To be fair…
…the original quote wasn’t that the State has a monopoly on violence, but rather that the State is a ““human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.” Max Weber first said that in a 1919 speech, about a very different kind of state (the Westphalian nation-state) than the one we’re discussing, and in a very different context.
(The original German is: Heute dagegen warden wir sagen müssen: Staat ist diejenige menschliche Gemeinschaft, welche innerhalb eines bestimmten Gebietes—dies: das “Gebiet,” gehört zum Merkmal—das Monopol legitimer physischer Gewaltsamkeit für sich (mit Erfolg) beansprucht.)
We can argue about Weber’s statement in the comments (in fact, I’m kinda hoping we do). But the quote that always gets thrown around? It’s neither accurate nor correct.
Here’s a question that could start a debate: When Weber spoke of the “legitimate” use of violence, who did he think would decide what counted as “legitimate?” The State? Politicians? Those committing violence on the State’s behalf? The citizenry? Something else? Is that different from how Bronze Age peoples would have thought? 21st-century Americans?