The Problem Of Dirty Hands Essay

1179 Words Dec 15th, 2015 null Page
]Walzer finds that politicians lack of morality is based more on lying, however he also acknowledges that the power of violence has an influence. In his essay, “The problem of Dirty Hands” he states,
“... the victorious politician uses violence and the threat of violence-not only against foreign nations in our defense but also against us, and again ostensibly for our greater good...The stock figure is the lying, not the murderous, politician-though the murderer lurks in the background, appearing most often in the form of the revolutionary or terrorist, very rarely as an ordinary magistrate or official. Nevertheless, the sheer weight of official violence in human history does suggest the kind of power to which politicians aspire, the kind of power they want to wield, and it may point to the roots of our half-conscious dislike and unease. The men who act for us and in our name are often killers, or seem to become killers too quickly and too easily”(Walzer 163-164).
One consistent theme between the two theorist’s ideas is the concept of a certain kind of person predisposed to be a good politician. This person with what Weber calls “the calling for politics”, has a strong sense of morality but is capable of knowing when to break with that morality. An important distinction for Walzer’s writing is that the politician should struggle morally before deciding to break with morality, but they must still make the break nonetheless. Walzer states, “Politicians often argue that they…

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