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The politics of betrayalRenegades and ex-radicals from Mussolini to Christopher Hitchens$
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Ashley Lavelle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088162

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088162.001.0001

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The Full Force of the Law: Defeat by State Repression?

The Full Force of the Law: Defeat by State Repression?

(p.94) Chapter 5 The Full Force of the Law: Defeat by State Repression?
The politics of betrayal

Ashley Lavelle

Manchester University Press

State repression has been an important aspect of the experience of political defeat, as we saw cursorily with the discussion of Christopher Hill's work on the English revolution. For most of the radicals discussed throughout this book, state repression was part of their lived experience. Indeed, any discussion of state responses to radicalism serves as a reminder of the lengths to which rulers will go to protect their fiefdoms from any breakouts of resistance, and it is important to highlight this repression given the relative lack of seriousness with which it has been treated by scholars. The extent of state repression of radicals – because they represent a threat to the existing order – provides solid evidence for Marxist theories of the state, whether that state in modern times goes by the label of ‘communist’, ‘liberal’ or ‘fascist’: the mobilisation of the state to isolate and crush radicals reveals its intrinsic hostility to a fairer and more just order, let alone a change in social relations. This chapter discusses the relation between state repression and renegacy.

Keywords:   State, Repression, Police, FBI, Chicago, Force, Hayden, Gramsci, Chomsky

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