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TERROR AND RESISTANCE - A STUDY OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE WITH CASE STUDIES OF SOME PRIMITIVE AFRICAN COMMUNITIES

NCJ Number
30519
Author(s)
E V WALTER
Date Published
1969
Annotation
AN EXPOSITION OF THE PROCESS OF TERROR IN SOME SIMPLE SOCIETIES, SHOWING TERROR'S PATTERN IN THE SOCIAL POLITICAL FRAMEWORK, ITS CAUSES, CONDITIONS, AND CONSEQUENCES.
Abstract
MANY OF THE AUTHOR'S EXAMPLES OF ORGANIZED TERROR, TAKEN FROM SOCIETIES IN WHICH TECHNOLOGY IS RUDIMENTARY, CHALLENGE THE IDEA THAT EXTENSIVE SYSTEMS OF TERROR ARE PRODUCED ONLY BY ADVANCED SOCIETIES. HE DESCRIBES THE INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT OF SECRET SOCIETIES IN WEST AFRICA, AND THE HISTORY OF THE ZULU STATE IN SOUTH AFRICA, INCLUDING THE DRAMATIC CAREERS OF SHAKA AND HIS SUCCESSORS. THESE TERRORISTIC SYSTEMS - CONTRARY TO PREVAILING NOTIONS ABOUT THE RELATION BETWEEN VIOLENCE AND AUTHORITY - WERE SUPPORTED BY AUTHORITY, CONSENT, AND TRADITION. THE AUTHOR ALSO CONSIDERS THE NATURE OF DESPOTISM AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF LIMITED MONARCHIES. HE HOLDS THAT ORGANIZED TERROR IS NOT TO BE IDENTIFIED WITH TOTALITARIANISM, BUT THAT IT EMERGES IN OTHER SYSTEMS OF POWER AS WELL. THE TYPICAL REGIME OF TERROR, HE EXPLAINS, IS ONE MODE OF DEALING WITH POLITICAL RESISTANCE, AND OF REACTING TO CRISES OF SOCIAL INTEGRATION. HE DISTINGUISHES THE 'PROCESS OF TERROR' AND ITS ARTICULATION IN SYSTEMS, FROM OTHER FORMS OF VIOLENCE, AND HE CLARIFIES RELATIONS BETWEEN VIOLENCE AND POWER, AUTHORITY, FORCE, AND RESISTANCE. HIS ANALYSIS SHOWS THAT RULE BY FEAR AND VIOLENCE IS BY NO MEANS ALIEN TO THE WESTERN POLITICAL TRADITION. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)