chapter  6
24 Pages

Unsanctioned Violence

This chapter is concerned with a slightly different configuration in the relation between law, violence and justice. It examines the putting into question authorised, sanctioned or legitimate violence through unsanctioned violence. The chapter focuses on emphasising the physical, tangible 'utterly real' 'self-evident' dimensions of law's violence – the way it 'restrains', renders hopeless, even 'kills' – as distinct from law's interpretive violence. It offers some observations concerning the conditions that allow or prompt unsanctioned violence – other than the existence of violence in its natural state, which is of course a condition sine qua non. The analysis aims at more than an evaluation of the presence or role of literature in the 'dynamics of physical violence'. To accept that violence will only yield to violence is not to accept the inevitability of conventional weapons of destruction, but to be open to the possibility of new means through which dominant power structures can yield to the other.