Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Fri Feb 2 10:19:10 MST 1996

Ted Honderich has a book on political violence called Violence for
Equality. Norman Geras has a nice essay on Their Morals and Ours, taking
off from Trotsky's piece of the same name, in Discourses of Extremity, in
which he applied just war theory to revolution. There was a good deal of
discussion of this sort of question in certain left regions of philosophy
about 25 years ago--see e.g., Held., ed., Philosophy, Morality, and
International Affairs.

I think the war/revolution analogy is worth exploring in detail. It's
interesting that liberals who have few scruples about international
violence have a horror of domestic violence. A further point to explore is
this: many people feel that morality doesn't apply to international
relations (unless, ofg course, they're getting on their high horses about
the condict of Other Countries.) Why, if so, does it apply in crisis
situations domestically? Does it matter if the revolution is
internationalist, so that we are dealing with an international situation?
If morality does apply internationally, does it apply in the same way

Obviously one important question concerns violence in a revolutioin
directed not against capitalists and their Praetorian guard, but against
unwilling subordinate groups, e.g., other political parties, peasants who
like private property, individual critics of socialism.Given that a
revolution is not a tea party, does that warrant unlimited use of force
directed against anyone who gets in your way? (As some people on this list
seem to think.)

And then there's the existence of nuclear weapons in the hands of the
capitalists, which imparts a whole nother twist to debates about violence
for equality.


> >G'day,
> >
> >My name is Bruce and I am a post-graduate student in Australia.  I have only
> >just joined this list, and I am still finding (or trying to!) my way around.
> >
> >I have an ongoing interest in Marxist and anarchist theory, particularly in
> >regard to the state and revolution.  I am currently writing a Ph.D. on the
> >concept of political violence, in which I intend to offer a critique of
> >liberal theories of violence and the conceptions of order and 'normal'
> >politics upon which they are based.
> >
> >I am keen to start or join any discussion on these topics, and shall look
> >forward to hearing from whoever chooses to reply.
> >
> >Best Wishes,
> >
> >Bruce.
> >
> >
> >
> >     --- from list marxism at ---
> Mr. David McInerney,
> Political Science Program, Research School of Social Sciences,
> The Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T., AUSTRALIA  0200.
> e-mail: davidmci at; ph: (06) 249 2134; fax: (06) 249 3051
>      --- from list marxism at ---

     --- from list marxism at ---


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