The union of force and law is seen as an ideal. This is what all constitutions recommend to promote the expression of the people, their sovereignty. This point of view is questioned by a certain criticism for whom the use of force whatever its form, legal or not, is immoral and therefore can produce nothing legitimate. This brings out the problem of the relationship between the legal force and democracy. Therefore, the legalized force necessarily opposes the power of the people.
The union of force and law is a danger to democratization. Arguments in favor of this point of view exist. Indeed, the use of force, whatever its form, cannot guarantee the peace and the security of the populations which are the requirements of the democracy. In any situation of legitimate violence, the people become frightened, worried and seek refuge in a safe place. The deployment of UN peacekeepers in all countries in conflict is not accompanied by the expression of the sovereignty of the people. It is in this momentum that I quote here the case of Iraq (2006-present) where the United Nations does not impose democracy. The presence of the legitimate force here instead provokes the rise of hatred, violence and even terrorism that are against democracy.
Moreover, the strength of any point of view is immoral. She is against the expression of thought, criticism and even free examination. The use of force presupposes the end of dialogue, of the confrontation of ideas, the true foundation of democracy. Indeed, I agree with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “the force is a physical power; I do not see what morality can result from its effects”. As we can see, force is at the source of the blockage of the spirit which can only be against the expression of the people, the sovereignty. These are the few elements of analysis that allow us to say that the union of force and law is a danger to democracy. However, should we receive this point of view as a prophetic revelation? Certainly not.
The claim that the union of force and law is a danger to democracy does not stand up to criticism. Indeed, in philosophy, it is said that man is a “difficult animal”. He is “bad” in essence and his sociable unsociability is established by philosophers like Kant. Abandoned to himself, he is capable of the worst, and as such, to be against democracy. It is therefore urgent to civilize it. To impose on the latter a behavior that involves the respect of the other, the acceptance of the difference. It is in this sense that we must understand these words of Thomas Hobbes, British philosopher and seminal thinker of modern political philosophy: “homo homini lupus”. The union of force and law contributes to the humanization of man, the primary foundation of democracy.
Moreover, democracy requires a climate of peace, stability, and harmony. Where there is disorder, man cannot speak. All forms of freedom that justify democracy are quarantined. There are, therefore, times when the union of force becomes necessary to maintain a favorable climate for the development of the sovereign expression of the people. In the specific case of Cameroon, we have seen the state, a monopoly of legitimate violence with Max Weber, which use force – particularly in the current Ambazonian crisis -to end the disorder doubled by multiplication of ruins during the two thousand and eight hunger riots. At this level of my analysis, one must recognize that the legalized force can positively serve democracy. Having said that, what should we remember in the end?
At the beginning of my reflection, I showed that the union of force and law can be a danger for democracy. Second, it appeared to us that the legalized force can serve democracy. All in all, the union of force and law can be as harmful as it can be useful. It must therefore be said quite clearly, the union of force and law is presented as the desired ideal. What is generally problematic is how we – both the people and the leaders of the twentieth century – serve this union. For the sake of democracy and hence of the fulfillment of the human person, we must consider, in addition to strength and right, wisdom and reason, the true foundation of humanity that has existed before, which still exists today, and which will exist in future times.
From the preceding analysis, there was talk of the relationship between the legalized force and democracy. While democracy is an ideal, it must not remain a pure idea completely separate from men. It is therefore necessary at all costs to safeguard it and to show resistance to the established injustice that hinders the full exercise of democracy. By not forgetting that it is illusory to expect a political life without a state or a state that does not use the force of law, let us always remember the democratic state is despite all to realize conditions in which the freedom and fulfillment of every man of good will is possible. Should this be done, we all will get to see in the long-run that common to both sustainable development and democracy is participation – the ability of all people to come together and be involved in decisions about how we live and the goals we want to achieve as societies.