Violence and Politics

Under what circumstances is violence justified for political ends?

Er, um, many.

Like overthrowing a government.

The great virtue of democracy isn’t fairness, or equality, or freedom, or justice, or liberty, or any of that shit.

Democracy allows for a peaceful succession of power.

Other systems don’t.

Overthrowing any government? Or just the ‘bad’ ones? Under what circumstances is a government ‘bad’ enough that overthrow is justifiable?

You want an objective value that all may share?

Rotsa ruck.

when they try to destroy private property and cripple the economy with taxes…

-Imp

I’m not giving up on this thread!

Violence, under certain conditions, is a revolutionary act. Under other condtions, violence is a terroristic act. When violence is revolutionary, its commission is justified. Because of the vast number of ‘polical ends’ that can be defined, and the consideration required to determine the justification of violent act for each of these ends, ‘the political end’ , or ideal condition, must first be determined. If this ideal condition is not satisfied, any mechanism of change can be considered in an attempt to render the ideal condition. The value of all mechanisms of change, the criteria from which justification is drawn, can be found solely within the effectiveness of the mechanism used within each given situation. The most effective mechanism is the most justified, and counter-productive mechanisms are unjustified. Moving toward the actualization of the ideal condition can be the only moral consideration. If an act moves toward this end, or helps preserve it, it has positive value, and is justified. These actions are revolutionary. If an act moves away from the ideal condition, either by helping preserve an alternate condition or breaching the ideal, it has negative value, and is unjustified. These acts are terroristic. If an act is unjustified, any means can be utilized to produce justified counter-action.

What is your ideal condition?

violently killing the revolutionaries.

-Imp

Funny Imp, But I’m still not giving up! (First paragraph reposted)

Violence, under certain conditions, is a revolutionary act. Under other condtions, violence is a terroristic act. When violence is revolutionary, its commission is justified. Because of the vast number of ‘polical ends’ that can be defined, and the consideration required to determine the justification of violent act for each of these ends, ‘the political end’ , or ideal condition, must first be determined. If this ideal condition is not satisfied, any mechanism of change can be considered in an attempt to render the ideal condition. The value of all mechanisms of change, the criteria from which justification is drawn, can be found solely within the effectiveness of the mechanism used within each given situation. The most effective mechanism is the most justified, and counter-productive mechanisms are unjustified. Moving toward the actualization of the ideal condition can be the only moral consideration. If an act moves toward this end, or helps preserve it, it has positive value, and is justified. These actions are revolutionary. If an act moves away from the ideal condition, either by helping preserve an alternate condition or breaching the ideal, it has negative value, and is unjustified. These acts are terroristic. If an act is unjustified, any means can be utilized to produce justified counter-action.

Following the doctorine of 18th century political commentator Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, declared, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. He supports his point by quoting Thomas Jefferson’s proclaimation that “concentrating all of the powers of government in the same hands is precisely the definition of tyrannical government.” Following this definition, government in itself, by holding all of the powers of government, is a tyrant. The state is tyrannical, be the power in the hands of one, a few, or many. To the Greek philosopher Plato, tyranny is the greatest evil. Jean Jacques Rosseau, in his Social Contract, defines the tyrant as “an individual who arrogates to himself the royal authority without having rights to it.” The realm of illigitimate rule, however, can extend far beyond that of the individual. The state itself lies always within it. Government has no means with which to legitimize its authority, not even through delegation by the majority. Political power cannot be justified as an end. If political power through government is by definition tyrannical, political philosopher John Stewart Mill agrees.To Mill, tyranny is justified only if it prepares one for freedom. Here, Mill regards tyranny justifiable only as a means to an end (freedom), not as an end in itself. If this means were able to evidently secure or forward the ideal condition, it would certainly constitute a justified means, but history has shown that tyranny begets tyranny, not freedom. The means can always be justified through their effect on realizing the end, but an action cannot be justified until this effect is realized. The tyrannical end means success in the effort to gain political power. The ideal condition, the anarchic end, is the opposite of this. There are but two possible politcal ends– tyranny, and anarchy. 

The ideal condition is Anarchy. The etymology of the word anarchy is  of Ancient Greek origin, derived from anarchia, meaning “not”, and archos, “ruler”. The essence of anarchism, which is, according to Nicholas Walter, “the negation of coercive authority [tyranny] over anyone, by anyone.” Anarchism fervently opposes the state, an entity that Aristotle analogizes to an organic whole to which the individual belongs. To Aristotle, “The State is by nature clearly prior to the individual, since the whole is of necessity prior to the part.” Disregarding the backwardness of his “whole-part” relationship, Aristotle seems to confuse the ideas of state and society. Clearly, there is a distinction between state and society, government and family. Society, or community, can rightly be posited as the ‘organic whole’ to which an individual belongs. Neither state nor government is in any sense ‘organic’ or necessary. Certainly, the individual serves as a part of the familial or societal whole for survival. Human beings are not solitary creatures. Society, only if even in the form of family, is necessary for the individual. The state, in essence, is in no regard cumpulsory or necessary for the survival of the individual, family, or community. State is an artifical, rather than organic, whole; its necessity propagated by proponents throughout the standing of civilization. Government is the means with which to realize the construct of state. It may be, as Hobbes said, the greatest of human powers, but it is not, as he also said, produced by a “covenant of every man,” nor is its existence universally accepted. It has already been said that the state is the tyrant. That is, it necessarily involves rightlessly delegated authority , for no man nor artifical whole has right to command authoritative power over another. 

Thomas Paine, in his Rights of Man, echoes the dictate of the of the French Parliament in that “Men are born, and always continue free, and equal in respect to their rights. The end of all political associations, is, the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, and resistance of opression.” It is the given right of man to oppose the state, as it is can take no other form than that of opression. The man that opposes this opression, this tyranny, is the Anarchist. While tyranny reigns, The Anarchist, in his fight against it, is a revolutionary. Perpetuation of the state through government is terroristic action; the state itself, terrorism. Anarchy is the only condition which fully allows these rights. Any other condition, by definition tyranny, necessitates the restriction of liberty of one by another. And liberty, obtained only through anarchy, is the greatest end. 

Between tyranny and anarchy, bondage and freedom, the ideal condition is clear. With this condition realized, one is capable of of appropriating justification (or lack thereof) though observation of consequence of action. Correct action and justified action, however, are distict. Correct action is acting with reasonable prediciton of success in bringing about justification for action. A justified action is the action which produces evidence of furthering the ideal condition. Action can certainly be correct and unjustifiable if something goes awry, just as action can be incorrect and justifiable. In the former circumstance, the actor would be unable to provide evidence for justification. 

The criteria for applying justification to an action do not change in regard to violent action, but as with all other action, it is by no means always, or even often, correct or justifiable. It the violent action results in evidence of the futhering of the anarchic condition, it is justified. In example, a voter, through his evidential support of the perpetuation of tyranny, acts terroristicly, or unjustifiably. If, however, in an attempt to provide counter-action, violence against the voter is utilized, it is certainly incorrect, as reasonable prediction of producing evidence to invoke justification cannot be ascertained. The actor would likely strengthen the position of government, and so it would likely not be justifiable. This violent act, if unable to produce the criterion for justification, would certainly not be revolutionary, but terroristic. If, however, violence is used to usurp a powerful dictator, and reasonable prediction is had that this action will futher the end of anarchy, or freedom, it is a correct action, and likely justifiable. If the prediction was realized to be accurate, and justification could be given to the action, it would be a revolutionary act. If the prediction were incorrect, however, and tyranny was futhered, the action would be, unfortunately, a well-intentioned terroristic act. 

Within tyranny, only anarchic action can be revolutionary. All other action fails to promote change by either having no effect, or reinforcing the alternate end. In anarchy, anarchic action ceases to be revolutionary, but continues to be justifiable. Tyranny, within anarchy, assumes the role of revolutionary action, but continues to be terrorism. A threat to the right of freedom always constitutes terrorism, and terroristic action, violent or otherwise, can never be justified. 

Anyone have any thoughts on the methodology used to determine justification, on the anarchist ‘ideal condition’, or on the differentiation made between a revolutionary or a terrorist?

Thanks,
B

It just shows that laws aren’t always right if the founding fathers wanted citizens to have a right to bear arms in case the government needed to be overthrown. Heros really can also be guilty of treason.

revolutionaries and terrorists are targets.

[size=200]VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!![/size]

-Imp

You didn’t read it, did you? [-X

Any form of violence towards another is non-justifiable :confused: and for political ends: even less so - the non-intelligent way of dealing with any situation, me thinks.

yes, I read your post. my point stands. promises of anarchaic freedom are meaningless, especially to those who already are free.

-Imp