State monopoly on violence

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This is a bad misdirection from Max Weber. The state has a monopoly on JUDGING what violence is LEGAL. This allows the state to permit and regulate violence by lesser governments and private parties, as well as making some of its own violence legal. We deliberately delegate much violence to the public state, because private parties are too partial when unregulated. Not to mention states are only local monopolies: there are 100+ states to choose from.

Government is not a monopoly of legitimate violence (force) in the US: there are federal, state, county, and local governments, all of which can use force. They all have their own laws and police, and many have their own courts. Individuals are also allowed many sorts of legitimate violence in defense of person and property, as any gunloon can tell you. Indeed, the US was set up that way precisely to avoid problems of monopoly on violence, to retain public accountability.

Private property is a state-created legitimation of violence for the purpose of constructing and enforcing private rights. It creates a monopoly on violence over the delimited property. But unlike publicly accountable government, private property is often unaccountable.

Violence will not go away if government is abolished: it is an inherent human capacity. Among other things, violence is a necessary tool for creating all rights, including property. Those who would abolish government, creating a free-for-all for violence, seem to miss the fact that we want public accountability for violence.


Government is only violence: it doesn't produce anything. Not. (2 links)
A common libertarian ideological claim attempting to persuade you to overlook all defense, schools, infrastructure, research and other products of government. See also: State monopoly on violence.
It Ain't the State [More...]
Gene Callahan points out that rates of killing are much higher in stateless societies. Excellent discussion in comments.
Violence Vouchers: A Descriptive Account of Property [More...]
When a state upholds a system of property, all it is doing is issuing to owners a set of vouchers for violence against those who ignore property. Trade is similarly based on property and violence. Rents also are based on violence, ruling out just deserts and just processes arguments.


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