The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Friday’s maxim

June 16, 2006

Not long after I started the Duck of Minerva I began a series called “Wednesday’s Maxim”. Like a number of my series, I let it fall by the wayside. Witness the revival of “Wednesday’s maxim,” but on Friday!

Considering its origin carefully, all political power is rooted in violence. There is no legitimate power, except that of republics within their own territories but not beyond. Not even the power of the emperor is an exception, for it is founded on the authority of the Romans, which was a greater usurpation than any other. Nor do I except the priests from this rule–indeed, their violence is double, for they use both the temporal and spiritual arms to subjugate us. (Series B, 95)

Very contemporary, methinks.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.