Essay: Violence Legitimate Force and Illegitimate

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[. . .] Even then they feel proud to be a part of an armed community willing to fight against the State. They believe that it is the right thing to sacrifice their life for. They do so because they want to build a more just and equal society for all the citizens (Vardalos, Haig, Karzai, Letts & Teixeira 2011).

Violence has been observed to bestow clear adaptive profits and advantages to the successful party. It is never completely eccentric, individual or particular. It is always with another party in a way or other. Violence does not randomly target anybody and has always some meaning or significance for the actor. In the same way, violence is not at all senseless to the injured party or viewer. In short, violence is an act of physical damage that is reckoned as lawful, justifiable and logical by the actor and sometimes by the witnesses as well. During war, there is always a possibility of violence. The war is a state of altercation, disagreement and quarrel where the involved parties consider violence as legitimate and practice it on a regular basis (Schmidt & Schroder 2001, p. 3). Wars are initiated by powerful individuals, groups or classes who successfully symbolize brutality as the proper and suitable strategy in a certain state of affairs. Violence, thus, proves to be a victorious course of action and guiding principle for many different kinds of responsible individuals and groups. According to Dubravka Ugresi?, a Croatian novelist, "War is like a delicious piece of cake that everybody wants a piece of: politicians, criminals and speculators, profiteers and murderers, sadists and masochists, the faithful and the charitable, historians and philosophers, and journalists" (as qtd. In Schmidt & Schroder 2001, p. 5).

Violence is a vital type of communal or societal action that occurs under tangible conditions. It produces concrete results by targeting concrete victims in concrete situations. Such brutal and aggressive acts are highly evident and noticeable. They take place in a public arena generally because their demonstrational aspects can then be easily reconstructed. The results of violence are overwhelming because they produce exceptional experiences that are not only ethnically intervened but are also stored in the collective memory of the concerned society. These results not only include dead bodies but also involve space reorganization space, migration or territory occupation. People actively participate in violent conflicts because its successful application helps them to satisfy their materialistic side. Material gain acts as a catalyst for people to join violent movements (Schmidt & Schroder 2001, p. 8).

Violence can also be considered a kind of representational accomplishment employed to convey a cultural gist, ideas of legitimacy in particular. The legitimacy of violence is accepted as a legal social order either due to its historicity, emotional value or influential interpretation. Violence is regarded as legitimate on the basis of three features. Violence "presents itself as recreating ideas and behavioural models from the past; it appeals to strong feelings of social closure based on the experience of either superiority or suffering, as generated by this very tradition of confrontation; and it offers itself as the most direct route to asserting the interests of those collectivities established by the above two mechanisms" (Schmidt & Schroder 2001, p. 8).

Legitimating does not mean that violence has been displaced. It is a clever way to portray violence as force. Political violence has turned out to be intensely noticeable in today's world. It not only includes civil war but also involves racial washing out and mass social dislocation. The people today consider violence as the sole cause of destruction, devastation and ruin. Violence is an indescribable phenomenon that has left many speechless. It acts an agent and a monstrous physical force that has the tendency to rip apart the continuity and permanence of the everyday life. Its association with the destruction of life has made it a threat for everyone. One cannot delimit the elusive phenomenon of violence as it has a specific role in the production and destruction of social relations. According to Coronil and Skurski (2006), "the concept of violence points to a multiplicity of social connections that link physical and psychological force, individual and structural harm, pain and pleasure, degradation and liberation, the violent and the non-violent."

1. Conclusion

A State considers itself as that organization which has the rightful authority to monopolize the use of violence. Some states use force against other states (war) while some use controlled and structured violence against its citizens. It is, thus, a depressing fact that human, like other species, are inevitably violent in nature. They have a natural urge and yearning to predate on nature and on each other. It is exceedingly important to realize that living in a peaceful way is far better than inflicting violence on others and making them submissive (Macfarlane 2007).


Coronil, F., & Skurski, J 2006, States of Violence. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press. Retrieved March 01, 2012 from


Jensen, F. (n.d.), Revisiting the Monopoly on the Legitimate Use of Force. In Geneva: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).Print.

Leander, A 2004, Globalisation and the State Monopoly on the Legitimate Use of Force. Retrieved February 28, 2012 from

Macfarlane, A 2007, February 09, What is State Violence?. Retrieved March 01, 2012 from

Schmidt, B.E. & Schroder, I.W. (Eds.) 2001, Anthropology of Violence and Conflict. London: Routledge. Retrieved March 1, 2012, from Questia database:

Vardalos, M., Haig, J., Karzai, A., Letts, G.K., & Teixeira, H. M 2011, Engaging Terror: A Critical and Interdisciplinary Approach. Boca Raton, Florida: Brown Walker press. Retrieved February 28, 2012 from

Whitehead, A 2007, January 1, Whatever Happened to the Extended State?. Renewal: A Journal of Labour Politics, 15, 7+. Retrieved February 28, 2012, from Questia database: [END OF PREVIEW]

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Violence Legitimate Force and Illegitimate.  (2012, March 3).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from

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"Violence Legitimate Force and Illegitimate."  3 March 2012.  Web.  16 June 2019. <>.

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"Violence Legitimate Force and Illegitimate."  March 3, 2012.  Accessed June 16, 2019.