Michael Walzer

American philosopher

Michael Walzer (born March 3, 1935) is a prominent American political theorist and public intellectual.

Michael Walzer


  • According to liberal political theory, as first formulated by John Locke, any individual citizen, oppressed by the rulers of the state, has a right to disobey their commands, break their laws, even rebel and seek to replace the rulers and change the laws.
    • "The Obligation to Disobey," Ethics, Vol. 77, No. 3 (April 1967), p. 163
  • Disobedience, when it is not criminally but morally, religiously, or politically motivated, is almost always a collective act, and it is justified by the values of the collectivity and the mutual engagements of its members.
    • "The Obligation to Disobey," Ethics, Vol. 77, No. 3 (April 1967), p. 163
  • The state is invisible...(it) needs to be symbolised before it can be loved.
    • A 1967 paper[1]

Quotes about Michael WalzerEdit

  • For him, political symbolism is not a value addition to the idea of state; it is in fact representative of the idea itself. Indeed, owing to their existence in the abstract, political ideas and beliefs need a medium of expression.[1]
  • Michael Walzer, probably the most distinguished philosopher of justice in war, repeatedly points to India’s Bangladesh war as a canonical example of a justifiable humanitarian intervention, in a radical emergency when there was no other plausible way to save innocent human lives.
    • Bass, G. J. (2014). The Blood telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide. Epilogue

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