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Autopoiesis is the ability of a being or system to "make itself". An autopoietic system maintains itself by generating its constituent components. This typically involves the system taking up materials and information from its environment and informing or releasing materials into its environment.

Systems are separated from their environment by a boundary (also called a "membrane" in autopoiesis literature).

Violence amounts to breaking this boundary, thus causing a being (or system) to adopt information or accept materials regardless of or against the control which the affected being implements in its boundary.