Jul 252007

Hell’s Handmaiden recently posted on the topic of War As Altruism

The more I think about it, the less the idea makes sense. The machinery of war is the machinery of destruction. Soldiers are a body of individuals trained for destruction. The concept is one of violence. War is meant [to] force one group of people to bend to another group’s will. It seems difficult to justify the use of such a tool as ‘altruistic’.

Very well said. Unfortunately, while the article continues to argue that war can never truly be an altruistic act, the author also fails to reach the ultimate conclusion that war is always a negative thing. Instead, in his closing paragraph he falls prey to that final wall separating a truly peaceful man from one still on the journey to genuine freedom-

Before someone suggests otherwise, I am not opposed to taking sides. I wish we’d taken sides in Rwanda. I’m glad we took sides in WWII against Germany, but had we not taken sides when we did we’d have likely been forced to take sides later out of pure selfish self-defense.

I am not opposed to taking sides, either. But I am no longer limited by the traditional belief system that “choosing sides” must mean going to war. The military is a powerful destructive force, but it is still one of violent destruction, as pointed out so eloquently above. Instead of accepting the false reality that violence will ultimately be the final solution we must strive to use nonviolent means of coercion, be they social, economic, educational, or some as yet untried system.

Ultimately, war is the real enemy.

  3 Responses to “The Truth About War “For A Good Cause””

  1. Hello,

    The people going into WWII were fresh out of WWI, which traumatized a whole generation, and were dead set against going into another war. If ever there was an experiment in ‘coercion’ that was it, and it failed. ‘Crazy’ doesn’t respond. War is a bad deal for everyone involved, but if an army is at the gates with guns, your options are pretty limited. The US could have stayed out of the war longer than it did, but what choice did France have? Or swathes of Africa? Or England? Sure we “must strive to use nonviolent means of coercion, be they social, economic, educational, or some as yet untried system” but what happens when Hannibal is at the gates?

  2. Even if one believes that everything was done to prevent WWII, which I certainly don’t and many historians agree, that still doesn’t prove that violence is inevitable. Worst case scenario it proves that violence was inevitable. The world has changed alot in the 60+ years since WWII developed.

    We now live in the age of instant information. Any one of us can instantly know what’s happening anywhere in the world. We no longer need to count on governmental bodies to inform us of threats to our security.

    As for how long we could have stayed out of WWII, that’s a question whose answer was stolen by President Roosevelt. He wanted to go to war, despite the misgivings of the vast majority of the American citizenry. Just as “leaders” have done throughout history, he created the situation he wanted and then forced it down the throats of those he was supposedly serving.

    I’m not nearly educated enough to answer what France, England or Africa could have done to avoid Hitler’s military advances. But I do know that others more educated than I have laid out plenty of options that were never tried.

    What to do when Hannibal knocks on the gates? I’m not exactly sure who you’re referring to here. Our gates have yet to be knocked on. We go looking for wars because they do not come to us. Apparently America learned long ago how to keep the wolves from the door. It’s just a matter of applying those lessons elsewhere.

    Albert Einstein said it far better than I ever could: “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” Doing the latter continues to get us into military conflicts. Let’s try the latter and see what happens.

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