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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 458 of Butler Shaffer’s excellent September 1975 University of Miami Law Review article, “Violence as a Product of Imposed Order,” as reprinted in the 1979 collection The Politicization of Society (Kenneth S. Templeton, Jr., ed.):

If the political philosophers are correct in concluding that the nature of men is such that they will, given the opportunity, seek to take advantage of other men and to impose their will upon them, it is then not unreasonable to assume that these same men would seek to gain control of a monopolistic instrument of coercion such as the political state in order to effectuate such a design.  Nor is it so incredible that such men would, in order to make the social environment more conducive to their own purposes and objectives, seek to redefine the terms and conditions of the “order” that the state is mandated to preserve.  Given these human tendencies, it can be seen that there exists the possibility that men and women of differing political, economic, and social persuasions will begin to modify the concept of “order” so as to embrace an ever-widening range of subject matter.  The result of this process would be that “order” is no longer solely perceived in terms of the “hygienic” function of eliminating acts or threatened acts of aggression and violence, but instead is perceived as including the organization and structuring of human relationships in order to permit some men, through the use of state coercion, to make the behavior of other men more predictable for their objectives.  That such, in fact, has been the history of man’s efforts with political processes cannot be denied by any realist.


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