Law and Justice – Roman Constitution – 11.4 Debate: When is Political Violence Justified?
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Law and Justice – Roman Constitution – 11.4 Debate: When is Political Violence Justified?

October 27, 2019


>>>>Sic semper tyrannis — “Thus always to
tyrants.” It’s a slogan that’s been used by those like John Wilkes Booth, who committed
acts of political violence that they believed were carried out in the name of protecting
liberty. The assassins of Tiberius Gracchus believe that they were acting to preserve
the Republic, that they were simply killing a dangerous demagogue who had risen to power
by promising to confiscate land and redistribute property to the poor, and was willing to violate
fundamental tenants of the Roman Republican Constitution to do so. And so it raises perennial
questions. When, if ever, is political violence justified? Was the murder of Tiberius Gracchus
an act of heroism in the name of liberty, or was it an act of unjustified violence against
a reasonable political reformer?

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