… is from page 301 of the late Vincent Ostrom’s 1997 volume, The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies:
Dangers arise when people place blame on some abstract “they” and lose themselves in spasms of violence while aspiring to do the impossible.
DBx: Government is coercive. By its very nature it credibly threatens violence against those who disobey its commands. Simple mob violence committed by private individuals driven by ignorance and bigotry against some ‘other’ people is awful enough. Much worse is the organized and institutionalized violence committed by the state driven by ignorance and bigotry against some ‘other’ people.