Saturday, January 11, 2014

State monopoly on violence

By Michael

My understanding of Thomas Hobbe's Leviathan is admittedly a bit fuzzy, but didn't he argue something like the government of a country should have a monopoly on violence (i.e. punishment, execution, war) so that ordinary people wouldn't have to take violence into their own hands (like solving legal disputes and meting out punishments)? I feel like the state monopoly on violence in Ukraine is all too obvious lately--tonight especially. Except the state is creating chaos and anarchy and not preventing it.

There was a kooky trial today in which two men were sentenced to 6 years in prison for plotting to dismantle a statue of Lenin in Boryspil in 2011 that had already been taken down by the local government. Here is Halya Coynash's explanation:
A phone call intercepted by the SBU [security service] makes it quite clear that the men knew that the Lenin monument had been dismantled, and therefore that the SBU knew that they knew.  Why they should have plotted to blow up a non-existent monument is anybody’s guess.
People on the streets were outraged by the ridiculous verdict. How can someone be sentenced to six years in prison for plotting to blow up something that doesn't exist? They blocked the path of a bus that was to take the two men to prison. Berkut riot police then arrived and beat protesters--breaking bones in some cases.

Around midnight tonight there were more conflicts with police. Yuriy Lutsenko was there and he was beaten. His nose and head were injured, maybe broken. First he went to prison as a political prisoner. Now this. How sad. 

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