On the State and the Monopoly on Violence

Posted: August 7, 2012 by ShortTimer in Government, Guns, Philosophy, Progressives, Second Amendment

Usually the term “Monopoly of Force” is used, but as “Monopoly of Violence” was the chosen term back when socialism began, that’s worth noting.

From David Codrea at Examiner.com:

“The concept of a ‘monopoly on force’ might sound foreign or even frightening to Americans that take great pride in our revolutionary beginnings,” Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz wrote in a Huffington Post citizen disarmament advocacy piece, “but it is the fundamental organizing principle of any political entity, including the United States.”

“To back up this assertion,” I explained in a GUNS Magazine Rights Watch column, “he cites, ‘German political economist and sociologist Max Weber.’”

“What he doesn’t cite,” I elaborated, “is Weber’s support for approving Article 48 into the Weimar constitution, establishing “emergency powers” to bypass Reichstag consent, and allowing Adolf Hitler’s rise to unchallenged power. Not to mention the attainment of a ‘monopoly of force,’ although Weber preferred the term ‘violence.’”

It’s not Godwin’s law when they down that path.  But it’s interesting to note that even progressives from back in Wilsonian days of progressivism disputed the idea.

…Louis Brandeis, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Courtnominated to the high court by Woodrow Wilson, and a leading proponent of “progressive” causes in his day.

Kopel cites another quote (ST: of Brandeis), referencing The Brandeis Guide to the Modern World by Alfred Lief, and which you can find ( in context) for yourself in The Words of Justice Brandeis by Solomon Goldman:

It is not good for us that we should ever lose the fighting quality, the stamina, and the courage to battle for what we want when we are convinced that we are entitled to it, and other means fail. There is something better than peace, and that is peace that is won by struggle. We shall have lost something vital and beyond price on the day when the State denies us the right to resort to force in defense of a just cause.

Interesting piece, worth reading the whole thing.

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