Peter Joseph raised this concept in his discussion with Stefan Molyneux.
"Structural violence" seems to be what happens when a price greater than zero gets between a poor person an a life saving good or service like food or medicine.
In 1984, Petra Kelly wrote in her first book, Fighting for Hope:
A third of the 2 Billion people in the developing countries are starving or suffering from malnutrition. Twenty-five per cent of their children die before their fifth birthday […] Less than 10 per cent of the 15 million children who died this year had been vaccinatedagainst the six most common and dangerous children's diseases. Vaccination costs £3 per child. But not doing so costs us five million lives a year. These are classic examples of structural violence.
There is no faster way to eliminate poverty than to engage in trade. Economic globalization lifts 70,000,000 people out of poverty every single year. At current rates, the most serious forms of "structural violence" would vanish some time before the end of this century.
Countries such as Haiti and Rwanda have implemented these interventions with positive outcomes. Examples include prohibiting the commodification of the citizen needs, such as health care, ensuring equitable access to effective therapies, and the development of social safety nets. These examples increase citizen’s social and economic rights, thus decreasing structural violence. However, for these structural interventions to be successful, medical professionals need to be capable of executing such a task. Unfortunately, many of these professionals are not trained to perform structural interventions. ^ Farmer et al (2006)
I would be curious to know if the prohibition of the buying and selling of health care improved things in Haiti or Rwanda. Usually such measures only make things worse by removing constructive incentives.
I don't think "structural violence" is a result of market failure. It is simply a failure of means on the part of those purchasing healthcare, education, water, and food. This rapidly shrinking group of destitute people will continue to be lifted from poverty as humanity continues to become wealthier. I see no need for a risky socialist project like the Zeitgeist movement to alleviate this poverty since capitalism, however restrained by the states of the world, is already doing a good job of making it disappear. Judging by the video, Peter Joseph holds many orthodox Marxist views. Marxist regimes did not eliminate poverty as fast as capitalist economies, so I do not think that repackaged Marxist ideas will do a better job at ending poverty.
I think debunking the concept of "structural violence" and similar concepts is essential to promoting voluntarism since structural violence conflates voluntary economic systems with violence. If someone can be convinced that capitalism causes death and destruction they will seek to limit capitalism. I see similar arguments used for the criminalization of recreational drugs and file sharing. These benign activities are conflated with criminal ones to convince the public that police action is needed to keep order and/or protect the innocent. Marxists are making a similar sales pitch with structural violence. They conflate capitalism first with violence and then with inequality to convince people that redistribution of wealth is the only way to make sure that people do not die of preventable disease or malnutrition even though globalization of trade is currently solving the problem of poverty. Redistribution schemes and foreign aid have not been as effective as trade in eliminating poverty in Asia, but trade with the West has. This is a problem for Marxists since many Marxists believe that trade can be inherently exploitative, one sided, and unfair.