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Are there some parts of the world where “swordsmen,” those who use violence to rule...

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suzannelucas | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted July 14, 2012 at 11:34 PM via web

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Are there some parts of the world where “swordsmen,” those who use violence to rule to get their way, govern?

"One sees that the world and the press continued to be governed by …swordsmen.” Are there some parts of the world where “swordsmen,” those who use violence to rule to get their way, govern? Looking for two examples and an explaination of how each reflects the use of violence to rule.

What are two examples of where “swordsmen,” those who use violence to rule to get their way, govern. Shakespeare, Prince of Light

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 15, 2012 at 12:36 AM (Answer #2)

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Lots of places have people using violence, or the threat of it, to keep power.  For example, North Korea uses the threat of violence to keep its people from rebelling.  You can argue that China does so as well, though China has a much stronger economy and therefore has more people who are not unhappy in the first place.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 15, 2012 at 3:03 AM (Answer #3)

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Saddam Hussein was the president of Iraq 1979-2003. During his time in power, he nationalized production of oil, most businesses and all banks and communications, filled the government with those willing to support his dictatorship with force when necessary, invaded Kuwait (leading to 1991 Gulf War), bombed Israel, and killed Iraqi citizens who opposed him. He most definitely used violence to rule.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 18, 2012 at 7:12 AM (Answer #4)

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Neruda's line about "swordsmen" reminds me of the old-fashioned 'saber-rattling,' in which countries and leaders would use the might of their armies to sway political decisions.  Today, the threat of using military force still holds sway; Muammar Gaddafi, for example, threatened massacres against his own people to quell rebellion. 

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 1, 2012 at 12:59 AM (Answer #5)

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Presently, the trouble in Syria is prompted, promoted and propagated by "swordsmen." Of course, the "swords" have been traded for heavy weaponry but the principle of using force to govern remains the same. Today, 31 July 2012, thousands of civilians are trapped between the warring "swordsmen."


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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM (Answer #6)

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As noted above, China is a place that first comes to mind. While traveling there 15 years ago, the airports were watched by members of the miliary carrying machine guns. The idea of someone breaking the law there was ludicrous—even pre-9/11. Since violence is such a central part of how the Chinese government operates against those who break the "criminal" law and those who even speak out against, for example, civil rights violations (freedom of speech a crime in China—to voice one's opinion against the government), we can easily see how this would apply. There are a number of places in the world (Africa—e.g., Darfur) and the Middle East where violence is or has been a way of life for many years, taking the lives of countless innocent people. The concept of "governing" even applies to splinter groups that defy the controlling government, and become their own "governing" body, grabbing whatever control they can from the end of a gun. 


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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 6, 2012 at 2:18 AM (Answer #7)

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Iran is a country that has militants training in Latin America, specifically Venezula. The Shites in Iran are a militant group; other armed political groups include the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, the People's Fedayeen, and the Kurdish Democratic Party.

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