An impolite proem:
Lack of conceptual rigour has become common in the world upside down, and often the erratic cloud of confusion calls into question various conceptual certainties. Nowadays the word has been devalued, because of this, the lightness with which we use words, constitutes a situation that deserves the attribution of an epithet, that of watermelons, mainly to the moral insolvent who unduly feed on the coffers of a pachyderm called the State. One, two, three and more nonsense on all four sides! Actually, as Baron de Montaigne would say, it is not reprehensible to say stupid things from time to time, the wrong thing is to say them with pomp. There are things that confuse and in a way, the violence-power dichotomy has sown seeds of perplexity in different faces that have tried to capture its significance, many have related violence to the apex of the democratic system to try to explain the phenomenon. If we ignore the etymology of the word demokratia knowing that it is something mentioned in spaces of this nature, let’s try to pair the demos with the kratos. What is kratos? It is the Greek term that would come to be translated as power.
When the others enter the scene, the possibility of exercising power is born. Weber vs. Arendt.
The lost navigator on the island where he was shipwrecked, as long as his only company is the projection of his own shadow, has no power, he only acquires power when the other participates in his adventures. On the surface, it is possible to conclude that when others enter the scene, the possibility of exercising power is born, however there are more nuances that must be taken into account in order to issue a corroborated, not verified, at most not refuted verdict.
Max Weber, established a classic meaning of the word power. For this author, power is the probability of imposing one’s own will within the framework of a social relationship even against all kinds of resistance and whatever the basis of its probability. Almost the opposite of the Weberian definition, Hannah Arendt maintains that power can only be effective if it integrates the consent of the governed into its conceptual formula. The survival of power is inextricably linked to the level of adherence that it manages to arouse in the citizenry. While Weber advocates that power is linked in all cases to the intentionality of the subject who exercises it, Arendt replies that power is not about a highly personal good, since it is maintained, only and only if the group remains.
When we affirm that someone exercises power, we mean that his investiture comes from a certain number of people who authorize him to perform acts in his name and on behalf of him. If the support of the collective imagination for the government dissipates, the power ends up turning in the words of Lao Tzu into a straw dog. Thus, according to Arendt’s conception, tyranny presupposes the highest degree of violence and a negligible and laughable degree of power. This vision is aphoristically summed up in one of his words: “(…) The most extreme form of power is all against one and the most extreme form of violence is one against all.” (Arendt, 1993).
One of the laudatory Arendtian interpretations of the phrase referred to above is that of the German sociologist Ulrich Beck and he says: “(…) The limit of violence and anarchy to which the conflicts of meta-power reach is exceeded at most when the legitimation crisis it disintegrates the state monopoly of violence. Hence, in the game of meta-power, power diminishes and the danger of uncontrolled outbreaks and escalations of violence grows. ” (Beck, 2004).
The case described enables us to affirm that the people have power to the extent that they have it over another, as long as there is consent in the relationship of subjection. Only when the necessary inter homines conventions are not celebrated does violence appear as an instrument to maintain hegemonic domination.
The subjection of political power to the rule of law.
According to the considerations made around the definition of power, let’s begin to problematize, opposing interests and concerns of a polar pair made up of two sides. When is there a conflict? When is a democratic pelamesa orchestrated? For when the controlled manage to escape from the watchful eye of the controllers, in this case the government over the people runs the risk of having nothing to do with the government of the people, and violence (passive or active) becomes an instrument of domination. This is (in part) dealt with by the complex constitutional machinery. Let’s see:
A constitutional democracy implies an interactive modus between the desire for popular self-government and the boundaries that self-government itself establishes by norms or de facto. The normative document that builds the scaffolding of a political community and establishes a catalog of fundamental rights is the Constitution. Why is the constitutional state one that seeks the recognition of fundamental rights and at the same time fragments and controls political power?
Security and freedom: an inseparable pairing.
Leviathan vs. Behemoth.
Both slogans depend on each other, that is, they are interdependent elements. The connection between both elements is crystallized with a fact: individual rights are the limits of political power. The State does not have the power to decide to the detriment of these rights, since its purpose is to ensure the enjoyment by civic subjects of the recognized powers. Citizen security in this sense is the responsibility of the Constitutional State.
There is a somewhat candid position, which presents citizen security as an element that is in direct opposition to the superior value of freedom. This position advocates that the aspiration of the citizen to be assured has a price: the total loss of freedom. Although coexistence in democracy presupposes the renunciation of absolute individual sovereignty (the collective myth is made up of bilateral agreements that restrict any libertine spirit), I maintain that the position described is far from adjusting to reality. The rigorous dichotomy raised was overcome. The exercise of freedom presupposes a safe environment.
In this case, security is a tool at the service of individual rights, in constant and perpetual interaction with other implicit values within a Social State of Law such as solidarity and tolerance. Given the misunderstandings related to the concept of security, it is worth clarifying that the authentic meaning is not compatible with an interpretation obsessed by a sterile secrecy, which only contemplates the action of the public force, rather it constitutes the open expression of a policy whose roots lie in the principles of citizenship, prevention and efficacy.
Everything, from the division of powers to the means of civic participation, constitute antibodies used to establish control over the abuse of power and ensure the exercise of fundamental rights by those who make up the social fabric.
When power commits abuses and exceeds the limits that were prescribed in the founding document, a clear imbalance occurs, consequently a power is born that comes from an intrinsic value to the constitutional scheme.
The imbalance occurs with great frequency in authoritarian governments in which the prevalence of security, no longer consists of a value, is a very foundation of the regime and implies the suppression of the liberties of the person and the annihilation of all dissent. In similar cases, in accordance with the constitutional precepts, members of the social fabric are authorized to resist usurpers.
In principle, security and freedom are inseparable binomials, far from stimulating the creation of an abstentionist state (which forgets the purpose of that pact by virtue of which the preservation of the interest of each one must be achieved), constitutional democracy reaffirms the role of a managing and balancing State with regard to individual freedom as the engine of society.
In other words, the ultimate goal is the realization of a social harmony that reconciles the comprehensive protection of people with the demands of collective interests. As long as this objective is met, state efforts are justified and legitimized.
A society marked by profound injustices was what must have led certain thinkers to hypothesize the existence of a golden age in which peace had an everlasting character. The reality is far from having just coatings and man even in a state of primitive barbarism has certain faculties, which he cannot effectively assert if it is not by instituting an agreement of wills that manages to secure the security of the social nucleus.
The existence of a center that achieves nuclear those desirable values of a society is fully justified. By repressing intolerance and protecting legal assets protected by the Magna Carta, the state entity is endorsing, among other things, the foundation on which the construction of the democratic form of government rests.
Without the presence of a political power that manages to impose itself over the whims of the radical murderer, the return to that mythical state of nature that caused Hobbes so much anguish is not remote, characterized not by the Leviathan, but by its counterpart Behemoth, symbol of chaos, anomie and the absolute savagery whose embodiment is the impunity affront of the mean to the generous.
The consolidation of democracy requires a collective axiological digestion that at its peak can lead to the recognition of rights and obligations, which calls for assuming the principle of plurality, diversity, and renouncing political Manichaeism and / or dogmatic positions. The conclusion that this small sketch throws is that it is essential, in order to achieve the preservation of the interests of the entelechy that founds all governmental order, that a Leviathan expand all its power, in a proportional and controlled way. The existence of the State, as protector of the safety of all its fellow citizens, is a presupposition to achieve safeguarding the physical integrity of the people, in other words, it is a requirement so that life, which is the right without which the The rest of the rights would not exist, it can be preserved within a society that aspires to position justice as the main foundation of a harmonious coexistence.