Politics > Determining Political Choice > Struggle for Power: CL1 > Discontent and Violence

Discontent and Violence

The political infrastructure of any stable society is based on the pluralist mode, where multiple groups more or less accept an existing differential allocation of benefits. These groups, traditional or modern, pursue an endless struggle to maintain their status, and improve it if possible. So the potential for discontent and pressures for change are ever-present in society.

Reminder: Closed No single group within society, whatever they may proclaim, can be concerned for the whole of society. That is the unique and defining task of government.


Discontent is intrinsic to politics. Any group that is seriously dissatisfied about their share of social goods is likely to generate political pressure and eventually mobilize and cause social disruption. People mostly accept their state and status, but the ever-present potential for argument and anger can be activated by feelings of inferiority or unfairness in the allocation of particular benefits.

And this dissatisfaction can lead to fighting (=non-physical struggle) and violence (=physical struggle)

Fighting—through speaking out forthrightly, making peaceful protests, using the media, and negotiating forcefully—is a normal part of politics.

ClosedWillingness to Fight


Violence disrupts society and is a constant concern to those in government. Continual widespread violence between groups that cannot be suppressed by government forces reflects a failed state.

Violence disrupts humaneness—i.e. the operation of awareness, empathy, debate and reasoning necessary to handle difficult issues well.

Violence represents an isolated failure of politics if it focuses on a particular isolated issue. In such cases, either a political remedy can be applied, or a chronic sore is allowed to fester.

Violence emerging from deep objections to the entire political system is more troublesome, and may mean that society’s institutions need to be changed. 


Humane functioning, i.e. the natural positive operation of THEE in the mind, can always be disrupted and broken down.

Violence is a form of Action-RL1 characterized by the uncontrolled release of actions. This destroys the possibility of making effective decisions and efficiently managing achievement. Damaging consequences flow until the violence is willingly abandoned. So violence is unethical on a purely pragmatic basis.

Violence is intrinsically power-centred, and tends to corrupt those who use it.

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 2 June 2014.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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