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Analysing the Common Conception that Power Requires Violence and Viceversa

Project id 1015882
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 1434
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It is widely believed that violence and power form an interconnecting connection where one comes hand in hand with the other, for instance, to acquire power, one wants to exercise violence, just as one needs violence in order to subdue it. Since Mao once stated "electricity comes from the barrel of a gun" (Arendt 1972, 113). This essay aims to question this common conception and its discourses. By firstly defining violence and energy throughout the works of Marx, Weber and questioning their belief that violence and power are a couple of the exact same thing, and secondly by undergoing an analysis of their relationship through the works of Arendt, with the aim to prove that violence and strength are equally as Arendt considers, two very distinct concepts, and ones who lie at micro level, in the hands of the person. The usefulness of this distinction and what it means to the study of the two concepts are also discussed. For the purpose of this essay it has to be stated that in connection with the talks of violence that reference is made not to person or interpersonal action of violence such as domestic violence. But rather violence that's structured into society, in a way in which to organise, make change and influence society through either legitimate or illegitimate force, such as state violence, military violence, riot and protest. In the time that Arendt was writing On Violence (1970) evidence of all of these forms of violence were heavily taking place, in the forms of the fallout from the Vietnam war, Anti-Colonial struggles of the then third world, immensely violent student revolts within Europe and the United States, the invasion of Cambodia at the hands of the USA and most notably the Cold war which involved the nuclear stand-off betw...

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