(I)n short, abandoning the metaphor for the factual description of the matter, international law is not international law because it cannot exercise the brute force necessary to exact compliance to its edicts, and, that is folks, in a political scientist way of looking at it, just exactly what the law is. law is applied force, and to the extent that the law is enlightened, the application of force is just, equitable, enlightened and humane. (O)n the other end of the scales, we have the example of law and its application in (I)ran, which demonstrates that the force of law is not always a good thing: it can be, and usually has been throughout history, quite brutal.I found that at GM Roper's place by way of Mark Alger, but it's a reprint of an essay by John Jay (thus the lack of capitalization.) It reminded me of the quote by Jacques Ellul I copied from Rev. Sensing:
(A)ll those people who live out beyond the pavement? (T)hey live there on purpose. not because they are afraid of the law, but precisely because they are willing to say, . . . , come get me, bring it on.
Violence is to be found everywhere and at all times, even where people pretend that it does not exist. . . every state is founded on violence and cannot maintain itself save by and through violence. . . . Everywhere we turn we find society riddled with violence. Violence is its natural condition, as Thomas Hobbes saw clearly.And Rev. Sensing's own expansion on Ellul's observation:
Ellul disagrees with the classic distinction between violence and force: it's lawyers who have invented the idea that when the state uses coercion, even brutally, it is exercising "force" and that only individuals or nongovernmental groups use violence. All states are established by violence. A government stays in power by violence or its threat and the threat is meaningless unless it can be and is employed.Read Alger's piece and its links, and definitely read Roper's post.
The fact is that society depends on violence or its threat simply to exist. That's why there are police departments in every city. But there is no moral difference between the homeowner who protects his life or property with a gun and one who does not but summons a police officer. The police use violence or its threat to protect the law-abiding. The unarmed homeowner has merely "contracted out" his use of violence.
These are things that need to be read, and spread.