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Top Dem Wants “State Monopoly on Legitimate Violence”

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On December 23, 2012 @ 1:48 pm In The Point | 12 Comments

Why not a state monopoly on illegitimate violence as well?

Nadler added.  “One of the definitions of a nation state is that the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence.  And the state ought to have a monopoly on legitimate violence.”

That gem comes from Congressman Jerrold “The Waddler” Nadler who was absolutely hysterical with rage when it came to the Bush Administration, ridiculed the Constitution as “imperfect” and called on Obama to “exploit” the school shootings.

Nadler’s terminology tends to be used far more in Europe than the United States for good reason. And a state monopoly on legitimate violence would preclude any acts of self-defense. Obama used that same language some years back.

The contention that the defining element of a nation state is its monopoly on violence is a European concept and runs counter to the United States Constitution, which defines a state monopoly on war, not legitimate violence such as acts of self-defense.

The monopoly term goes back to German sociologist Max Weber, who as David Cordea points out, also supported Article 48, which allowed Hitler to come to power. Furthermore Max Weber’s original formulation is, ““Upholding   of   the   domestic   and   external   distribution   of violence and power. […] The appeal to the naked violence of the means of coercion towards the outside, but also towards the inside is absolutely essential to any   political   association.   …  the  ‘state’  is  that  association,  which  claims   the monopoly of legitimate violence – it can’t be defined otherwise.”

But the United States has defined the state otherwise. The United States is first of all a coalition of states that provide for the common defense, not for internal repression. And that’s what a state monopoly on legitimate violence comes down to.


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