satisfy the greed of the majority, and the rest will do you no harm

I finished this book and there were a couple of passages that stood out to me. Check it out

beowulf3But satisfy the greed of the majority, and the rest will do you no harm. That’s it. You’ve still got your fiction of consent. If the lowest of the workers start grumbling, claim that the power of the state stands above society, regulating it, moderating it, keeping it within the bounds of order–an impersonal and higher authority of justice. And what if the workers are beyond your reconciliation? Cry ‘Law!’ Cry ‘Common good’ and put on the pressure–arrest and execute a few.”

What is the state in a time of domestic or foreign crisis? What is the state when the chips are down? The answer is obvious and clear! Oh yes! If a few men quit work, the police move in. If the borders are threatened, the army rolls out. Public force is the life and soul of every state: not merely army and police but prisons, judges, tax collectors, every conceivable trick of coercive repression. The state is an organization of violence, a monopoly in what it is pleased to call legitimate violence. Revolution, my dear prince, is not the substitution of immoral for moral, or of illegitimate for legitimate violence; it is simply the pitting of power against power, where the issue is freedom for the winners and enslavement of the rest.”

~ John C Gardener, Grendel

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