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Asssad, Violence and Arendt

The veracity of Hannah Arendt is evident these days. Arendt was right in separating real political power from the exercise of violence to terrorize people into submission. Real power rises from consensus. Decades ago she wrote:

Nowhere is the self-defeating factor in the victory of violence over power more evident than in the use of terror to maintain domination, about whose weird successes and eventual failures we know perhaps more than any generation before us.

The Assad regime has gone from violence against a couple of kids writing on walls following the uprising in Tunisia to sending troops against demonstrators, to putting people with guns behind those troops and having to fight deserters. An armed resistance to his rule is organizing. How soon he will be driven from office is unknown; maybe within six months or so. Tme will tell.

Demonstrating real power was the king of Morocco. He didn't use violence against demonstrators.

A short summary on Arendt's opinion on power and violence is here.

Copyright © 2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.