Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Inconceivable EffectsEthics through Twentieth-Century German Literature, Thought, and Film$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martin Blumenthal-Barby

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801478123

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801478123.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 23 September 2021

A Strike of Rhetoric

A Strike of Rhetoric

Benjamin’s Paradox of Justice

(p.81) 4 A Strike of Rhetoric
Inconceivable Effects

Martin Blumenthal-Barby

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Walter Benjamin’s 1921 essay, “Toward a Critique of Violence.” Benjamin is concerned with law, law’s denial of its inherent violence (Gewalt), and the nature of juridical force and its so-called law-positing and law-preserving character. The law is characterized by how it violently establishes boundaries and discriminates between “legal” and “illegal,” in order to maintain these divisive moments of lawmaking. The law very much assumes its authority as a result of an ever-present latent threat—the threat of physical violence—that is directed against the people. The chapter elaborates on how the law is supposed to attain justice. However, given its latently violent nature, law appears to be incompatible with justice, which goes directly against the way democratic jurisprudence usually understands itself.

Keywords:   Walter Benjamin, Toward a Critique of Violence, law, violence, Gewalt, juridical force, justice, democratic jurisprudence

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.