¹ 6 - 2003
Kapustin B.G.

To the Notion of Political Violence

On the basis of consecutive and critical examination of those most significant among the approaches to conceiving violence, that are to be found in modern politico-philosophical literature, the author essays substantiation of a number of his own theses which he sees as nucleus of political violence theory. According to his conception, politics is historically concrete relation of reason and violence, and that is exactly why politics is conflict, and contradiction never “finally” soluble. What this contradiction consists in, the author holds, is not that reason turns violence and is inseparable from violence; but that the violence of the dominating reason may give rise to reasoned violence of resistance. As he believes, the conflict of the “reasoned violence of domination” and the “reasoned violence of resistance” is, in the first place, controversy over what is, or, more correctly, over what ought to be considered reason and, consequently, over what ought to be considered violence. Both reason and violence will receive in the opposite perspectives — that of domination and that of resistance, he argues, respectively, different definitions, whose “verity” cannot be elicited but by political triumph of one of the sides. It’s but post factum that both contemplation and science sanction the victory of one of the varieties of reason, “interwoven” with the corresponding variety of violence, and this victory turns out to be represented as “defence of law and order” (i.e. of “law and order” as such), or as “legitimate violence”.