It is one of the oldest tenets of modernity: The state must establish a monopoly on violence before civil society can develop and politics can thrive. Read your Hobbes: “And covenants, without the sword, are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all.” Or read the Founders, who, in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, argued that rights had to be secured before they could be exercised. Power precedes politics.
The founders of this nation understood the concept of real, physical power, the evils of a large burdensome government in using that power, and as a consequence the constitution is a set of rules for government not rules for citizens.
This lesson about power, is artfully demonstrated in a scene from Game of Thrones where Petyr Baelish and Cersei Lannister are conversing about a missing girl, and Petyr makes the assertion that knowledge is power…
This is something many seem to confuse. There are people who believe business is more powerful than the government, because business can buy off politicians. While that’s true, they forget the fact that business wouldn’t even bother buying off the politician if it weren’t for the governments monopoly on power.