Year XLV, 2003, Number 1, Page 31

 

 

NOTE ON POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR AND MILITANT FEDERALISM
 
 
The existence of a movement founded on the voluntary commitment of militants represents a permanent challenge to traditional political behaviours. Hamilton maintained that political institutions bring about good government when they manage to marry interests with duty. This does not apply to the Movimento Federalista Europeo (MFE), which exists outside all established political frameworks and struggles neither to win power nor to defend interests. Were it to accept passively the traditional canons of the power struggle, militant federalism would be risking its very existence. If it wants to have a future, the MFE must identify the rules that will allow its militants to go beyond old political behaviours.
Here, the investigation of this topic is divided into two parts. The first is an attempt to outline two alternative types (or models) of political behaviour. The second is a historical profile of the evolution of political behaviour, drawn in the hope that the past might shed some light on the relationship between the new political behaviour and the destiny of humankind which, in the era of its scientific and technological triumph, is running the risk of destroying itself.
 
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Any analysis of political behaviour in the modern age must necessarily take as a point of reference Machiavelli’s Prince, which contains a broad description, free from moralistic overtones, of how the prince must behave in order to win, keep and increase his power. The politician must, in Machiavelli’s view, be both a “fox and a lion”, in other words, he must have the cunning that is necessary in order to deceive opponents, but also the decisiveness, when necessary, to apply might. Cunning and might, however, are not character traits that the individual can exercise at will, irrespective of the evolution of political institutions and civilisation. For example, the crude means adopted by Cesare Borgia in order to enforce order and domestic peace in Romagna would be intolerable within modern democratic regimes. Ways of conducting politics, while conserving a few stable, basic traits, evolve over time and are conditioned by the political institutions — first of all, the state as the supreme organiser of political life — that have become established in the course of history. This is one of the presuppositions, not always rendered explicit, of federalist action. It was, however, affirmed with great clarity and simplicity by Jean Monnet: “I have never believed that we can change human nature. We can, however, alter the context within which people operate. By giving them the same rules and the same democratic institutions, we can induce men to behave differently amid each other. In the Community, the Europeans thus learn to live together as a single people. We do not form coalitions between states, we unite men.”[1]
The problem that we wish to consider here is that of the political behaviour typical of the sovereign nation-state era. It is perhaps useful, in this regard, to compare how Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt, both witnesses to European and world history’s darkest days, analyse political behaviour. Schmitt argues that the political behaviour generated by the existence of the nation-state is the very essence of politics. Arendt, on the other hand, looks for the roots of political action in what was one of mankind’s most fortunate eras — the era of the ancient Greek city-state (polis) in which, together with other forms of government, democracy was born. The views of both can be regarded as founded on empirical observations, since mankind has proved capable of developing both a form of politics that resulted in racial hatred and death camps, and one that, through Pericles, Plato and Aristotle, laid the foundations of what we today call civilisation.
Schmitt argues that “the real political distinction, on which political actions and motivations are founded, is the distinction between friend and enemy”,[2] the enemy being the other, the alien. This is, naturally, an extreme concept. Political action is not always accompanied by specific reference to the enemy. But there are instances in which the friend-enemy antithesis emerges with patent clarity. In Schmitt’s view, that is the sign that we are faced with genuine political action. Thus, one’s adversary in a dispute should not be confused with one’s enemy. The enemy is “just a group of men who fight, at least in a virtual sense, which is to say on the basis of real possibility, and who oppose another group of men of their own kind”.[3] Since the enemy is identifiable only when armed conflict is a real possibility, this description could not normally, in the absence of a declaration of civil war, be applied to forces that oppose one another while at the same time respecting the legal order of a state. “The concepts of friend, enemy and struggle draw their real significance from the fact that they are specifically bound up with the possibility of real, physical killing. War results from hostility because hostility is the absolute negation of every other being. War is only the extreme realisation of hostility.” Obviously, war does not have to be declared in order to condition political behaviour. “War is neither the end and aim, nor even the content of politics, but, ever present as a real possibility, it is the basis of politics and determines in a particular way the thought and actions of man, thereby giving rise to a specific political behaviour”.[4]
It is worth remarking that this dichotomy between friend and enemy is useful not only when analysing extreme political situations, but also as a reminder that, in a world of sovereign nation-states, politics, even domestic politics, a sphere which as a rule seems far removed from the eventuality of war, can generate Schmitt’s “enemy”, that is to say a group of men who must be fought and physically annihilated. Schmitt’s analysis can be applied both to foreign and domestic politics. Both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany provided demonstrations of how, in the Europe of nationalisms, it was the parties with the readiness and determination to have recourse, ahead of the rest, to armed political struggle that managed to seize power, annihilating and suppressing all the other political forces. As instances of terrorism have shown (the Red Brigade group in Italy, ETA in Spain and the Palestinian group Hamas), the friend-enemy dichotomy resurfaces whenever the principle underpinning a state’s legitimacy is questioned by a political group. But obviously, the sphere within which this dichotomy is most explicitly applied is that of international politics. Diplomacy, Schmitt is perfectly right, is nothing other than undeclared war, potential war. Indeed, in international politics, the idea of the enemy provides the state with the essential basis for its political alliances and guides its military strategy.
Nevertheless, this friend-enemy dichotomy does not appear able to describe fully what is commonly meant by the word politics. As the experience of liberal-democratic states shows, relations between political parties within states are governed by constitutional regulations and procedures that, excluding recourse to war, keep the struggle for national power within the confines of peaceful models of behaviour. Schmitt explicitly rejects the idea that this experience can be defined “political”. Equally explicitly, he excludes the possibility that political struggle can survive within a world federation, affirming that “a definitively pacified world would be a world in which there would no longer be any distinction between enemy and friend, consequently it would be a world without politics”.[5] Clearly, in these instances, Schmitt is identifying politics with “the right to kill”. If “the right to kill” is suppressed — as in domestic politics it normally is — then politics, as Schmitt understands it, disappears as well. But this semantic restriction of the term “politics” seems somewhat arbitrary;[6] we therefore need to look for a more exhaustive concept of political behaviour.
From this perspective, Hannah Arendt’s research into the origins of political behaviour is illuminating, because it describes a set of human behaviours that proved able to emerge only when violence in relations between men belonging to the same community was dispensed with. Hannah Arendt’s investigation, totally excluding the friend-enemy dichotomy from the field of political activity, is poles apart from that of Schmitt. It also sheds some light on mankind’s potential to achieve moral, intellectual, artistic and scientific development in a situation — a world federation — in which war is dispensed with definitively. What happened in ancient Greece can happen again, on a larger scale.
The Greek polis was not a simple aggregation of different tribes, but rather an entirely new form of community life: by eliminating the perpetual state of rivalry that existed between different tribes and phatries, it made a new form of cohabitation possible, a form that, in modern terminology, might be defined civil. It marked the start of civilisation. In addition to private, family life, a second form of social life, a second nature, manifested itself within the individual: the individual became a bios politikos, or political being. The new characteristic shown by political man was his ability to found his action (praxis) on thought and debate, and it was a characteristic that set him apart from all other living beings. According to Thucydides, Pericles addressed his fellow citizens thus: “We Athenians judge, or at least properly ponder, various questions in the belief that it is not discussion that is detrimental to action, but rather failure to become informed, through discussion, prior to acting”.[7] Politics is a sort of community life in which, in Arendt’s view, persuasion holds sway over command and violence. The Greeks viewed violent relations as pre-political, necessary only in clashes between barbarians, that is to say between peoples who, for different reasons, could not be considered part of the polis or of Hellas. Basically, Arendt argues, “in the experience of the polis, which not without justification has been called the most talkative of all bodies politic, and even more in the political philosophy which sprang from it, action and speech separated and became more and more independent activities”.[8]
Here, there is no need to examine Arendt’ s views in any greater depth. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the modern state shares several characteristics with the polis. The progressive centralisation of power and monopolisation of physical force made it possible to reduce to a minimum the level of violence in society, between individuals, factions, fiefdoms and cities. In the modern state, which is the guarantor of civil peace, the arts and sciences (particularly natural sciences) have been able to flourish, allowing technology and economic activities to develop remarkably, in a way never possible either in the ancient world or in the Middle Ages. The peculiarity of the modern state seems therefore to be, to return to the ideas discussed above, that it allows the formation of a political community in which action can be founded on debate and on scientific knowledge. It is within the democratic state that the organisation of political life most closely resembles the model indicated by Hannah Arendt.
The two approaches to politics, whose fundamental aspects we have outlined, and which for the sake of brevity can be called the friend-enemy model and the debate model, are clearly linked with the traditional concept of political realism, in which politics is taken to mean the struggle for power. Anyone involved in politics knows that, if he wants to achieve the objectives or ideals he is fighting for, he must also win enough power to be able to realise those objectives and ideals. To look for means is thus the fundamental task of the professional politician. If, in order to carry out a certain policy (a space exploration programme or a war, for example), a certain amount of financial resources are needed, then the task carried out by the professional politician will differ according to the political regime within which he is operating. In a democratic state, where the “right to kill” has, in domestic politics at least, been got rid of, the consensus of the population and of the parliamentary majority has to be obtained. In an authoritarian or totalitarian regime, the dictator can have recourse to violence too, in order to achieve his ends. The resources needed in order to put his policy into practice can be obtained through physical intimidation, requisitions, and so on (one need only think of Stalin’s policy towards the kulaks at the time of the first five-year plan).
At this point, it is worth remarking that the Machiavellian saying, “the end justifies the means”, invoked in order to legitimise political actions contrary to moral behaviour, is based on two assumptions. The first is glaringly obvious: he who wants the end also wants the means. Politicians will sometimes cover in a veil of hypocrisy the need to have recourse to certain means (such as a new tax) in order to implement a given policy. Stating that means and ends are linked in a relationship of necessity serves to mask the possible crafty or fraudulent nature of the proposal. At the same time, the Machiavellian saying is also used to justify the use of censurable means (for example, spying activities can violate human rights, but are crucial to the security of the state). It is this second aspect which needs to be rendered explicit and clarified: not all means are legitimate. The historical evolution of political institutions, in particular the affirmation of democratic regimes, has to a considerable extent been achieved by limiting and restricting the latitude of the means that can be used in the political struggle. Power is always characterised by coercive aspects (command) and consensual aspects (when a decision requires the agreement of everyone, or almost everyone). The tendency in democratic regimes is to regulate strictly the coercive apparatus of a state (its military and police forces) and to entrust it to political power (the government) through peaceful procedures (elections) that guarantee the maximum possible consensus. In autocratic states or dictatorships, power is based almost entirely on force, while the level of consensus is minimal (although not entirely absent, because the citizens, when anarchy or civil war is the only alternative, put up with the tyrant as the lesser of two evils).
The political behaviour within the parties of democratic states is inevitably based on the friend-enemy model, even though the debate model is active and, indeed, in words at least, favoured. In democracies, the political struggle is regulated in such a way that power can, through free and periodic elections, be won without the use of violence. This might induce one to think that the political parties, no longer directly involved in a violent political struggle, ought to be able to break free from the friend-enemy model quite easily. But the reality is more complex. Party leaders are well aware that, if they win an election and find themselves at the head of the government, they will have to regulate international conflicts, possibly through the employment of the armed forces. In a situation in which security is threatened and in which there is a real risk of war, those who appear most able to make this choice are the ones most likely to win power. But even within-party struggles, struggles to win over the majority, are not entirely free from the use of coercive means, even though these are different from the military type. A party can rise to government, beating its opponents, providing it controls a whole series of power resources indispensable to the success of its endeavour: votes, financial resources, information channels and public offices. The coercive power that a leader exerts over the other members of his party is proportional to his ability to grant them access to the resources of power that stand to be won. If the party wins, the spoils to be shared out, between leaders and followers, will be plenty. It is thus clearly in the follower’s interests to carry out diligently the leader’s directives. The struggle for power unites and divides. It is a form of psychological violence. He who commands creates a diaphragm between himself and the rest. He who agrees to be commanded renounces, to a certain degree, both his own freedom to criticise and his own motivations. But this coercive power remains, nevertheless, relative. When a state uses its military strength in order to resolve an international dispute with another state (or coalition of states), it is having recourse to absolute coercive power. It is a mortal struggle: defeat could mean the end of the state and of its head of government. Internal coercive power, on the other hand, is relative, because there are various ways in which those over whom it is exercised can work their way free. For example, they might leave the party to form a new rival party, and look for alternative financial resources. Ultimately, then, the friend-enemy model can also be applied in the internal political setting, albeit in ways different from those envisaged by Schmitt.
Could the political parties’ method of conducting politics also be adopted within the MFE? One might, indeed, quite reasonably harbour some doubts as to the applicability of this model to a political movement that, controlling no votes, public money, political offices or mass media channels, wields no power in a traditional sense. The MFE wields no power because its priority objective is not to defeat an existing power, but rather to build a new one (a European federal government and, ultimately, a world federal government). There thus exists, within the MFE, no possibility of coercive power. The only power it can wield, wherein the power is commensurate with the degree of consensus, is the power deriving from consensus obtained through discussion, knowledge and conviction. It is therefore essential — if we are to avoid the risk of altering the very nature of a movement founded on voluntary commitment — that clear rules of the game be established in order to ensure that the political action of the MFE is founded on a transparent decision-making process, and on the equal involvement of all its militants in the definition of a strategic line.
 
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When politics is viewed as an action founded on debate and on scientific knowledge, it becomes easier to understand a phenomenon that is peculiar to the modern era, but still little studied within the sphere of history and the social sciences: i.e., the processes of integration. All we can do in this brief note is draw attention to the most evident links between the eradication of violence from political struggle and the processes of integration (integration both of the individuals within a nation and of the different national peoples) and consider briefly how this relates to the future of organised federalism.
In the western world, the process of civilisation consisted of a gradual centralisation of political power, and a consequent monopolisation of physical force.[9] This process was in part favoured and in part provoked by the evolution of the mode of production, which in Europe was responsible for the progressive breaking down of the commercial barriers between fiefdoms, for the steady development of a cottage industry economy, for encouraging urban development, for favouring the great geographical discoveries, for the growth of markets (in terms both of their geographical size and of the quantity of wealth they produced) and, finally, for the development of modern industrial production. The formation of the modern state would appear to have been the fruit more of a need than a conscious human design (some philosophers, in fact, use the image of an invisible hand in order to explain these phenomena, while others talk of the cunning of reason or of a providential design). But what it is important to underline here is that, in the course of this process — strewn with fierce and often mortal struggles between city factions, noble houses, fiefdoms and rich merchants — there was a progressive drop in the level of violence in society, until a point was reached at which all were able to see that a peaceful and dynamic civil society had come into being, full of intermediate associations that respected the legal order established by the sovereign, under whose command the state’s military forces were now gathered. The struggle in civil society between the various political factions, religious sects and economic interests had not ceased, but taken on traits entirely different to those that had characterised it in the past. In short, the end, or the attenuation, of violence in society led to the development of contemporary civilisation, a civilisation that is potentially cosmopolitan because it is founded on the diffusion of scientific knowledge as the basis of the material forces of production.
In the modern state, which quickly took the form of the nation-state, struggles between rival armed groups changed into unarmed antagonism thanks to the acceptance, by the parties involved, of common rules of behaviour, in particular the freedoms of speech and of association. The parliaments, ancient feudal institutions, took on an entirely new significance, becoming centres in which different factions, interests and parties were able to confront one another without bloodshed, thereby acquiring considerable power before the sovereign and the executive. In this new political climate, there was a reduction in religious conflict too, and a spread everywhere of the spirit of tolerance. Tolerance being the principle on which the lay state, defender of the coexistence of different religious convictions, factions, races and cultures, was built. The increasing sphere of economic activities benefited enormously from the new legal regulation of private property, trade and corporations. In short, what took place might be described as a process of negative integration, in the sense that it consisted in the elimination of the main causes of violent contrasts between individuals, races, economic and political groups. This process led, in many countries, to movements pressing for the introduction of bills of rights and constitutional charters, which sanctioned the birth of the rule of law, i.e., the liberal state.
Thanks to the success of this liberal phase in the building of the modern state and in the unfolding of the Industrial Revolution, a second phase of integration began, which should be defined as positive, in that it was characterised by the need to realise, and by the possibility of creating, the institutions for the first forms of solidarity between citizens and social classes. Initially, the clash between the new working class and the capitalist bourgeoisie assumed violent forms. Marxism and Leninism in fact theorised the need for armed conflict between social classes. But in many European countries, and in the United States, the movement for social solidarity gradually started moving along the lines of parliamentary democracy and of the construction, through peaceful and legal means, of the modern welfare state.
It is important to note that in this long historical process, in the course of which all citizens became integrated within the nation-state, taking an active part in its government, the role played by scientific knowledge assumed, albeit in a conflicting process, a more and more important role. The Industrial Revolution began thanks to the contribution of countless skilled craftsmen, many of them anonymous, who built the first machines, and made it possible to exploit physical energy in place of labour. But without the contribution of advanced scientific research and its technological applications, the Industrial Revolution would not, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, have known the massive growth that it did. Ever since the beginning of the modern era, science and technology have been developed jointly by the state and the market, working in close cooperation. Scientific discovery is the fruit of individual genius, and knowledge is destined, in the long term, to become part of mankind’s common heritage. But in the short term, national governments and enterprises do everything they can to use it to their own advantage, preventing other governments and other enterprises from gaining access to the political and economic power to be derived from the exploitation of technological progress.
Although the relationship between science, democracy and economic development would, at first glance, appear evident, other factors have, until now, always obscured it, because power politics, war, and the exploitation of science to military ends have allowed governments of all kinds, including dictatorships, to turn scientific knowledge to their own advantage. A second factor, another to which the social sciences have given little consideration, is the size of the state. Throughout the nineteenth century, Europe was the leader in the field of scientific innovation and in the application of the same to the economy. But at the start of the twentieth century, it began to be outstripped by the United States. And ever since the end of World War II, the Old Continent has been unable, despite the western European states’ return to democracy, to bridge the technological gap separating it from the USA. Today, that gap seems unbridgeable. The explanation for Europe’s falling behind has to be sought in its division into nation-states, a situation that has prevented its full economic exploitation of the European market and hindered its promotion of avant-garde technological research. If Europe’s technological backwardness can be put down to the size of the state, in other countries this backwardness must be attributed to the form of government. Huge countries rich in natural resources, like the USSR, and that had non democratic regimes, did at times manage to rival the USA (one can cite the success of the Sputnik in the 1950s). But as soon as information technologies had developed enough to be applicable on a large scale by companies and by individual consumers, the technological gap between the USA and the USSR widened until it, too, finally became unbridgeable. Information technology renders transparent the relationship between civil liberties, democracy and scientific-technological progress, and this was one of the reasons why a political process democratising communism was begun in the USSR, even though the outcome was unhappy.
The process of international integration seems to follow only partially the path proper of the process of national integration. International integration, insofar as it is possible to draw useful lessons from contemporary history, has its material basis in the international spread of production methods based on scientific and technological knowledge. Indeed, poor countries might hope to become less poor, or even rich, on their adoption of the latest methods of production and technologies. Thus they become drawn into the world’s production and trade system, whose rate of development is, however, determined by the countries at the head of the procession. This process of social and economic integration does not require a centralised power, as was the case in the earlier phase of national integration. The diffusion, on a world scale, of the material bases created by the process of western civilisation is founded solely on an attenuation and a reduction of armed conflicts. Yet this diffusion is capable of giving rise to new conflicts between cultures and civilisations. International integration distributes, albeit unequally, wellbeing and wealth throughout a politically fragmented world. It is easy to see how, at this initial stage of integration, national governments can be seen both as a unifying factor, through the promotion of intergovernmental cooperation, and as a factor of division when co-operation threatens to undermine national sovereignty.
The political phase of international integration begins when a group of nation-states recognises openly the need to found, on the basis of an explicit peaceful agreement, a community of destiny. This peaceful agreement does not necessarily have to take the form, immediately, of a federal pact. A process of negative integration at supranational level could emerge, based on confederal institutions. This is what, so far, has been seen in Europe. After the Second World War, the process of European integration was started thanks to the Franco-German reconciliation, which made the building of the European Community possible. However, in spite of the creation of monetary union, European integration has still not managed to go beyond this negative stage. The building of a Europe based on solidarity — positive integration — requires a European tax system, a European development and scientific research policy, a European defence policy and a European federal government.
At world level, the détente between the superpowers in the 1980s seemed to herald a phase of peace and reform of the United Nations, along the lines of the Community model (Gorbaciov had already outlined a programme for controlled disarmament and for the first policies of cooperation for sustainable development). But the disintegration of the USSR brought to a sharp end the progress made along this particular road, a road that the United States are no longer able, by themselves, to travel. On the contrary, the United States, both as a result of and in order to justify its unipolar global predominance, seems to feel it has to find an enemy at all costs (rogue states, international terrorism). The United States’ foreign policy dilemma is a dilemma that concerns the whole world: America’s hegemony is, for the moment, indispensable in order to prevent the world from sliding into a state of anarchy and worldwide war, but it does not attract sufficient consensus to point world politics in the direction of a new order of peace and international justice. The nation-states, following behind this American flagship, are like a convoy of battleships adrift in a stormy sea.
This is one of the reasons why the commercial, financial and social aspects of globalisation — a process of negative integration on a world scale — have prevailed over the capacity of governments (sometimes called governance) to direct this convoy. Globalisation is the fruit of the universal applicability of the science and technology that has been generated by western civilisation. It is, however, only one aspect of western civilisation, a civilisation that cannot, given that imperialism, racism and totalitarianism have all sprung from its bosom, expect to become the cosmopolitan civilisation. These ideological European movements, radically denying the equal dignity of all men, have undermined the bases of human coexistence. The two world wars were not an excrescence of western civilisation, but rather the inevitable product of a culture that has still not managed to understand and to pursue the political unity of humankind. A cosmopolitan civilisation can be built only in the wake of open and peaceful dialogue between different civilisations, a dialogue in which each people will be able to draw freely from the other peoples new lifestyles and new cultural models.
The current political bases of the evolving cosmopolitan civilisation are thus entirely inadequate. They risk producing not more international integration, but wars and irreparable disasters. World politics is unable to govern the globalisation process because it is not able to answer the fundamental question of our times: does mankind have a future? This is the question that, when the nation-states first began using nuclear energy to bellicose ends, several twentieth-century scientists and philosophers, such as Albert Einsten and Bertrand Russell, put to the world’s great powers, and to their own contemporaries. Today, science puts a panoply of weapons of mass destruction at the disposal of national governments — not only those of the US superpower and of other lesser powers, but also those of tiny, warmongering states. And the further scientific research advances, the more sophisticated and unpredictable the technologies available to subversive political forces will become. International terrorism can now exploit normal, civil technologies that are every bit as devastating as military ones (as September 11th, 2001 demonstrated). Added to this, the world’s population is now putting unacceptable pressure on the planet’s environmental resources. The rich countries want to grow richer, while the poor countries quite rightly refuse to accept that they must be for ever condemned to live in conditions of inhumane wretchedness. Both regard nature as a free means of production, to be exploited limitlessly. But to what end? Today, resources, such as water and air, that once seemed unlimited are becoming increasingly scarce and it is easy to see that, unless the course of industrial growth is altered dramatically, mankind will, sooner or later, provoke an environmental catastrophe whose effects will be irreversible. Infinite growth in a finite world is impossible. Man (or at least the early hominids) began his adventure on planet Earth six million years ago. But how long — for how many years, centuries and millennia — can planet Earth, at the present rate of growth, continue to withstand the frenetic destruction of its resources? The question posed by Einstein and Russell is more pertinent now than it has ever been: in the absence of a world federal government, does mankind have a future?
If the MFE really wants to tackle the problem of the human condition, the tragedies and the destiny of mankind, it must take on the task of developing projects and proposals that will force reluctant politicians to address those questions that are vital for the future of the world’s citizens. As long the world continues to be split into sovereign nation-states, mankind will remain on course for self-destruction. We need to build a world federation. The need for supranational political action has become urgent and indispensable. Yet political action cannot be based solely on scientific knowledge. A politician who makes no attempt to be wise, drawing lessons from history, philosophy, religion and moral doctrines, will not be equipped to indicate the path that must be travelled in order to plan a rational use of science, technology and economic and environmental resources. This is an extremely difficult collective task that will require the effort of several generations. A vanguard movement cannot fail to view politics as an action founded on debate and on scientific knowledge.
 
Guido Montani


[1] The motto “Nous ne coalisons pas des Etats, nous unissons des hommes” appears on the title-page of Jean Monnet’s Mémoires, Paris, Fayard, 1976.
[2] C. Schmitt, Begriff des Politischen, München-Leipzig, Dunker & Humblot, 1932.
[3] Ibidem.
[4] Ibidem.
[5] Ibidem.
[6] Maurice Duverger, for example, maintains that “the first objective of politics is to eliminate violence, to replace bloody conflict with less brutal forms of struggle. Politics begins beyond war, civil or international”. (M. Duverger, Introduction à la politique, Paris, Gallimard, 1964, p. 209).
[7] Histories, Book II, § 40.
[8] H. Arendt, The Human Condition, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1958, p. 26.
[9] Here the expression “process of civilisation” is used in the sense given to it by Norbert Elias (Über den Prozess der Zivilisation. Soziogenetische und psychogenetische Untersuchungen, Basel, Hans zum Falken, 1939).

 

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