Revenge is not a publicly admissible motive for individual action. Church, state, and reason all line up against it. Officially revenge is thus sinful to the theologian, illegal to the prince, and irrational to the economist (it defies the rule of sunk costs). Order and peace depend upon its extirpation; salvation and rational political and economic arrangements on its denial. The official antivengeance discourse has a long history even preceding the Stoics, taken up and elaborated by medieval churchmen and later by the architects of state building.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Miller, William I. "Clint Eastwood and Equity: Popular Culture's Theory of Revenge." In Law in the Domains of Culture, edited by A. Sarat and T. R. Kearns, 161-202. Amherst Series in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press, 1998.