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Is Vigilantism Ever Permissible?
Taking charge of the law means challenging the state’s capacity to implement law and order. Since this capacity is ultimately based on coercion, vigilantism can be considered as challenging the state’s monopoly on legitimate violence.
Vigilantism can make it harder for the state to implement law and order efficiently.
Unlike the unified and consistent rule of law offered by states, vigilantes act on their own brand of justice, based on
their personal views of good and bad.
A defining characteristic of the modern state and one of the crucial characteristics of contemporary state sovereignty is that the state alone has the right to use or authorize the use of physical force (
state monopoly on violence
The entire notion of an anarchic environment where everybody can execute policing force denounces the very idea of having a state which is responsible for delivering justice to the masses.
If states fail to provide adequate protection and justice for their citizens, they no longer have a right to this monopoly on legitimate violence.
Vigilante groups may sometimes operate in tandem with or at the behest of the state.