Saturday 8 June 2013

One cannot be pro- or anti- "war"


Or rather, to be for- or against-"war" is senseless - it all depends on what type of war.


War includes several objectives - for example plunder, defense against plunder; empire building or defense against empire building; religious conquest or resistance to such - and war can be proactive (e.g. exterminating pirates nests) or reactive (arming against raids from pirate ships).

Each of these is a different scenario - some of them are very different from each other (e.g. a treasure-seeking war for the expansion of an Empire versus a village fighting a band of robbers who have come to burn, steal, slaughter and enslave).


My point here is that it turns-out that 'war' is one of those fake Leftist concepts (such as 'immigration' or 'education') which bundle together opposing entities and thereby sow confusion, create chaos and prevent resolution.

The concept of 'war', in its modern sense, is a product of pacifism (or 'anti-war') which arose in the late 1700s as an early sign of the conquest of the Left, and spread among the intellectual elites.

Pacifism - by being anti-the-thing-it-called-war thus led to the phony problem of 'war', which is that it divided the world into themselves (the pacifists) and their opponents were labeled as pro-war, warmongers.


(We see analogous phenomenon with Left-defined pro- and anti- positions in relation to open-borders-mass-immigration, education, diversity, human rights and so on. The 'pro concepts are nonsensical, undefined, incapable of definition, obviously wrong, intrinsically destructive etc - but the Left promotes them as nice/kind things, things which we need more-of, and more, and yet more; such that any dissent from the destroying nonsense is vilified as evidence of the opponent being a nasty/torturing kind of individual.)


Consequently, there are volumes of inconsequential nonsense spouted on the general theme of 'war', and how terrible it is, thus whether 'war' may be morally justified or otherwise...

trying (and, obviously, failing) to use this incoherent and undefined notion of 'war' as the basis for short universally-intended and context-free formalizations and rules concerning how 'war' should be conducted and what is necessary and forbidden in that conduct...

and then enforcing these nonsensical bureaucratic formalizations (only) onto those who are stupid or weak or confused enough to allow them to be enforced upon themselves...

and them congratulating themselves on this as evidence of the moral progress of humanity - in the face of those Right-wing remnants of societal evil who actually want 'war'...


But because there is no such thing as war: we must un-ask all questions concerning its nature and desirability and conduct.



The Great and Powerful Oz said...

Even worse is the concept of "limited war". If you aren't trying to win, why are you bothering to fight?

The Crow said...

The binary 'reason' of the leftist.

Even a quantum particle is smarter than a leftist: either/or/AND!

Daybreaker said...

To the extent that political correctness has an alternative to "war" it is false witness. The politically correct do the lying and the denouncing and the misleading by silence and half-truth; others do the fighting, the wounding and the being wounded and the dying.

It depends on others establishing courts that the politically correct take over and corrupt, others loyally serving in armies and police forced intended to secure interests that are the opposite of those that the politically correct have them serve, and so on.

The simplest form of politically correct murder attempt is "swatting": denouncing someone to the police in the hope that an overzealous SWAT raid will lead to the deaths of the targets.

A great engine of lies, distractions and manipulations enables more complicated and extensive forms or murder and even genocide. The politically correct do not think the blood is not their hands.

That's why denouncing "war" is safe and morally convenient for them.

Bruce Charlton said...

@D - One interesting development in England over the past couple of years is that the Afghanistan 'war' has become politically correct, and there is quite a lot of apparently pro-Army support whereas a decade ago the opposite was the case. What this says to me is that the Left (for the time being) *like* the war in Afghanistan because it is utterly unjustified and bizarrely pointless, un-winnable - but anyway not intended to be won and indeed counter-productive in terms of national interest, expensive in its prolonged defeat, tending indeed to provoke sentimental pacifistic self-victimizing defeatism at home, and (probably most important) keeps the military very busy and tied-up a long way away from England for when the *hoped-for* civil collapse/ revolution/ mass destruction breaks-out and they would desparately be needed at very short notice.

Bruce Charlton said...

@GPO - Yes. Suppose you lived in a Christian hilltop village attacked by heathen pirates (or Vikings, Mohawks, whatever) who intend to steal and burn everything, and orture/ kill all the men, and enslave the women and children? What would be a 'proportionate' or 'limited' response to that kind of existential threat?

Nonetheless, there are Christian limits to what can be done, even in this situation - and we see these depicted in the Lord of the Rings; where it is never shown to be justifiable for the free peoples to behave like orcs. But this has nothing to do with pacifism.

Frodo becomes a kind of pacifist at the end, but is - rightly - quietly ignored during the Scouring of the Shire organized by the warrior hobbits Merry and Pippin.

I read this as Frodo's pacifism being a defect, a sign of the *damage* done to him by his experiences, rather than any sign of his higher moral status.

And something similar for Gandalf when he allows Saruman to roam freely in Middle Earth after Saruman has hoodwinked Treebeard into releasing him.

dearieme said...

"it all depends on what type of war": indeed it does. Blair's wars were quite wrong in my view. Cameron's one little war so far - Libya - was equally wrong. Brown didn't "do" a war - I must mention it because there are so few other kind things one can say about his lamentable political career.

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - as for the UK's military actions in Egypt, Libya and Stria... Just don't get me started. Suffice to say that these clinched my conviction that our foreign policy is now established in the realm of strategic evil.

I mean in the sense of purposive destruction of the Good - especially the purposive elimination of Christianity from its homelands; which has been the one clearest and rapidly ongoing consequence of the past decade plus of Western military intervention in the Middle East.

J. B. said...

About Frodo sparing Saruman: I was reminded today of the story of David and Saul.
In the narrative of 1 Samuel David three times refrained from raising his hand against Saul, the Lord’s anointed. David has the opportunity to kill Saul and refuses even though Saul is clearly a wicked man out to kill David; David recognizes that even though Saul is personally wicked he has an objective office that is holy, the office of the Lord’s anointed, and respects that office. And even though David himself was also the Lord’s anointed and he was put in the place of Saul, he respected Saul’s office enough to refrain from slaying him.
Going back to Saruman I think there is a strong parallel. When Frodo spares Saruman he reminds the hobbits of Saruman’s office: “He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against.” It’s like David and Saul; though Saruman is wicked he still has an objective office that is holy.
That said, I think you’re right that Frodo’s pacifism is a defect. It’s just that in the case of Saruman there is more to it than that.

Arakawa said...

As far as I understand, War is not just something fought with bullets. Whenever two groups of people have irrevocably conflicting interests, there is war between them, which may as well be fought with rhetoric, propaganda, and social maneuvering. There are hopefully rules for how this conflict should and should not be escalated.

But to be anti-War in this sense you have to successfully enact the Beatitudes and be able to repent of your earthly interests in any particular conflict. This is a worthy goal to seek for yourself. Yet when these injunctions to ultimate holiness - unattainable in full except by a vanishingly few Saints - are used in War as a bludgeon to chastise other people, things get very ugly....

Daybreaker said...

The scandal of Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert who had to flee to asylum in Italy, ought to have ended the involvement in Afghanistan of even nominally Christian countries. It's absurd and cruel to demand that Christian soldiers suffer wounds and die for an Islamic state that imposes the death penalty for professing Christ.

Persisting seems to me more like moral war on the soldiers forced to fight the war than like war on a real enemy for a useful purpose.