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« Tuna 4 / 2017

Dialectics of Violence

“Dialectics of Violence” introduces how the question of the extent to which people may ward off social violence using violence has been approached at different times. Naturally, it must first be clarified what is considered to be evil and what is considered goodness. In this connection, the author indicates what kind of solution was arrived at for the problem under discussion within the boundaries of dualistic Manichaeism and monotheistic Christianity.

The main part of the discussion follows the introduction. It is made known in the Christian scriptures that all manner of power derives from God. Thus it seems to be expected that social injustice was not fought against all that effectively during the Christian era. Even Thomas Aquinas, who had at first decisively declared that an unjust tyrant has no right to rule over his subjects, later became ever more reserved in reference to this question.

The general attitude does not change recognisably until the early modern era. The author highlights three major events as illustrative evidence: the Peasants’ War in Germany, the English Revolution, and the Great French Revolution.

The 19th century is referred to in this article as the “century of social democracy”: scientific socialism emerges and class struggle starts being seen as the primary agent of history.

All of this previous history is crowned by the October coup in Russia, which Stalin in 1934 named the “Great Socialist October Revolution”.