The State of Emergency in South Africa: A Realist Perspective by the GI ADVISORY

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The State of Emergency in South Africa: A Realist Perspective by the GI ADVISORY

The development team

Content Writer:               L. Dweba

Language Editor:            M. van der Merwe

Article Coordinator:         D. Fraser

Photo by Daily Maverick – 2021-07-15

Enforcement actions, like the use of military force, are necessary tools of statecraft that leaders must use when it is in the best interest of the State.  In his book, The Prince (1532), Niccolò Machiavelli points out that leaders should be good when they can, but they must also be willing to use violence when necessary to guarantee the survival of the State.  After all, every political and diplomatic action is directed towards demonstrating, increasing, and maintaining power. (Tang, et al. 2017: 17).

With that being said, a leader must be extremely cautious when deciding where and when to use military force.  To this Machiavelli suggests that, when time and space allow, a prince must be careful to avoid anything that will bring hatred or contempt down on him (Bennett, J. 2017: 39).

It is worth noting that the rise of the insurgency on the African continent and the Middle East can be attributed to the disproportionate use of military force.  This proves that the use of military force can be followed by scenes of resentment, instability, and more violence than would have been intended.

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