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The Politics of Force: Violence & Government

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No matter how animated political and social commentators get, they typically offer the claim they are "non-violent," and stress to their audiences the importance of peaceful civic action. Terrorism is generally defined to be the use of violence to affect political change, and clearly carries a negative connotation. The underlying message of these trends would seem to be, "Violence is not a valid tool for affecting political or social change." However, this flies in the face of both a plain view of history (American Revolution, anyone?) and our contemporary reality. Government may be described in one word as "force." Government is an agent of violence. Government is there to coerce behavior under penalty of fine, imprisonment, great bodily harm, or death. That is all it can do, its sole capacity. That we condone the existence of government suggests we do, in fact, condone the use of violence to affect both political and social change. So, the question becomes, not whether it is okay to be violent, but when. In Fightin Words return to BlogTalkRadio, we shall address this intriguing introspective question in relation to the First American Revolution, and its modern statist counterpart, the Progessive movement.

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