On the nature of Political Violence and on how a Prince should act when faced with it
Political Violence is a form of power .The purpose of Political violence is to suppress, isolate and intimidate the opposition. Its objective is to make people compliant to the will of the person or group who instigates and supports the violence.
There are 2 kinds of political violence planned and unplanned.
Unplanned political violence is nearly always a short term phenomena caused by the coming together of specific elements that are ignited by a trigger. Think of political riots or peasant revolts. It usually burns itself out or dissipates by itself once the immediate trigger event has passed
Planned Political violence is a deliberate state of affairs called into being when a member of the elite or a group(s) in the elite decide that they cannot gain their objective using the current standard or acceptable modes of action.
Further more if political violence or the threat of it is widespread or frequent this shows that the Laws and enforcers of the laws are either unwilling or unable to suppress the violence and punish the perpetrators, This portends even worse consequences for the state and for the citizens. What is that you ask well understand: Part of the mythology, and rationale that justifies the arrangement of Political power is that the Government has the monopoly on organized violence within the state.
Therefore Common or widespread Political Violence is an indication that the current political framework that is to say the relations within the elite itself or between the elites and the non elites ( otherwise knows as the masses) is unstable , and that a change in the Socio political structure of that society is occurring or is threatened.
So now we can hypothesize that the nature of political violence is inexorable. And can only follow one of three paths:
First path. As the perpetrators see that they have escaped sanction for breaking the laws and customs of the state they will grow emboldened. They will resort to violence or its threat again and again until the opposition is overcome and they achieve their goals
Second Path. The Use of Political Violence prompts the opposition to defend themselves and their interests alike with the use of Political Violence.
Both these paths end in the same location one side or group will win and take over the levers of the State and the Government. The new dominant elite faction will inevitably become tyrannical and exploitative in its relationship to the masses since it will have shattered the previous justification myth used by the old system.
Since the winners of the struggle the new ruling elite will lack a myth or rationale of why the masses and other Elites have an obligation to obey them they will be forced to fall back on tyranny, fear and the work of its agents to intimidate the Citizens into compliance.
I said there are 3 paths and I have only mentioned two so what is the third? This is path a Prince may choose to take if he wishes to bring honor on himself , to enhance his power and preserve the good order of the state But of this third path we will speak on it later