzo Carli


Betrayal and loyalty, useful categories in many areas of human affairs: from espionage to war, from religion to the business world. Problematic categories if transposed to the affective, couple-related, relationship, where they make sense only if they are referred to the pact with God, borrowed from the “Mosaic distinction” proposed by Jan Assmann and referring to the first Jewish and Christian commandment “You will have no other God but me”. With the pact that establishes the Mosaic distinction, the affective relationship changes into a relationship of possession, and more specifically into woman’s possession, that become a needed to have children as family resources. In this work the following hypothesis is formulated: in the scope of the love relationship, the obligatory nature of the bond transforms a relationship of love into a dynamic of possession which, in itself, involves violence. Moreover, it is a question of that same violence inherent in the obligation to faith, fidelity to the one true God.


mosaic distinction; possession; betrayal; friend/enemy; anger.

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