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Law and violence or legitimizing politics in Machiavelli

One of the Machiavelli's most famous and innovative thesis states that good laws arise from social conflicts, according to the Roman Empire example of the opposition between plebs and nobles. Conflicts are able to bring about order in virtue of the characteristic constrictive force of necessity, which prevents the ambition to prevail. Nonetheless, law does not neutralize the conflict; just give it a regulation. So, law is subjected to history, to the continuous change, which means that it is potentially corruptible. On this account, Machiavelli says that a State can only maintain its authority through a continuous return to the originary moment, viz. to the revival of the experiences of "fear", "terror" and "punishment" lived in the originary event of the foundation. For that reason, in the origin of law is also the violence, whose combined function is to provide legitimacy to its exercise by the State apparatus as the only form to preserve political life from ruin.

Machiavelli; Law; Violence; Conflict; Politics; State


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