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Thoughts about war

 

Sad topic... I know. Some people believe war is a necessary evil, some people think it is completely useless and there's no excuse for it. However, there is no denying that wars have shaped the world we live in. Any thoughts?

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The only ones who deem war a necessary evil are those who are fans of Thomas Robert Malthus' views on mankind. While I do think his ideas will in the end come true, I think his idea of "positive checks" are rather simplistic. War doesn't come about only because of struggle for resources. The "moral restraints" he proposes are rather discriminating but in essence the solution to the issue. It also requires a rethinking of wealth in our world. In that sense wars are not a necessary evil but a necessary result of the inequalities that exist in the world today. And of course those inequalities can be internal and external, but it is our responsibility to put and end to whatever inequality may exist.
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The problem of course is that people are unable to determine what is inequal. We are always clouded in our judgement. Let's assume a simple situation with two people Jack and John.  Jack earns 20,000 dollars a year, John earns 100,000 dollars a year. This may seem inequal. But let's look beyond the salary. Jack doesn't work a lot, only 50 days a year. John on the other hand works 300 days a year. So actually John should make 120,000 dollars for it to be equal. There's more however. John was born without legs. How do you value your legs? John has learned to live without his legs, and doesn't feel handicapped anymore. As such he has no negative utility from the absence of his legs. Jack gets in a car accident and loses both his legs. Jack used to be a very good runner, his only hobby was to go running every weekend. He suffers incredible negative utility from the loss of his legs. How do you value Jack's leggs and John's leggs? Is there any difference?

As you can see it is IMPOSSIBLE for people to be equal and to feel equal. The only thing we can do is to target obvious inequality and leave the rest to the market. The market is the only fair, unbiased entity. No human can ever determine how to make people equal.

In the 20th century in the US there were those who seemed to think war was "nature's way" and sought to promote it at every turn.  They were called Democrats.  In the 21st century they are called Republicans. 


Plus ça change…..

Yes, I agree that people are unequal.

Hovewer. "The market is the only fair, unbiased entity". Market is not fair. It is just the fairest of the unfair things. There are no unbiased entities. "Fairness" is something ideal, a moral compass for a person or a community. But the world is not ideal, and there always are and will be conflicts of interests. Market also involves conflict of interests, but its means are more civilised that those of war (though behind civilised methods of market may stand "bad" intentions and behind violent methods of war may stand noble intentions and heroism as in the case of defensive wars).

The thesis of people's unequalness leads not to the conclusion that war is bad and market is good. It rather means that conflict will always exist and due to great difference of people that there always be wars ("bad" people are low in number but to begin a war we need only one aggressive side, and to establish market relationships we need a lot of cooperation). The fact that civilisation develops does not mean that people become smarter. Every day thousands of wise people die and every day thousands of potential killers are born. War is war, it is still inherent in our life. Die with honor if you have to.

so it is cynical to say that war is a necessary evil, but rather just

the idea is to accept that war was, is and will be regardless of what you think of it

what you can do is not to take part in it it is aggressive.
if it is defensive you shut the fuck up your civilised education and shoot.

^_^ no offence to anybody ^_^

For those who like to read, there is an excellent little book on war.  You can find it online.  The title is "War is a Racket."  It was written by Smedley Butler, a Major General in the Marine Corps and two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor.  It distinguishes between reality and what politicians would have us believe when they tell us, "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."

But wars are different !
Is there no glory in falling defending ur land during a defensive war?

Killing is part of life. And is often justified.

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