Lawmaking is powermaking, assumption of power, and to that extent an immediate manifestation of violence. Justice is the principle of all divine endmaking, power the principle of all mythic lawmaking.’ – Walter Benjamin, ‘Critique of Violence’ in Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings eds., Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings: Volume I, 1913-1926 (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004) 236, 248.
In the passage this quotation is taken from, Benjamin asserts that ‘lawmaking’ involves the exercise of violence, that lawmaking is ‘an immediate manifestation of violence’. Discuss this assertion, and the distinction that Benjamin implies in this passage between law and justice, drawing on Benjamin’s work and from the work of two other thinkers you have encountered on this module.
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