is war necessary? (now: liberty vs. world peace).

i really should get a hold of myself. ;p

i’m not sure, man, i’m not at all sure. first because it’s a bit tendencious to both put tribes in the past as if they were no longer, and to on top of that say that they only fought for territory and honour. honour is another western-european concept, i’ve studied many societies — some still alive and out there — that do not have a code of honour or any system similar to it. as for territory… hell, most tribes i’ve seen or studied fight for their gods. we inherited that, ourselves — some people might put us to fight for their interests, but the discourse is always one of fighting “for the absolute good”, “for god” and the recently fashionable “for democracy”.

/me deletes a big paragraph in which he had traced this back to the biblical god.

at any rate, i don’t get your criterion. values worth fighting for? based on what morals, and more importantly, what does this say about the inevitability of war? if war is shown to be inevitable, all-too-human, the values don’t really matter. put it another way: the real value is somewhere else. for instance: wars have winners and losers, so the act of war could be based around the value of winning, not that of, say, democracy. wars would be demonstrations of power, and if Nietzsche’s thesis is right and the fundamental principle of human behaviour is the will to power, then war is not just natural, but actually healthy of people who have physical power and need to demonstrate it in order to feel whole.

(the fact that war is a demonstration of physical and technological power only is quite relevant here — it might be a key to arguing for the possibility of peace. consider for a moment who’s the most powerful, or the bravest: the contemporary tibetan monk who fights authorities by use of guns, or the tibetan monks who, during the Viet Nam war, set themselves on fire and burnt to death in silent protest? who is more powerful: the pacifist who dies but refuses to lose, or the fighter who plays a bet against the devil in the vain hope that they will win, investing all their lives in whatever technical skill they happen to have, running away from death at all times?)

what’s more, i think you might be actually arguing against yourself. in your argument, you imply that there are some arguably valid reasons to go to war, such as defending your territory or your honour. but when you say this, you put yourself in check mate: if i were to accept that, i would have to accept that war is, at the end of the day, necessary, inevitable. think about it. :wink:

When I first argued, i wrote only of war as we have experienced it since modern warfare.

But i guess i am two sided in this, i hadn`t thought about tribal warfare which is totally different than war as we are used to.

not necessarily. the basic elements are all there. perhaps, in fact, it should be useful to put together a little paragraph with them, so that we can start talking about the nature of war itself, try to understand the anthropological context in which it emerges, and what it represents. whether or not war is second nature to man, a list like that — an informal definition of war — could play a very powerful role as an argument.

so what do we know about war? it is a group behaviour, and in fact it predates the individual, the person, the subject and quite possibly the ego in the history of human evolution: in fact, even in highly individualistic societies (as is ours), war is marked by a solid depersonalisation of those who engage in it. put another way: those who engage in war are not subjects, but elements of a bigger subject, the subjects of war are always groups, and their elements combat anonymously and impersonally. the grupal subjects of war engage in physical or technological combat, that is to say, groups will attack each other by physical or technological means. the object of war is winning, and should no external factor interfere with the course of a war, it will end if and only if it is perfectly clear who are the winners and who are the losers.

looking at this superstructure of war, it is pretty easy to see it hasn’t changed at all ever since the homo faber time. war as i’ve just characterised it is commonly agreed to have come to be before language itself, having been born at around the same time as culture in the anthropological sense — that’s to say, at the same time as we invented our very first tools. the fact that still today war is marked by depersonalisation and by an unsettling lack of inherent meaning indicate it’s a very primitive if not fundamental aspect of humankind.

Not much time to really add to your discussion but I just want to point out that your definition of war sounds synonymous to team sports. Are they necessary? Not really for survival of a species. But as an expression of the human conquest over one another? I am sure there will be people out there that do think it is necessary to make them whole.

And do you mean is war ‘necessary’ (and if so? Necessary for what exaclty? Necessary to resolve conflicts? feel good? feel whole as you have described earlier? to win territory and resources? for a good ol’ time of violence, rape and pillaging)… or is war ‘inevitable’? Those are two different arguments which I think seem to be blurring together here.

you made two freaking great points, Carnun. ha, i’m being biased as hell in this topic. very cool thing that you realised my definition of war applies to sports as well. (and before anyone here points out that in sports people don’t die, let us all remember the maya ball game). my currently favourite philosopher, Sloterdijk, actually holds a very similar opinion. here’s what he has to say about (association) football:

i actually prefer to think of football as war. hey, i like that idea very much, sport as a form of proxy war. cool! i’ll have to give it some thought.

as for necessity and inevitability, the two words are logically equivalence — if war is necessary (“we can’t help it”), then it’s inevitable (“we can’t help it”) alright; but if it’s inevitable, there’s a sense in which it’s necessary. it does make sense. but you’re right, if you put logic aside for a moment and focus on the rhetorical value of each word, they’re extremely different. necessity tends to imply a goal, an object, so war would need to have a clear anthropological function — that does not go well with me saying that it’s as empty of semantics as we get, predating language itself. if you say it’s inevitable, it could be a value-in-itself, we make war for war or what have you, it doesn’t need to have a function or a sense.

at this point, since i myself haven’t made up my mind, and no one in this topic seems to have been convinced by anyone else of anything new, i suppose using either makes little difference.

we need someone with a huge big picture mind.

above line edited in from earlier post and chatspeak posts removed :moogle:

like a Bodhisattva president

someone who can see the intricacies of the world enough to help it and save it for pure altruism’s sake.

you mean you believe peace is possible, provided all power is concentrated on a single, pacifist person? i don’t know. i mean, i guess this does make sense as you put it, but i don’t quite see all people giving away their individual power to a single person — in particular those who disagree with our otherwise saviour.

as far as thought experiments go, you’ve made your point: peace is possible, i.e. war is not inevitable, provided that all power over society goes to pacifists (or to a single pacifist, in your version). that’s actually a pretty neat deductive proof. but i’m afraid it doesn’t hold inductively: the condition you give for peace is nowhere near plausible. (let alone the complications that ensue, like the fact that saviours also die).

i’m thinking that if peace ever emerges, it will emerge from all individuals or hordes, rather than being imposed. here’s an extreme case for our original question of whether or not peace is possible: provided that, at any time, one single person or mob for war is enough to make war inevitable, is peace still possible?

this is a nice question to play with — turns the problem around and characterises war as a nasty addiction (much like smoking) which we can arguably quit, even though as we stand, we can’t be sure that we will be able to quit it — and even after we do, we’ll still have to maintain ourselves away from it at the risk of falling back to it. and the question is: can every single one of us quit war? (are we all even strong enough for that?).



peace comes from a collective consciousness emerging upon the planet
this consciousness follows regulative laws while still retaining the individual as a sovereign agent of creation

the laws cause the immediate extinction of anything that is not conducive to joy and well-being and they are the result of millions or thousands of humans (millions) being tools , like the indigos
who came here with deliberate agendas to serve specific functions

for this to happen the human has have to have had experiences of telepathy and spiritual consciousness which show him that a collective mind is possible, and that it would be the reign of angelic principalities without any “labeling” or “dogma”

our generation experiences this consciousness somewhat readily however the older ones do not

the other angle is that peace will never be planetary but will be confined within communities who themselves wish to be peaceful.

the scope is that human evolution towards unity happens very suddenly and at which point the planet is no longer a physical dimension but a place where all dimensions are accessible by physical beings,
Heaven on earth.

most people will scoff at this idea.

this forum is an excellent example,
every voice has a say in every-thing
it is a true democracy… of sorts

now, if all minds became linked together, they would immediately change that which they ALL knew to be wrong, and anyone who was vested in supporting tyranny would be immediately … rebuked.
we look to the technology to see the spiritual
the internet, it is a high dimensional portal, radio, not as much

tools reflect spiritual reality.

in this sense, you are building a sand castle, so you are allowed to do t hat
no one can come kick it over, because everyone is somewhat aware of everyone else, and if someone came to knock it over, they would be immediately forbidden from doing so due to the interconnection of minds and the will for peace and harmony.

so its like a video game, they can turn friendly fire on, and go play and have wars, but they can’t touch those who don’t want wars.

yes, that’s true if war emerges from even a single unit of war mongering impulse.

hey, no need to reinvent the wheel, man. telepathy does exist: it’s called communication. what you call collective mind i like to call language. :slight_smile: so, telepathy? i don’t think we lack it, no. but perhaps we could use some empathy, yeah. 8)

i don’t see that much of a change, to be completely honest, from older generations to ours. if anything, i tend to think that, right on the contrary, our generation was taught history enough to not be repeating mistakes at the rate it does. :confused:

yes, that’s happened before. just in Brazil, it’s happened countless times. the problem with this idea is, what happens when one such community gets attacked externally?

well, but then again, we’re all talking about peace here, aren’t we?

ha, i’m a huge fan of the forum, but i wouldn’t characterise it as a democracy. it’s a very honest society, though: you have a choice to join or not, and you’re given the rules of the game from the beginning. it’s not particularly democratic in that we don’t get to vote, change and over-rule — but it is a free society in which we can join and leave and in that, provided you respect the rules, you’re free and equal to everyone else. it’s an overall peaceful place. :slight_smile:

ha. it sounds almost as if you were talking about the branch of anarchism i adhere to, in a highly metaphorical fashion. :open_mouth:

Anything you’d say,you can’t change the decisions of the tall ppl :eh:

Anyways,in my opinion,was isn’t neccessary because:
They reduce the natural spore rate…
They use precious materials for building weapons
They kill innocent ppl that probably didn’t want war
They bring us back to the dark age
They seed hate between nations:eg:One member is muslim,the other is american and they start poting:
*Allah123 decapitates USADude because his country has defiled his nation
*USADude shoots Allah123 because he is a filthy terrorist

And both get banned…You see,it’s not their fault because their countries are at war…they can be friends too…
I mean i am romanian and i don’t hate the turkish ppl…it’s not our fault.
And the turkis ppl shouldn’t hate romanian ppl either(even tho everybody hates the romanian ppl even i do)

A wise man once said:
“There is no good and evil,just hate.”

And we all live on this stinkin globe together…so do it like the hippies! and peace out,yo!

Okay, so here we have the western nations. Some of the richest, most powerful nations on the planet. As already said, a lot of these nations are pacifistic and weak militarily. Soooo, this eventually leads to a more aggressive nation taking advantage of this. ie, Russia into Georgia, with the EU doing nothing. On the other hand, lets say the EU was actually armed. United, strong militarily, and getting to be less and less democratic because of globalization, perhaps the EU would eventually see itself becoming the bully, the aggressor in this regard. There is really nothing to stop it, if it were becoming less democratic, in that the people wouldn’t have much say in stopping it from pushing other nations around.

But, after every large war, usually there is a push for peace, for no more war. So lets say, there was WW3, and again, we win. More casualties this time, nukes used, but we do win. Again, there would be a massive movement for peace to happen, and war would be considered the last resort. Then, an aggressor would arise, say 30 years from now, and war would again be considered last use, and war happens again. etc etc. But lets say, after the next “big one”, there is a continual vigilance against aggressors. All nations, at least free ones, combine to fight against aggressors and prevent a future, larger war from happening. This does prevent a larger war from happening, if the united countries do not become the bullies themselves, but use their armaments for the bettering of the world. However, there would also be a paranoia associated with this. In the fears of repeating history and allowing “the next Hitler” from arising, there would be many wars left and right, cracking down on smaller, awful dictators, more missions like the one in Afghanistan right now. Fundamentally, this could be considered a “peace”, in that it prevents a terrible, hugely costly war from ever happening again. But on the other side, the cost of this would be constant militarism and fear of war. Eventually, if this tactic was continued, there perhaps would be a lull in dictators out of fear of being the next target, and perhaps, PERHAPS, a peace could be met. The only problem with this, is that the united nations would have to remain forever vigilant, lest they fall into the world peace trap, and new dictators would arise after testing the waters and seeing us as weak because we don’t lambaste them with missiles. So ironically: perhaps, perhaps peace would be possible. Only after an extreme and very, very costly and very long period of war, and a never ending will to attack future threats.

I prefer what we do now, to be honest, though if only a tad more aggressive and weak in dealing with . Simply, world peace would be too awful, costly, calculating and devastating thing to happen to this world, something no democratic nation could ever do. Only a heartless, emotionless, psychopathic dictator could ever do that. And anyways, after winning the world from dictators, what is to stop this all powerful dictator/group of dictators from completely taking over the world and uniting it under one flag? To achieve world peace in that manner would be the same as creating a complete and constant militarism, with the world under martial law with the people having no freedoms.

So basically, I do think world “peace” is possible. But man would it be awful.

ah, bravo! Jon! that is a brilliant argument! :smiley: i’ll skip altogether the pamphletary notion of Europe being a poor helpless innocent victim of history, the concept of “free nations”, and the petitio principii in which, apparently, a pacifier dictatorship is okay so long as it comes from the UN rather than another oligopoly — if anything, because they weaken quite considerably your otherwise flawless argument. moreover, because geopolitics and geopolitical history are subject enough for their own topic.

but on to your argument — it consists in a couple of notions that are very compelling. first, you argue for the impossibility of natural peace. unfortunately, the way you delivered it, your argument is locked into contemporary society — any small change in the scene, and its no longer valid. hell, the way it is, your argument could be used in an exhortation of revolution, i really don’t think that’s how you intended it! so allow me to restate your argument in a more or less anthropological form.

military power, you argue, is easier to build than other forms of power. in the case of a community clash, and in particular in the case of a culture clash, it might be the only category of power recognised by both parties. therefore, cæteris paribus (everything else left untouched), given enough time and a number of players, there will always be a player for whom the use of military power is more interesting than its alternatives. (if someone proposes an utopic world-wide single-player, you can always retort with the marxist notion that internal conflict of interest leads to class differentiation and struggle, which ultimately leads to the same thing).

in this context, peace emerges only as an exception — a gap between wars. but the cæteris paribus above is not as innocent a latin expression as it might look. is just so happens, you rather brilliantly argue, that emergent peace is not the only kind of peace we can hope for. peace can also be crafted, enforced upon peoples. this is done by actively making it uninteresting for individual players to resort to military power — the only known way of doing it being to outpower any other given individual player.

at this point, you reach what’s relevant for this topic: the conclusion that peace is only achievable by force or, conversely, that the cost of peace is some sense of liberty. if i read your argument right, this should be more or less how you developed it. i’m itching to reply to it, but first things first: did i read everything correctly? would you agree with my generalisation of your argument? is there anything missing, or am i making anything up? do you agree with my generalisation?

as for the rest of your argument, i’m afraid it doesn’t belong in this topic. in order to debate not the possibility, but the validity of a Pax Armada, not in general, but right here and right now, in order to debate this question we must step away from philosophical inquiry and into political discourse. i’m more than willing to try this discussion (although i’m afraid we’ll have to pace and tone it quite masterfully in order for it to not let the angry mob inflame it). but ah, what the hell. if you’re willing to try it, then so am i. would be so kind to repost your last post in a topic of its own and i’ll gladly follow. (and hey, worst comes to worse, we can transplant the discussion to PMs or to the Cloud).

that was about as brilliant as it was mean! but point taken. :slight_smile: i think i’ll have to review a few conceptions of mine thanks to your post — if anything, because we have to lose a couple of battles in order to win a war. :wink:

hahaha, yeah, I don’t blame you for overlooking it. I wrote that just as a sort of introduction to get my brain working and thinking on the concept of this thread.

Whoa, excellent summary! Yes man, you got everything correct and got what I meant to say.

I’m down. Though you’ll have to promise to not use too big of words. I don’t read the dictionary for bedtime reading and I don’t have an epic memory :wink:


[center][size=200][color=#666666]hi there! this be even ouchier subject[/color][/size]
[color=#333333]please be so kind to still keep a casual, over-a-glass-in-a-pub tone
and to still assume others are doing just the same 8)[/color][/center]

cool. so lets get this over with! your post marks the end of this topic’s original purpose. as far as “is war inevitable?” goes, you’ve pretty much nailed it: peace at the cost of freedom is possible, thank-you. therefore some sort of freedom is possible — therefore war isn’t inevitable. this topic isn’t concerned with the ethics involved, so the fact that whatever peace is possible comes at the price of liberty was a non-issue up to here. but in order to keep the discussion, we need a new question.

now we start on a new, and possibly more interesting aspect of the whole subject: the question of whether or not war is desirable in the light of the fact that peace comes at the cost of liberty. “say what?” up to now, if we were to discuss whether or not war is desirable, everyone would chant in unison: “war isn’t desirable because war is bad” — and that would be a hell of a boring non-discussion. now, we’re faced with a different choice: “liberty, world peace: choose one” (or, conversely: “war, subjection: choose at least one”). hey, that’s a philosophical topic worth discussing!

anyone being rational about this question will ask themselves, in the first place: “is liberty possible?” and “in what sense can we be free in a world where peace isn’t assured?”. after all, we know in what sense peace is possible, and at what cost — allowing an overpowering agent of peace to exist, subjecting yourself to it by will or force. but we didn’t discuss freedom in this topic. what’s it really like? in a world where there’s no assured peace, is there also no assured freedom or is it possible? in what sense?

provided that liberty is possible, we need criteria for making our minds on which is more desirable: we’re so accostumed to ranking peace and liberty among the highest values that establishing them as mutually exclusive ought to be quite baffling for most people. simply put, we were not raised to choose between freedom and liberty. so we need to make up for it and find out reasonable criteria for choosing between one and the other. (at this point, i suggest people who were initially against war go read their own posts — there are some quite relevant premises you might not have noticed you were working with).

oh no no, you can’t fool me like that! i know you wrote it because it’s part of your right-wing conspiracy to subliminally brainwash us lefties into your praxis. but you won’t! i will not succumb!

/me starts running around in circles, crying noises.

Maybe I missed it in your long post… but you need to define liberty (freedom) as well.

I live (and have had the priveldge to have lived) in countries with stable environments where there is no war or aggressors on the borders of the country. And those countries allow a certain amount of liberty of lifestyle… yet no body is free or has absolute freedom. Every country/nation what ever has boundaries. Other nations have different boundaries.

All freedom is synthetic. I feel pretty free to do what i want right now, but someone with different values may feel constricted. No matter how you look at it, freedom is subjective!

So… what is freedom in context of this question?

EDIT: I am using the word Freedom and Liberty interchangeably … perhaps that is wrong in the context of this discussion? Then just have this posted deleted?! :tongue:

no, you’re right, there’s no definition yet. in fact, i agree with you — i tend to think that such a thing as an absolute freedom isn’t even conceivable. (and, no worries — there’s no distinction between liberty and freedom so far, and i really hope there won’t be). Jon’s question was a tad biased, not only in that he sneaked into his argument that some people should be allowed enforce peace while others shouldn’t, but in that his definition of liberty-castrating peace is pretty much interchangeable with the social order a government is supposed to enforce.

(i was, in fact, hoping i’d be able to play with that and get Jon to arrive at the conclusion that in his own words, private property is theft — he’s smarter than letting me manipulate him like that, sure thing, but i was hoping i’d at least be able to get him to give me the guns & ammo for that).

[color=#cc3333]edit: oh my, the rest of this post is going to scare people away from this topic! i should really rewrite this.

/me sweeps his old post under the mat:[/color]

[color=#cc3333]now, let me try this once again. man, i have to quit these ugly writing habits.[/color]

so, yeah, lets try a definition of freedom, bearing in mind it has to be (a) a social structure, rather than a psychological trait, (b) opposite to peace (otherwise the whole topic doesn’t make much sense) and (c) general enough to fit most human cultures. i say we try the notion of freedom as voice. say what? let me try to explain.

in any culture, different groups are bound to have conflicting interests, at least every once in a while. when this conflict of interests becomes an issue, the group will be split in classes, according to their interests. some of these classes will be stronger than others. my idea is that freedom means that at any time, no matter what’s your relative strength within your culture, you will always be able to voice your interests.

if your voice is subject to manipulation (for instance: being treated as a pathology) or force (for instance: you can be arrested for voicing your interests), then you’re not free. peace as a natural emergence is a trivial case of freedom, whilst enforced (synthetic) peace is exactly the opposite of freedom: one single voice being enforced upon all classes. war, too, can be re-defined in terms of voice: it’s when the struggle between two or more voices reaches the point where only the use of physical force and technology will determine which voice will prevail.

so there’s a definition of freedom — not as “being able to do whatever you want”, because that’s not even a concept in most cultures, but as being able to “voice your interests”, which is similar enough and, in our society, because of its structures, is equivalent to “being able to do whatever you want”.

yes war is necesarry…Except for ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism, Communism, and Genocide, war has solved nothing…Ronald Regan…

It’s not like humans invented war though.
Animals have been fighting since before Humans came to earth. If there are Aliens, they probibly fight too. War has to happen. I don’t always agree with it. But it has to happen. People will never ALWAYS get along neither will animals. War sorts out our differences. It’s a part of society. We defend what’s ours so others wont just go and take it.

And of course, the war against terror is necessary. How else could one make laws to monitore the people? :wink:

Is lack of freedom a possible scenario in the long run? Whenever people are deprived of their right for freedom, won’t there be people protesting against it?

Let’s assume that even though you can’t voice you’re interests, people will still have different interests. That’s just naturally. And no matter what, they will wish their interests to be taken care of. On the other side of the spectra you might find idealists that wants their freedom.

Won’t these factors sand-blow the dream-peace society at all time, nagging for the freedom to voice their interests? Can we then call the society at peace when there’s a continuing battle going on?

I would agree with you, Petter.
If we consider freedom as the ability to voice your interests, even under a dictatorship, open claims for freedom would be exercising freedom already.
Then there would be conflicts of interests between some who would chose to exercise their freedom by voicing their interests (and these interests would precisely be the ability to express their interests), and others whose interests would be that the dictatorship is maintained, that is to say, that the population is unable to voice their interests.
(I hope this is clear…)
All this would result in social unrest at best, maybe eventually civil war.
A dictatorship enforced against the will of the people will never be able to maintain ‘peace’ within the society, that is to say to maintain itself.

Then a dictatorship, to maintain itself, and to maintain ‘peace’, would have to obtain the consent of people.
That is to say, in order to achieve that, they would want people to willingly accept to be deprived of their ability to express their interests, for the sake of peace.
So that, in order to be able to exist, a dictatorship would have to promise a global state of peace to the people, that would appear more desirable to the people than the political ability to voice their interests.
To this end, they would want to maintain a consensus on their usefulness among the population, probably by frightening the people into this in the first place…
In fact they would maintain peace by constant threats of war (Could this remind you of anything ? :wink: ).
So people would chose to give up their freedom for the sake of peace.

And yet…
If you willingly chose to give up your ability of voicing your interests for the sake of peace, it is still a voicing of your interests.
In other words, when you chose security, you are assessing that you consider peace as being your highest interest. And even then, under a dictatorship, you are still able to oppose the authorities, even if this leads you to jail or to death. So at any moment, even under the dictatorship, you chose to continue to comply, so at any moment, you are expressing your interests, assessing by your silence and obedience that you consider security as your greatest interest.
In this case, even under a ‘world peace dictatorship’, to which you have given up all freedom for the sake of peace, you are still exercising your freedom and expressing your interests at any moment, by the very fact that you submit to the system of government.
(Ahem… Sartre again, I’m afraid… :content: )

But then, there is the problem of peace : in such a regime, even if they complied and didn’t express any conflicting interests, the people would be under martial law all the time, and certainly be under constant threats of (imaginary) war, all this to maintain terror… So can this really be considered peace?

And also, this could depend on whose freedom you focus on : if what you value is your own freedom, your own ability to express your interests, or if you consider that everyone should have the ability to express their interests, the answer could be different…