The Usefulness of a Total War

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The Usefulness of a Total War

According to George Orwell's dystopian novel "Nineteen-eighty-four", doublethink is defined as follows:

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt. Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth. Ultimately it is by means of doublethink that the Party has been able - and may, for all we know, continue to be able for thousands of years - to arrest the course of history.

In the book, a perpetual war is going on, between Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. But not on either of these states territory, the war is happening far away, in disputed territories. The purpose of this perpetual war is to consume the products of human labour; and for this reason the economy of a super-state cannot support a high standard of living for every citizen. The three super-states are each so strong that none of them can be defeated, even by an alliance of the other two (as explained in a fictional "book", The Theory and Practice of Oligarchic Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein), and as the alliances are constantly shifting, doublethink is needed to make sense of the politics.

What's funny - well actually, it isn't very funny at all - is that much of what Orwell envisioned has come into existence. Not in an exact manner, but not very far from it either. Take for instance the war on drugs. God-only-knows how many billions upon billions of world currencies that have been sunk into that quixotic project of well meant heroism, but after 40 years we may observe that the drug market is flooded with more, stronger and cheaper drugs than ever before. If that isn't a lost war I don't know what is. Next we have the war on terrorism, which in and of itself is a bit of doublespeak since war is terrorism. How do they plan on winning this war - and who exactly are "they"? It goes without saying that a "war on terrorism" is even less winnable than a "war on drugs" - but that really isn't the point. The point is that it is fundable. It can be used as a means to consume the products of human labour.

It can also be used as a political pretext for keeping the populations of the developed countries in check under martial law. It it certainly will teach us all the pragmatic value of doublethink. Learn to trust your leaders without questioning! Pay attention to your television. Read up on the revised history. And remember that it isn't a lie if you really believe in it.

www.panarchy.org/orwell/war.1949.html

 

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Next example is consumer

Next example is consumer society. This serves exactly the same purpose as Orwell's perpetual war. Labour is endless, because consumption is always increased by marketing, manufactured demand and artificial problems. Both labour and consumption continuously destroy human potential. Half of the world is incapacitated by poverty, and the second half by going to work and consuming mostly useless products.
There is in fact a full-fledged economic war, that conquers and destroys whole countries and costs tenths of millions lives per year. All that because real values of natural resources are used to transport the unreal money. Money today do not represent the value of things at all. For example, with counting all social and environmental costs, a price of single hamburger would not be 4 dollars, but 200 dollars!
Therefore, by producing food or producing anything else average person can not earn enough money to rise from poverty. Therefore, these people and whole countries are effectively incapacitated. Therefore, consumer society and contemporary economic system is as close to pure evil, as I can imagine.

Here, doublethink exists in consumer's mind. Well, I know that these products destroy environment, waste irreplaceable resources, are harmful to health, and people vitally  need the resources elsewhere. But I love this stuff, I'm gonna buy it and then soon throw it out, because it's so cool and everyone's doing it.

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Marquis wrote:which in and

Marquis wrote:

which in and of itself is a bit of doublespeak since war is terrorism.

 

i know this is currently a common rhetorical device, and granted it's not semantically unjustifiable, but i don't think it's helpful.  there clearly is a distinction between state-sanctioned acts of aggression, especially when that state is democratic, and the almost universally illegal actions of rogue groups or individuals.  if you don't wish to call the latter "terrorism," you must call it something.  as much as we all hate the war on iraq, and perhaps we can even call it illegal according to international agreements that the US itself helped draft, it did have more than enough congressional and popular support at its inception.  i don't think one can realistically call it "terrorism" except as a rhetorical device.

i recall an old article trotsky wrote for der kampf in which he defined "terrorism" as violent individual acts of revenge.  this was back in the day when terrorism pretty much was the gunning down of a government official.  nowadays, i think we can do away with the "individual" aspect, but if we accept general knowledge about 9/11 and the motivation behind it, we can say that it basically boils down to revenge against the US for acts perpetrated in the muslim world.  al qaeda is not interested in overthrowing the US government or changing our political status quo beyond certain desired shifts in foreign policy that directly affect what they see as their domain, but even this aim is secondary and i don't think bin laden himself is naive or fanatical enough to believe it will actually happen.  it's all about "you hit what we love, so we'll hit what you love."

as far as the "war on terror" goes, it's not the term "terror" i have a problem with, it's "war."  one cannot make "war" on a nebulous concept.  by all means, we can call it "war on iraq" or "war on afghanistan," or even "war on the taliban" or "war on islamist insurgents," but "war on terror" is just asinine.

 

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iwbiek wrote:Marquis

iwbiek wrote:

Marquis wrote:

which in and of itself is a bit of doublespeak since war is terrorism.

(1) i don't think one can realistically call it "terrorism" except as a rhetorical device.

(2) one cannot make "war" on a nebulous concept.  

 

(1) I agree. It is a rhetorical device. However, in a situation where said "war" has no material objective, it ceases to be "war" per se.

(2) This is the core of my point: By declaring "war" on something metaphysical, it's hard to see how it can ever end.

It should also perhaps be mentioned that back in the heyday of terrorism in Europe, in the 70's, with RAF, BR, AD, IRA, ETA, etc., the stated goal of the terrorists was to provoke a political reaction of grossly increased security measures that would effectively constitute a police-state. The idea was to usher this into existence through random and singular acts of terrorism; then, when the governments reacted with unreasonable limitations of the general population's freedom, a revolution would follow. But, as we know, it didn't quite play out like that. The governing bodies at the time had the good wisdom to not take the bait - and the terrorists never earned any mainstream following for their "heroic" struggle against the imaginary police state.

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Marquis wrote:(1) I agree.

Marquis wrote:

(1) I agree. It is a rhetorical device. However, in a situation where said "war" has no material objective, it ceases to be "war" per se.

yes, but the idea of "war on terror" is nothing more than a smokescreen for two very real wars, at least one of which has very real objectives.

the war in iraq is nothing more than a attempt--albeit a very poorly planned, poorly executed, hamfisted attempt--to secure economic control of the region by introducing a package of american political ideologies.  it is absolutely one of the biggest blunders in history and anyone who still maintains it was a good idea on any level--moral, political, preventative, economic, or whatever--is either in firm denial or trying to save their credibility or both.

the war in afghanistan, at least as far as american involvement goes, is placating the masses pure and simple.  it's a sick public relations gesture.  ironically, as far as american security goes, i firmly believe that it is the destabilization of central asia rather than the destabilization of iraq that will come back to bite america in the ass.

the "war on terror" does not exist in any sense.  regardless of the fact that there is no way to execute such a "war," the american government has never made and is not curently making any attempt to execute such a "war."  if they were, perhaps it could be called terrorism. 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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iwbiek wrote: the war in

iwbiek wrote:

the war in afghanistan, at least as far as american involvement goes, is placating the masses pure and simple. 

 

Hence my allusion to the right funny movie "Wag The Dog" in another (but related) thread.

An amusing interview with Taliban brigadier Amir Sultan Tarar:

 

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Luminon wrote:with counting

Luminon wrote:

with counting all social and environmental costs, a price of single hamburger would not be 4 dollars, but 200 dollars!

I have seen a lot of such trickery with numbers and figures over the years. My main contention is that different regions support different types of agriculture like that. For instance, there are regions in each country which are excellent for grazing animals but useless for vegetable and grain production. But it is of course a waste to use the big, open and fertile landscapes for raising cattle.

That being said, you do of course have a point when saying that "economical warfare" is the name of the game to-day. But it is hard to see any way out of something which has been an established practice for centuries - without resorting to certain types of "alternative" economical theories that has by and large proven themselves to be even worse than that which they were supposed to replace. Soviet communism, for instance.

 

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OK, before we get on to the

OK, before we get on to the idea of “total war”, I think that it would be a good idea to get a definition of the more general concept or “war”. I am going to have to ramble a bit to get where I am going on that but such is the nature of this particular beast.

 

The first thing that I want to touch on is the fact that Man is a wild animal. Really, I am not sure that it means all that much that we have, in the past couple of hundred years developed “higher concepts” that suggest that we are not exactly what we have evolved to be. We are an apex predator. That is our nature. Thus, there is a matter where conflict happens to be unavoidable.

 

Even so, war sucks and should be avoided. Does that mean that we can simply decide to never do war at all? Well, I suppose so. There are plenty of times when learned men have sat back and not acted on horrific situations. However, there are as many times when learned men sat up and said “this sucks” and war has happened.

 

Still, we have the question of what we should call war. Since I come from the US, I base much of this on what I know. Even so, was the conflict in Grenada in the 80's a war? How about the arrest of Manuel Noreiga? Was that a war? In both cases, the military was deployed for the purpose of meeting national goals. Soldiers died. Eventually the goals were met and the soldiers that had survived came home.

 

So the idea of what counts as a war is subject to some degree of vagueness. A bit over a hundred years ago, the US went to war with Spain. The verdict of history is that it was a war. However, if one dissects the matter, it is not so clear that it was a war.

 

On the Spanish side of the equation, they were going bankrupt trying to support colonies that were a failed business and they were facing a possible civil war over the matter. If they sold the colonies off, they could have made mad cash on the deal but it would not have stopped the civil war from happening.

 

So they poked and prodded the US until we go our act going. Then we had this “sort of”war where we ended up as the winner. The government of Spain had what could be called an honorable defeat and they survived for a while longer.

 

On the US side, Spain was a huge pain in the ass. Eventually, they, well in modern terms, committed an act of terrorism. Or not. Modern forensic examination of the wreck of the USS Maine remains unclear on whether it was bombed or not. Even so, it was the causus beli for the US to mix it up with Spain.

 

The Spanish government survived with their bacon intact. The fallout led to the “war” of the US vs. the Philippines, which was a disaster that makes the war in Vietnam seem like an amateur botch job. That was not called a war by pretty much anyone.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:


The first thing that I want to touch on is the fact that Man is a wild animal. Really, I am not sure that it means all that much that we have, in the past couple of hundred years developed “higher concepts” that suggest that we are not exactly what we have evolved to be. We are an apex predator. That is our nature. Thus, there is a matter where conflict happens to be unavoidable.

 

 

Are you a Hobbesian, Mr. Simmons?

Thomas Hobbes envisioned a "natural state of being" where everybody was pretty much at war with everybody else, over a finite pool of resources and territory. I suppose that would have been prudent for his times. But instead of going on like that, he suggested that we should all rather submit to a body of government which holds a monopoly on violence (although I think that concept was coined later, by Max Weber), thus forming a *social contract* where nobody gets to perform violence against anybody else, and the governing body - the sovreign state - only uses such force as is necessary to keep the peace.

I personally like the Machiavellian "lowest common denominator" image of a monopoly on violence. In any imagined scenario of anarchy, somebody will sooner or later rise to such a position, assuming *ownership* of all peoples within his realm of control, subjugating and disarming all the other power players, thus becoming, in effect, *the king*. It unites all principles of human in-fighting, whether organised or disorganised, criminal or lawful, into a predictable scenario.

 

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iwbiek wrote:   Marquis

iwbiek wrote:

 

Marquis wrote:
(1) I agree. It is a rhetorical device. However, in a situation where said "war" has no material objective, it ceases to be "war" per se.

 

yes, but the idea of "war on terror" is nothing more than a smokescreen for two very real wars, at least one of which has very real objectives.

 

the war in iraq is nothing more than a attempt--albeit a very poorly planned, poorly executed, hamfisted attempt--to secure economic control of the region by introducing a package of american political ideologies. it is absolutely one of the biggest blunders in history and anyone who still maintains it was a good idea on any level--moral, political, preventative, economic, or whatever--is either in firm denial or trying to save their credibility or both.

 

the war in afghanistan, at least as far as american involvement goes, is placating the masses pure and simple. it's a sick public relations gesture. ironically, as far as american security goes, i firmly believe that it is the destabilization of central asia rather than the destabilization of iraq that will come back to bite america in the ass.

 

the "war on terror" does not exist in any sense. regardless of the fact that there is no way to execute such a "war," the american government has never made and is not curently making any attempt to execute such a "war." if they were, perhaps it could be called terrorism.

 

Shit dude! You posted that while I was writing my post. I think that we agree on this but we just used different examples.

 

The Spanish American war was a stupid ham fisted event that was done for economic reasons more than political reasons. Still, there were political reasons involved.

 

It came back to bite the US in the ass in terms of the Philippines.

 

In fact, the bombing of the USS Maine might not have been the causus beli that it became if not for the journalism conflict between William Randolph Hearst and Jospeh Pulitzer. Compare that to the current deal between between Rupert Murdoch (fox News) and Ted Turner (CNN).

 

Why am I thinking of the maxim that those who do not remember history will repeat the same mistakes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, I have not studied

Well, I have not studied Hobbes myself. In all honesty, I copped the “man is a wild animal” line from Robert A. Heinlein.

 

He served in the US navy in WW2 before being forcibly retired due to consumption (probably tuberculosis). However, while he supported the US government, he wrote extensively about future revolutions where the powers that be had voided any mandate from the masses. Off the top of my head:

 

If this Goes On is about the revolt from a potential USA theocracy.

 

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress tells the story of the revolution that frees the lunar colonies from political control of the several governments that controlled them.

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Marquis wrote:That being

Marquis wrote:
That being said, you do of course have a point when saying that "economical warfare" is the name of the game to-day. But it is hard to see any way out of something which has been an established practice for centuries - without resorting to certain types of "alternative" economical theories that has by and large proven themselves to be even worse than that which they were supposed to replace. Soviet communism, for instance.

Firstly, Soviet communism is not an opposite of capitalism. It's a form of it, the state capitalism in particular. It's also a big nonsense.

Secondly, the transition we both mean was expected and called necessary by experts well since WW2. The expansive and exploitative model of economy can not work forever, one day all Earth will be mapped and claimed, and plundering it will become unsustainable. Which it already is for quite a while.

Thirdly, I do have an alternative economic theory. I didn't invent it for the most part, but I'm smart enough to recognize it's value. As my dad says, do things as they should be done, and don't do things as they shouldn't be done. The current system is completely unnatural, perverted and totally against common sense. In any area of life we have to design things through advanced knowledge that must work efficiently, like technology or programming. So why the hell we can't do that with the goddamn economy and politics??!!! It's just another damn system of getting things done! If it can be designed to fuck up everything, it can be designed to work correctly as it should.
The stock market will inevitably fall or will be closed. Dollar will get fucked. Whatever oligarchy there might be that has control over this system, this control will be gone too, (no dollars) and then there will be opportunity to estabilish a logical, efficient, decentralized system based on sustainability and sufficiency.

Fourthly, if you wonder what people will do, when they won't lose time by working and consuming, leave it up to people who have the vision. The vision is that  the resources will be directed to find out an individual's talent and then help the individual to develop his or her highest potential. Today all education is only to make us possible to sell on job market like whores on street. When people told me "you learn for yourself, not for your teacher, parents or anyone else" they lied. We learn to get a job and work our asses off and die in retirement. That must stop. Learning is a great fun, if that is not preparation for a life of senseless work.

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I thought this was about a total war...

A perpetual war requires a handful of highly cohesive supernations (or superstates) that represent significant portions of the (usually highly urbanized) world-populace. State authority is socially engineered to be totalitarian and unquestioned to the highest point of efficiency. A central, god like, highly fabricated, father figure-esque tyrant is idolized and FEARED (but never witnessed in person) in the place of personification of the 'ruling elite'.

While there ARE several entities who behave like superstates, none truly fit the criterion.

Quote:
war is terrorism

Circular logic.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Oh, sorry...

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Well, I have not studied Hobbes myself. In all honesty, I copped the “man is a wild animal” line from Robert A. Heinlein.

 

He served in the US navy in WW2 before being forcibly retired due to consumption (probably tuberculosis). However, while he supported the US government, he wrote extensively about future revolutions where the powers that be had voided any mandate from the masses. Off the top of my head:

 

If this Goes On is about the revolt from a potential USA theocracy.

 

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress tells the story of the revolution that frees the lunar colonies from political control of the several governments that controlled them.

 

I didn't realize this thread was basically a giant book review.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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War is how the human species

War is how the human species has evolved to do population control and natural resource allocation. Unless and until we can all agree on an alternative more rational means of doing these, perpetual war is inevitable.

 

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what never ceases to amaze

what never ceases to amaze me is the absolute refusal, or perhaps inability, of the US to look to history for an informed judgment of whether or not military operations are feasible in a given area.  history shows us time and time and time again--literally down through millennia--that no foreign army has ever had luck in afghanistan or arabia.  ever.

and just where the fuck are we now?

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iwbiek wrote:what never

iwbiek wrote:

what never ceases to amaze me is the absolute refusal, or perhaps inability, of the US to look to history for an informed judgment of whether or not military operations are feasible in a given area.  history shows us time and time and time again--literally down through millennia--that no foreign army has ever had luck in afghanistan or arabia.  ever.

and just where the fuck are we now?

If people were to have looked at their 'history books' during the 11th, and 12th centuries, none of them would have ever expected the Mongol Invaders to have been successful as they were.

For that matter, no one would have expected WWII to have been indecisively victorious in the manner that it was. Even then, history, by itself, could not imagined the brutal defeat of the Chechen Rebels.

History grants poor opinions of the success or failure of present and future wars.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:iwbiek

Kapkao wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

what never ceases to amaze me is the absolute refusal, or perhaps inability, of the US to look to history for an informed judgment of whether or not military operations are feasible in a given area.  history shows us time and time and time again--literally down through millennia--that no foreign army has ever had luck in afghanistan or arabia.  ever.

and just where the fuck are we now?

If people were to have looked at their 'history books' during the 11th, and 12th centuries, none of them would have ever expected the Mongol Invaders to have been successful as they were.

For that matter, no one would have expected WWII to have been indecisively victorious in the manner that it was. Even then, history, by itself, could not imagined the brutal defeat of the Chechen Rebels.

History grants poor opinions of the success or failure of present and future wars.

explain, and tread lightly.  i was a classical studies major, you know.

i can't speak much to the chechan rebels (lamentably), but i think history shows that the central asian peoples are born conquerors.  the huns razed the capitals of europe to the ground.  ditto the turks, both seljuk and ottoman, with byzantium.  the parthians conquered huge swaths of iran and anatolia.  the aryans took india loooong ago.  even the celts probably once stretched from pictland to the indus river valley.  the slavs did damn well too in the old anglo-saxon territories.  but if you have something specific to say about the mongols, i'm listening.

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The one I'm using now it's covered up
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After the end of war, Iraq

After the end of war, Iraq will be divided on zones. The zones will be named Natural, Super and Diesel.

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O.o okay...............

iwbiek wrote:

explain, and tread lightly.

No explanation seemed required, to me (aside from what's already given)

You want someone to cite evidential findings in favor of my generalized remark, go bother some war historians for their opinion of history somehow magically determining the military successes of Great Empires (like the American Empire, for starters.)

The phrase "those who do not learn from History" bears a double meaning here, because History's application in military conflict has almost exclusively been "learn from the other guy's mistakes."along with "profit from the erroneous behavior of faltering kingdoms".

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:iwbiek wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

explain, and tread lightly.

No explanation seemed required, to me (aside from what's already given)

You want someone to cite evidential findings in favor of my generalized remark, go bother some war historians for their opinion of history somehow magically determining the military successes of Great Empires (like the American Empire, for starters.)

The phrase "those who do not learn from History" bears a double meaning here, because History's application in military conflict has almost exclusively been "learn from the other guy's mistakes."along with "profit from the erroneous behavior of faltering kingdoms".

I disagree. Our current military situation has already taught us that our leaders have failed to learn from history and failed to profit from the faltering of 'kingdoms'.

I cite the 'doublethink' of sending 30,000 additional troops along with $30,000,000,000US to 'win the hearts and minds' of Afghans. This same tactic was attempted in Vietnam at about the same timemark in the conflict. It's an insane person that does something the same way twice expecting a different result.

Also, we did not gain access to cheap oil by defeating Iraq either time. It did not open up any new markets for goods. The people still despise us. Essentially, they traded 1 dictator 1 mile away for 1,000,000 dictators 6,000 miles away. The Iraqi kids now will grow up with a resentment of the US which fuels yet another terrorist organization after al-qaida fades into retirement.

 

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darth_josh wrote:I disagree.

darth_josh wrote:

I disagree. Our current military situation has already taught us that our leaders have failed to learn from history and failed to profit from the faltering of 'kingdoms'.

I cite the 'doublethink' of sending 30,000 additional troops along with $30,000,000,000US to 'win the hearts and minds' of Afghans. This same tactic was attempted in Vietnam at about the same timemark in the conflict. It's an insane person that does something the same way twice expecting a different result.

Also, we did not gain access to cheap oil by defeating Iraq either time. It did not open up any new markets for goods. The people still despise us. Essentially, they traded 1 dictator 1 mile away for 1,000,000 dictators 6,000 miles away. The Iraqi kids now will grow up with a resentment of the US which fuels yet another terrorist organization after al-qaida fades into retirement.

None of which disproves or necessarily runs contrary to anything I have stated so far. Aside from scattered bits of guerilla warfare, the military supremacy of the Developed World remains unchallenged (and quite rationally so - open conflict with a superpower on the battlefield is suicidal at best.)

Your comparison is also quite faulty, but if you want to think it's completely valid, so be it.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:iwbiek wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

explain, and tread lightly.

No explanation seemed required, to me (aside from what's already given)

You want someone to cite evidential findings in favor of my generalized remark, go bother some war historians for their opinion of history somehow magically determining the military successes of Great Empires (like the American Empire, for starters.)

yeah, but there's a reason why "great empires" conquer the routes they do: they know damn good and well they've been conquered before.  the macedonians, romans, slavs, huns, tatars, turks, and mongols all pretty much covered the same ground to one degree or another.  that ground has never included arabia or afghanistan, at least not until a few of the conquerors worked up enough hubris, and then they failed miserably.  the most that an empire has ever accomplished in either area (the soviet union, for example) is indirect control via a system of patronizing a native bureaucracy that almost always existed prior to the coming of the conquerors.

none of this is "magic."  it's not "magic" to know it's not a good idea to step on a hornets' nest.  same principle applies to arabia and afghanistan.

 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Kapkao wrote:darth_josh

Kapkao wrote:

darth_josh wrote:

I disagree. Our current military situation has already taught us that our leaders have failed to learn from history and failed to profit from the faltering of 'kingdoms'.

I cite the 'doublethink' of sending 30,000 additional troops along with $30,000,000,000US to 'win the hearts and minds' of Afghans. This same tactic was attempted in Vietnam at about the same timemark in the conflict. It's an insane person that does something the same way twice expecting a different result.

Also, we did not gain access to cheap oil by defeating Iraq either time. It did not open up any new markets for goods. The people still despise us. Essentially, they traded 1 dictator 1 mile away for 1,000,000 dictators 6,000 miles away. The Iraqi kids now will grow up with a resentment of the US which fuels yet another terrorist organization after al-qaida fades into retirement.

None of which disproves or necessarily runs contrary to anything I have stated so far. Aside from scattered bits of guerilla warfare, the military supremacy of the Developed World remains unchallenged (and quite rationally so - open conflict with a superpower on the battlefield is suicidal at best.)

Your comparison is also quite faulty, but if you want to think it's completely valid, so be it.

no, your comparison is faulty.  just what is this dichotomy between "guerilla warfare" and "open conflict"?  whatever wins a war wins a war, regardless of how "open" the tactics were.  we're not talking about "open conflict" here: we're talking about a defensive war fought against a foreign invader.  in that context, history has shown us time and again that some people cannot be conquered, at least not without completely annihilating the people and a good portion of their land and resources--not to mention the invader's own troops--along with them.  since the whole idea of "conquering" carries with it the implication that the ultimate benefits of occupation will more than justify the human costs, most successful empires have not taken this step.

afghanistan is a prime example of the historical lesson that "military supremacy" counts for very little when an entire people, civilian and military, are wholeheartedly against you and willing to endure any hardship to see you get the fuck out.  

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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iwbiek, kapkao

iwbiek wrote:

afghanistan is a prime example of the historical lesson that "military supremacy" counts for very little when an entire people, civilian and military, are wholeheartedly against you and willing to endure any hardship to see you get the fuck out.  

 

Have either of you read Flashman by George MacDonald Frasier?  It is the mythical story of a British soldier who is in the British-Afghanistan debacle when he is 19.  Very naughty.  Lots of fun --- and games.  A great lesson in history.  The series continues on in subsequent books, until poor Flashy is too old to roger all night.  I can empathize with that.

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iwbiek wrote:Kapkao

iwbiek wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

explain, and tread lightly.

No explanation seemed required, to me (aside from what's already given)

You want someone to cite evidential findings in favor of my generalized remark, go bother some war historians for their opinion of history somehow magically determining the military successes of Great Empires (like the American Empire, for starters.)

yeah, but there's a reason why "great empires" conquer the routes they do: they know damn good and well they've been conquered before.  the macedonians, romans, slavs, huns, tatars, turks, and mongols all pretty much covered the same ground to one degree or another.  that ground has never included arabia or afghanistan, at least not until a few of the conquerors worked up enough hubris, and then they failed miserably.  the most that an empire has ever accomplished in either area (the soviet union, for example) is indirect control via a system of patronizing a native bureaucracy that almost always existed prior to the coming of the conquerors.

none of this is "magic."  it's not "magic" to know it's not a good idea to step on a hornets' nest.  same principle applies to arabia and afghanistan.

 

First I would not consider the Huns, Tarters, or Slavs to be empires on the leval about which you are talking. The huns and tarters compare more to terrorist's then empire. The slavs I'm less frmiler with but Russia has a long history of being a conqured and oft invaded people. Second Alexander did in fact conquer afganstan and babaylonia I don't know if he even tried to take the arbian desert but doubt it as it would have beem worthless to him. His faliure was india not afghanstan. The Mongols also conqured and ruled all of Asia with the exception of india. There style of rule was like Alexanders leave local goverment mostly in place and impose taxes and tribute ensure payment with terror. Which both did throughout there empires. Alexander did leave greek governors beyond and relied less on terror then did the khan's. The ottomans I'll levae alone because of unfamilarty. The romans it could be argued fell because they ran out of places to conquer along with sevrail other factors. however they never tried to take ariaba because it would have been worthless to them also.

The reason India and Aribia have not been conqured has more to do with envoirmental and monatary factors then any other. To put it simply arbia untell modern times was not worth the effort and India's jungles also prevented the undertakeing from being worthwhile. Modern technology elminates the factors in there favor. I would argue that the current unwilllingess of The U.S. people to engage in Total war as termed by Sherman is why the situation is untenable not some mythical unconquerable status. Also one coud wage total war on the people and leave the desired resources usefull if one had the stomach for it.

The reason you refer to is a one of montary vaule of which the majority of the aribian pennisula and afghanstan had little untill recently. even now afghantsan is not exactly a gold mine unless you count herion which some consipercy theriost indeed do. There is no such thing as an historicaly unconquerable people it's all about leval of commitment.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


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None of these previous

None of these previous invading civilizations could provide Happy meals. All hail McDomination.

 

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I should say that being in a

I should say that being in a fairly consistent state of millatary conflict seems to be a nesiscary part of empire at least from the historical evidance. However the idea of doublethink or lieing to yourself and the population as a whole about this situation would lmply to me a good deal more big picture thinking then what actual goes on in the halls of goverment. I could be misunderstanding the concept, but I would suggest it's more a result of the nature of empire then any consious descion.

Also capitlism is without a question an explotative and evantual self destructive syestem. How could anything founded on princepals like the Iron Law of wages be less. The syestem at it's core is designed to keep everybody in there place. Upward mobility is actually harmful to it. The idea of a truly free market economy simply dos not work.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


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Myeomans wrote:First I would

Myeomans wrote:

First I would not consider the Huns, Tarters, or Slavs to be empires on the leval about which you are talking. The huns and tarters compare more to terrorist's then empire. The slavs I'm less frmiler with but Russia has a long history of being a conqured and oft invaded people. Second Alexander did in fact conquer afganstan and babaylonia I don't know if he even tried to take the arbian desert but doubt it as it would have beem worthless to him. His faliure was india not afghanstan. The Mongols also conqured and ruled all of Asia with the exception of india. There style of rule was like Alexanders leave local goverment mostly in place and impose taxes and tribute ensure payment with terror. Which both did throughout there empires. Alexander did leave greek governors beyond and relied less on terror then did the khan's. The ottomans I'll levae alone because of unfamilarty. The romans it could be argued fell because they ran out of places to conquer along with sevrail other factors. however they never tried to take ariaba because it would have been worthless to them also.

i would hardly compare alexander's presence in central asia with the mongols' presence.  he wasn't in india or afghanistan very long, and his successors had no real presence at all.  i mean, if you want to call a successful but limited military expedition followed by a very short-term garrison presence "conquering" then you can say almost any place has been conquered.  my point with the huns, slavs, and tatars was that central asians have always been militarily capable, both defensively and offensively.  as for russia having a long history of being conquered, apart from the tatars (which proves the point i was making before anyway), i don't know who you could be thinking of.

the romans did try to take arabia in the latter part of the first century b.c.e. under aelius gallus.  they failed miserably.  details can be found in cassius dio's history. 

 

Myeomans wrote:

There is no such thing as an historicaly unconquerable people it's all about leval of commitment.

once again, it depends on what you mean by "conquered."  i typically take "conquered" to mean being under direct, long-term (as in at least two or three generations), enforced, unwanted foreign subjugation.  i don't consider a tributary state as "conquered," particularly when the receivers of tribute are nearly always absent and have no chance to micromanage the tribute-payer's affairs.  if you want to expand "conquered" to mean even nominal subjugation then yes, i agree with you.

as for "level of commitment," of course you're correct, in theory.  but no one should commit troops based on theory.  history shows that, when it comes to supporting foreign wars of conquest, purely in terms of human nature and social dynamics, there are certain levels of commitment that cannot be expected of any society.  in my humble but informed opinion, a full military subjugation of either afghanistan or arabia would require such an unattainable level of commitment.  therefore, for all practical purposes, they are unconquerable.

 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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Of course your point about

Of course your point about Alexander is correct. What I was trying to get at is that he did in fact luanch a succeasful millitary campaign in the region. It fell apart because of his death. If your to say it's never been done and use Alexander as one of those who failed then your on weak legs. I will stand corrected on the romans. Russia's millitary history is a very bleak one indeed from, being a Mongol tributary for sevrail hundred years to suffering invasions ranging from the teutanic knights to hitler. Really though that's beside the point I was meerly using the largest slavic state as an example why I didn't consider those people empire, but since you clairfired your point we have no argument.

In reality I would agree the middle east along with southeast asia, and war in the russian winter has proven to be a very difficult propostion not to be undertaken lightly. However I would argue that an American millatary prescene does have some stragic value and it's worth the endeavor, weather or not it should have been handled the way it was is another discussion. I simply rejected the idea that it is been proven historical impossable. You can then of course argue the difficulty of occupation but that is not unique to the middle east.

Now as for leval of commetment yes I agree that victory in millatary terms would require a leval of commitment beyond what any modern country  can reasonable expect. However I believe your speaking in terms of troops and money I'm refering to morality and willingness to engage in total war in the way the term actual means. Not the unending war for economic purposes meant by the orginal poster, but in fact the true meaning of the term as coined by GENRAIL Sherman the complete and utter devastion of the enemy so as to destroy his economic and physicological ability to fight. This in fact could be accomplished rather easily and probale without ground troops. If we were to simple launch a navel and air bombardment of afghanstan without regard for life we could set an example that others would fear. The problem is that is not our goal we are engaged in nation building which is a whole another propostion.

My point being the war on terror is in fact winnable as is any war it's just a matter of how far are you willing to go. If the total might of the American millitary was unleashed without regard for politcal repurccsion the result would be something I don't think the world's seen since WW2 if even then.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


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ok, well, let's set aside

ok, well, let's set aside historical nitpicking because you raise some points relevant to current events.

Myeomans wrote:

If we were to simple launch a navel and air bombardment of afghanstan without regard for life we could set an example that others would fear.

wasn't this, to a lesser degree perhaps, what was tried in vietnam?

Myeomans wrote:

The problem is that is not our goal we are engaged in nation building which is a whole another propostion.

what sort of nation exactly?  do you honestly believe that either of the puppet governments the US has set up in afghanistan or iraq will remain in power for even one year after we pull out, anymore than the one in saigon did?

Myeomans wrote:
 

My point being the war on terror is in fact winnable as is any war it's just a matter of how far are you willing to go. If the total might of the American millitary was unleashed without regard for politcal repurccsion the result would be something I don't think the world's seen since WW2 if even then.

ok, qualify "war on terror."  do you honestly believe this is a viable concept, to wage military war on an ideology?  or do you really just mean the wars in iraq and afghanistan? 

as for your second point, of course the war is "winnable" if you blow up every motherfucker that lives there, not to mention making the land uninhabitable for centuries, and of course the US is capable of that, but that notion is too absurd to merit further speculation.

however, if the objective is to carve out a western republican state, more or less in the US's own image, in the space of a few years, then i firmly contend that no, the war is not winnable, nor do i think even bush was such an idiot as to truly believe that.  in fact, i call bullshit on the notion that "nation-building" is the US's objective at all, because if it is, then washington really is full of total, blithering morons.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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 As to Vietnam:Not really I

 As to Vietnam:

Not really I think it's a fairly accepted fact that certain targets in both vietnam and korea were avoided because of fear of dragging ethier Russia or china into the conflict. In the case of vietnam the focus of air and navel bombardment was the Ho chi minh trail. Which as a matrieal thing simply did not exist. I don't think there is any question that the US has not actual waged war without poltical constraints since WW2. i'm no expert on Vietnam but if we had actual focused our attacks on civallian population centers perhaps things would have gone differntly

Nation building:

That's actual my point I don't believe Nation building works It's a futile effort and has a 50/50 chance at best of being usefull and thats' being optimistic

war on terror:

Here's the propostion if we in fact want to destroy Al quida or any other Terror network the key to doing so would be to make the prospect of harbouring or funding them so frieghting that no country would dare do so. They absoulute devastation of ethier Iraq or afghanstan would go a long way towards accomplhsing this. I don't thing Nuclear deployment would be nesiscary we could reduce the population centers to rubble by means of conventional weapons. Of course we are not gcing to do that but it is possiable, and if these groups become capable of nuclear attack then it must be considered as an option. They are sevrail other viable stargies that could also prove effictive. Such as using the SF for there intended purpose and losseing them on the terror networks to fight a true guriella war regardless of boarders or political considerations. The key to the use of violence as a political startgy is useing it enough to actual scare people.Which we are not in fact doing.

To say the war on terror or more correctly the war on islamic radical groups is unwinable is not true. To say that it is unwinable given the constarints placed on the millatary and the obvious stupidity of the current policy is true. The question  becomes how badly to you really want to win? That's my point about commetmnet leval what's the goal victory in a millatary sense or looking like your doing something politicaly I think we all kow the answer.

No I don't believe nation-building was the objective it is however what we are doing. Oh and most people in washington are blathering Idiots.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


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Luminon wrote:Marquis

Luminon wrote:

Marquis wrote:
That being said, you do of course have a point when saying that "economical warfare" is the name of the game to-day. But it is hard to see any way out of something which has been an established practice for centuries - without resorting to certain types of "alternative" economical theories that has by and large proven themselves to be even worse than that which they were supposed to replace. Soviet communism, for instance.

Firstly, Soviet communism is not an opposite of capitalism. It's a form of it, the state capitalism in particular. It's also a big nonsense.

Secondly, the transition we both mean was expected and called necessary by experts well since WW2. The expansive and exploitative model of economy can not work forever, one day all Earth will be mapped and claimed, and plundering it will become unsustainable. Which it already is for quite a while.

Thirdly, I do have an alternative economic theory. I didn't invent it for the most part, but I'm smart enough to recognize it's value. As my dad says, do things as they should be done, and don't do things as they shouldn't be done. The current system is completely unnatural, perverted and totally against common sense. In any area of life we have to design things through advanced knowledge that must work efficiently, like technology or programming. So why the hell we can't do that with the goddamn economy and politics??!!! It's just another damn system of getting things done! If it can be designed to fuck up everything, it can be designed to work correctly as it should.
The stock market will inevitably fall or will be closed. Dollar will get fucked. Whatever oligarchy there might be that has control over this system, this control will be gone too, (no dollars) and then there will be opportunity to estabilish a logical, efficient, decentralized system based on sustainability and sufficiency.

Fourthly, if you wonder what people will do, when they won't lose time by working and consuming, leave it up to people who have the vision. The vision is that  the resources will be directed to find out an individual's talent and then help the individual to develop his or her highest potential. Today all education is only to make us possible to sell on job market like whores on street. When people told me "you learn for yourself, not for your teacher, parents or anyone else" they lied. We learn to get a job and work our asses off and die in retirement. That must stop. Learning is a great fun, if that is not preparation for a life of senseless work.

I don't know that this thought process is entirely sound. From the very beginning that one perceives something with having a monetary value, that perception is based on several factors, some factual (money has perceived worth), some perceived and not true (e.g. money has implicit worth), and some abstract (money can be used to buy goods and services despite being a piece of paper). To think a hamburger costing too little is some sort of exclusively modern problem is completely asinine! So let's say you charge a corporation $10,000 US to cut down a tree. That makes no sense unless you are the one who made up the number! And for what?! Now the corporation has less money, but the tree is still gone forever!

Attributing everything in the world with a monetary value is making the same tragic mistakes you hope to rectify! Money is abstract; things are not. Attributing actual things with a monetary value is an abstract thought process, and currently how the world operates. However, no amount of price fixing will solve the problem of overconsumption, overpopulation, depopulation, resource depletion, or any other modern problem. People will still compete over resources, driving prices higher and making us, as always, pick winners and losers. Not ONE economic theory has ever come along where there's not some losers at the end of the day, because DEMAND for resources is UNLIMITED (everyone needs to eat, I don't care what your politics or economic theory informs you), while SUPPLY is always limited (even when accounting for technology, which is the only way we can avoid complete catastrophic loss of people to famine every generation or so).

Furthermore, this argument breaks down for the simple fact that humans NEED to consume (i.e., use natural resources and organisms) to SURVIVE. It's not *right*, but it's justifiable, i.e., I don't want to die just to be considered a noble organism. I have seen people in that extreme, that believe the human race should just die off because we are so destructive, but I don't see those people living in a forest, starving to death. They usually just say very vague things about sustainability. Even within the idea of sustainability, though, we are consuming and depleting natural resources.


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I somehow suspected I wasn't

I somehow suspected I wasn't going to see eye-to-eye OR get others to see eye-to-eye regardless of how well-researched I was or what interesting wars were fought against native populations with infinitely better weapons and training.

So I got a clue, took my ball, and went home...

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:I somehow

Kapkao wrote:

I somehow suspected I wasn't going to see eye-to-eye OR get others to see eye-to-eye regardless of how well-researched I was or what interesting wars were fought against native populations with infinitely better weapons and training.

So I got a clue, took my ball, and went home...

yip-yip-yipee

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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iwbiek wrote:Kapkao wrote:I

iwbiek wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

I somehow suspected I wasn't going to see eye-to-eye OR get others to see eye-to-eye regardless of how well-researched I was or what interesting wars were fought against native populations with infinitely better weapons and training.

So I got a clue, took my ball, and went home...

yip-yip-yipee

Well............

 

 

 

........ at least your taste in vidgames and computer games doesn't suck. You know where the fun's at.

(Not relevant to Marquis's thread, but felt like injecting that anyhow)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Newprince wrote:I don't know

Newprince wrote:
I don't know that this thought process is entirely sound. From the very beginning that one perceives something with having a monetary value, that perception is based on several factors, some factual (money has perceived worth), some perceived and not true (e.g. money has implicit worth), and some abstract (money can be used to buy goods and services despite being a piece of paper). To think a hamburger costing too little is some sort of exclusively modern problem is completely asinine! So let's say you charge a corporation $10,000 US to cut down a tree. That makes no sense unless you are the one who made up the number! And for what?! Now the corporation has less money, but the tree is still gone forever!

The "real price" is computed for us to see what we pay on hidden costs, like environmental, health or military expenses. If hamburger would really cost 200 dollars, everybody would know the price and decide to not buy it, which is the rational choice. If the cost is hidden, we can't make the rational choice. The rational choice is what everyone really needs, which is health, family, leisure, basic needs and self-realization. Not money, not consumption, not mechanical, repetitive work.

 

Newprince wrote:
Attributing everything in the world with a monetary value is making the same tragic mistakes you hope to rectify! Money is abstract; things are not. Attributing actual things with a monetary value is an abstract thought process, and currently how the world operates. However, no amount of price fixing will solve the problem of overconsumption, overpopulation, depopulation, resource depletion, or any other modern problem. People will still compete over resources, driving prices higher and making us, as always, pick winners and losers. Not ONE economic theory has ever come along where there's not some losers at the end of the day, because DEMAND for resources is UNLIMITED (everyone needs to eat, I don't care what your politics or economic theory informs you), while SUPPLY is always limited (even when accounting for technology, which is the only way we can avoid complete catastrophic loss of people to famine every generation or so).
No, this is not about fixing prices. It's about setting priorities. You know what the "losers" should be? Losers should be those who currently have huge amounts of money and power but contribute nothing to the world, only manipulate it and hold it in poverty and delusion. There must be strict limitations against these practices, and limiting them is not a "loss", it is an act of justice for the good of all. And I mean Wall Street, in the first place.

Furthermore, money is not abstract. Money is energy. Money is not less abstract than volt, amper, farad, pascal or newton. Money as energy, which it truly is, must be handled properly and completely differently than it is handled today. For example, just like water or electric network extend their lines to millions, distributing just right amount of what is needed, so should be money. Keeping money away from people is like denying them water, and allowing people to hoard the vital resource in large concentration for no reason is also a criminal act. Large amount of money must not be used for personal gain and ambition.
Big corporations should be heavily taxed and inspected by the state. And oppositely, small businessmen and companies should enjoy almost complete freedom from tax and formalities.

Furthermore, money must not be inflated endlessly by interest and speculation. Such a money is like fairy gold, we sell real goods for it, but at the end of day it's value disappears. Such is a case with dollar, currently. It's a scam, of course.

Newprince wrote:
Furthermore, this argument breaks down for the simple fact that humans NEED to consume (i.e., use natural resources and organisms) to SURVIVE. It's not *right*, but it's justifiable, i.e., I don't want to die just to be considered a noble organism. I have seen people in that extreme, that believe the human race should just die off because we are so destructive, but I don't see those people living in a forest, starving to death. They usually just say very vague things about sustainability. Even within the idea of sustainability, though, we are consuming and depleting natural resources.
In USA, 50% of food is wasted. In other developed nations, it's about 30%. Similarly it is with all resources.
There is a difference between *just enough* sufficiency, and bloated gluttony of demand manufactured by marketing, to increase sales. And so we have great waste of everything at one side of the world, and on the other side there are people that have no food, money, education, medicine, or perspective in life. This arrangement is the embodiment of evil. Resources and money must be evenly distributed, otherwise it leads to catastrophes that affect all the world. We are affected too, as the developed nations spend fortunes on military, much more than during arms race of the cold war.
There is nobody but a handful of people that really profit from this situation. It is a common sense to end it.


During history people fought against each other. Every healthy man had to be a fighter. People had to patrol around villages and hold watches at night. Then we invented civilization and peace. During peace people don't have to lose time by night and day watch, they can do things like philosophy, science, arts, or mutual relationships.
But today, we fight against each other in economic sense. We are concurents and we work hard for a big part of the day just to succeed and make our opponents fail on the market, though they're our fellow men. All that to protect our own families from poverty. We are not civilized, if we can't make arrangements of economic peace. The end of economic and physical violence means to free ourselves for a new golden age of mankind, the true civilization mark II. Freeing the mankind from global economic warfare will mean great increase in voluntary creativity and is the only way how to make men and women equal in education and rights. That is, because capitalism is based on ignoring the value of female work. Men work for money, and to make that possible, women must work at home for free or work for less money, to be able to support the men and children. Only abolition of involuntary work can provide equal rights for men and women.

I hope someone else also reads this, because I'm not sure if you, Newprince have the means to understand these private thoughts of mine.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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iwbiek wrote:i know this is

iwbiek wrote:

i know this is currently a common rhetorical device, and granted it's not semantically unjustifiable, but i don't think it's helpful.  there clearly is a distinction between state-sanctioned acts of aggression, especially when that state is democratic, and the almost universally illegal actions of rogue groups or individuals.

The only distinction is in scale. States kill more, faster and devastation affects the population much longer and at an incomparable scale. That is the ONLY clear distinction between state-sanctioned and other forms of terror.

iwbiek wrote:

if you don't wish to call the latter "terrorism," you must call it something.

I am perfectly happy calling both forms of pressure on civilian population for the purpose of political/religious gain for terrorism and also perfectly happy with pursuing state terror more vigorously and punishing it much more severely - according to the extent of the crime.

iwbiek wrote:

as much as we all hate the war on iraq, and perhaps we can even call it illegal according to international agreements that the US itself helped draft, it did have more than enough congressional and popular support at its inception. i don't think one can realistically call it "terrorism" except as a rhetorical device.

We can perfectly well call it international terrorism according to US definition of terrorism as defined in the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms:

"The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological."

Under this definition, not only can we call both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for international terrorism, but also the sanctions against Iraq that killed something in the neighborhood of 500.000 Iraqi children in the 12 years prior to the war, deaths for which Madeleine Albright said were worth the sanctions. You can also call all the substantial threats against Iran for terrorism, including Hillary Clinton's "all options remain on the table" regarding possible nuclear attack on Iran - that is a substantial threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or intimidate a government and a society. The only two ways you can call the war in Iraq anything else than international terrorism are:

1) by calling it a war of aggression - a much more serious internationally recognized war crime for which the Nazi leaders hanged after the second world war.

2) by dancing the deception boogie and trying to define terrorism as something always done by them and never by us, whoever them happens to be at a given moment.

Naturally, fascistic statists have always picked the second choice and apply it broadly on anything that moves against their will, justifying anything they do. 20 years ago it was ok to off 500k Iraqi children - should tell you a bit about the extent of the crimes today.

iwbiek wrote:

i recall an old article trotsky wrote for der kampf in which he defined "terrorism" as violent individual acts of revenge.  this was back in the day when terrorism pretty much was the gunning down of a government official.  nowadays, i think we can do away with the "individual" aspect, but if we accept general knowledge about 9/11 and the motivation behind it, we can say that it basically boils down to revenge against the US for acts perpetrated in the muslim world.  al qaeda is not interested in overthrowing the US government or changing our political status quo beyond certain desired shifts in foreign policy that directly affect what they see as their domain, but even this aim is secondary and i don't think bin laden himself is naive or fanatical enough to believe it will actually happen.  it's all about "you hit what we love, so we'll hit what you love."

This is pure speculation amounting to exactly nothing. It's your opinion - very pretty and completely unfounded.

iwbiek wrote:

as far as the "war on terror" goes, it's not the term "terror" i have a problem with, it's "war."  one cannot make "war" on a nebulous concept.  by all means, we can call it "war on iraq" or "war on afghanistan," or even "war on the taliban" or "war on islamist insurgents," but "war on terror" is just asinine.

They have called it several things in the past 8 years. The first name was the tragically hilarious "Operation Iraqi Liberation". Then "Operation Iraqi Freedom". Then "War on Terror" that included Afghanistan. Now it's "Operation New Dawn", officially no longer "War on Terror". I understand that this is what you "have a problem with", right? Well, you can totally relax now - they changed the name and everything is in perfect order. And this time they can keep the name - Operation New Dawn is at least as never-ending a concept as a war on a definition of crime.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote:iwbiek wrote:i

ZuS wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i recall an old article trotsky wrote for der kampf in which he defined "terrorism" as violent individual acts of revenge.  this was back in the day when terrorism pretty much was the gunning down of a government official.  nowadays, i think we can do away with the "individual" aspect, but if we accept general knowledge about 9/11 and the motivation behind it, we can say that it basically boils down to revenge against the US for acts perpetrated in the muslim world.  al qaeda is not interested in overthrowing the US government or changing our political status quo beyond certain desired shifts in foreign policy that directly affect what they see as their domain, but even this aim is secondary and i don't think bin laden himself is naive or fanatical enough to believe it will actually happen.  it's all about "you hit what we love, so we'll hit what you love."

This is pure speculation amounting to exactly nothing. It's your opinion - very pretty and completely unfounded.

i still think most of what you're saying convolutes the distinction between "war" and "terrorism" beyond any kind of usefulness.  it seems to me that you see some kind of higher morality behind the word "war" than you do behind the word "terrorism," but i don't make any such distinction.  i think there has been terrorism that is "morally" justifiable in a conventional sense (i.e., i could make a case for it with any man off the street and he might very probably say, "ok, i guess i can see where that might be necessary..." ), just as there have been many wars that are "morally" unjustifiable, and i class iraq as such.

as for whatever the war on terror is now officially called by the state department, i find that immaterial.  it still remains the "war on terror" in both the popular mind and the majority of political rhetoric.

now, as to your words which i quoted above, i don't follow you.  what part exactly is my opinion?  is it trotsky's definition of terrorism?  if so, i can hardly claim it as my opinion.  is it my assertion that al qaeda is not out to overthrow the US government, but only to exact revenge on the consequences of US foreign policy?  it may be my "opinion" in the sense that (to my knowledge) al qaeda has not said that in so many words, but i hardly think it's unfounded.  if al qaeda's aim is to change the face of american politics in any fundamental sense, they're doing a piss-poor job of it, even in their strategy.  is it my opinion that revenge is the motivating factor behind terrorism?  if so, yes, this is my opinion, but many political theorists hold it along with me, among them trotsky and karl kautsky.  that doesn't make it so, of course, but recall i don't use the word "terrorism" in any condemnational sense.  it's merely a classification of action, not a moral appraisal.  therefore, i see no reason to quibble over it.  "terrorism" does not equal "war crime."  

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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iwbiek wrote:i still think

iwbiek wrote:

i still think most of what you're saying convolutes the distinction between "war" and "terrorism" beyond any kind of usefulness.  it seems to me that you see some kind of higher morality behind the word "war" than you do behind the word "terrorism," but i don't make any such distinction.

You clearly didn't read my post at all. I say that both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are AT THE VERY LEAST international terrorism according to US defitnition of terrorism. I also say that they constitute acts of aggression (google War of Aggression), which is a war crime as established by the Nuremberg precedent - punishable by death. Please recognize what I just said: there is legal letter and precedent sufficient to put the last three US administrations away for life and possibly even execute the responsible top.

iwbiek wrote:

i think there has been terrorism that is "morally" justifiable in a conventional sense (i.e., i could make a case for it with any man off the street and he might very probably say, "ok, i guess i can see where that might be necessary..." ), just as there have been many wars that are "morally" unjustifiable, and i class iraq as such.

The only sense in which terrorism is justifyable is the very popular nonsense. I am telling you about existing legal definitions of Terrorism and War of Aggression according to which US leadership should spend the rest of their lives either in prison or on death row, while you tell me about some guy off the street.

iwbiek wrote:

as for whatever the war on terror is now officially called by the state department, i find that immaterial.  it still remains the "war on terror" in both the popular mind and the majority of political rhetoric.

The last part of my post was pure unadalturated sarcasm which you failed to get. Of course it is immaterial - US has been openly murdering thousands of civilians every month for the past 8 years and threatening the whole middle east with nuclear holocaust, while you are bothered by the word "war" in "War on Terror". That deserves sarcasm. That I have to explain it is just sad.

iwbiek wrote:

now, as to your words which i quoted above, i don't follow you.  what part exactly is my opinion?  is it trotsky's definition of terrorism?  if so, i can hardly claim it as my opinion.  is it my assertion that al qaeda is not out to overthrow the US government, but only to exact revenge on the consequences of US foreign policy?  it may be my "opinion" in the sense that (to my knowledge) al qaeda has not said that in so many words, but i hardly think it's unfounded.  if al qaeda's aim is to change the face of american politics in any fundamental sense, they're doing a piss-poor job of it, even in their strategy.  is it my opinion that revenge is the motivating factor behind terrorism?  if so, yes, this is my opinion, but many political theorists hold it along with me, among them trotsky and karl kautsky.  that doesn't make it so, of course, but recall i don't use the word "terrorism" in any condemnational sense.  it's merely a classification of action, not a moral appraisal.  therefore, i see no reason to quibble over it.  "terrorism" does not equal "war crime."  

I am painfuly aware of the fact that you do not follow me. Your pretty and unfounded opinion is twofold:

1) your reasoning for why Osama did what he did.

2) your "conventional" guy-from-the-street and Gavrilo Princip-type definition of terrorism.

Osama is small fish in the world of terror, past 44 US administrations are the big fish and there are many fish in between. Your simplyfied picture of international terrorism makes Osama's motivation not something you can speculate on in any sound fashion.

You don't have to define terrorism on rationalresponders.com - there are half a dozen definitions in US law, US military manual, international law etc and they ALL apply to the last three US administrations for the actions in Iraq and later also Afghanistan.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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ZuS wrote:iwbiek wrote:i

ZuS wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i still think most of what you're saying convolutes the distinction between "war" and "terrorism" beyond any kind of usefulness.  it seems to me that you see some kind of higher morality behind the word "war" than you do behind the word "terrorism," but i don't make any such distinction.

You clearly didn't read my post at all. I say that both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are AT THE VERY LEAST international terrorism according to US defitnition of terrorism. I also say that they constitute acts of aggression (google War of Aggression), which is a war crime as established by the Nuremberg precedent - punishable by death. Please recognize what I just said: there is legal letter and precedent sufficient to put the last three US administrations away for life and possibly even execute the responsible top.

iwbiek wrote:

i think there has been terrorism that is "morally" justifiable in a conventional sense (i.e., i could make a case for it with any man off the street and he might very probably say, "ok, i guess i can see where that might be necessary..." ), just as there have been many wars that are "morally" unjustifiable, and i class iraq as such.

The only sense in which terrorism is justifyable is the very popular nonsense. I am telling you about existing legal definitions of Terrorism and War of Aggression according to which US leadership should spend the rest of their lives either in prison or on death row, while you tell me about some guy off the street.

iwbiek wrote:

as for whatever the war on terror is now officially called by the state department, i find that immaterial.  it still remains the "war on terror" in both the popular mind and the majority of political rhetoric.

The last part of my post was pure unadalturated sarcasm which you failed to get. Of course it is immaterial - US has been openly murdering thousands of civilians every month for the past 8 years and threatening the whole middle east with nuclear holocaust, while you are bothered by the word "war" in "War on Terror". That deserves sarcasm. That I have to explain it is just sad.

iwbiek wrote:

now, as to your words which i quoted above, i don't follow you.  what part exactly is my opinion?  is it trotsky's definition of terrorism?  if so, i can hardly claim it as my opinion.  is it my assertion that al qaeda is not out to overthrow the US government, but only to exact revenge on the consequences of US foreign policy?  it may be my "opinion" in the sense that (to my knowledge) al qaeda has not said that in so many words, but i hardly think it's unfounded.  if al qaeda's aim is to change the face of american politics in any fundamental sense, they're doing a piss-poor job of it, even in their strategy.  is it my opinion that revenge is the motivating factor behind terrorism?  if so, yes, this is my opinion, but many political theorists hold it along with me, among them trotsky and karl kautsky.  that doesn't make it so, of course, but recall i don't use the word "terrorism" in any condemnational sense.  it's merely a classification of action, not a moral appraisal.  therefore, i see no reason to quibble over it.  "terrorism" does not equal "war crime."  

I am painfuly aware of the fact that you do not follow me. Your pretty and unfounded opinion is twofold:

1) your reasoning for why Osama did what he did.

2) your "conventional" guy-from-the-street and Gavrilo Princip-type definition of terrorism.

Osama is small fish in the world of terror, past 44 US administrations are the big fish and there are many fish in between. Your simplyfied picture of international terrorism makes Osama's motivation not something you can speculate on in any sound fashion.

You don't have to define terrorism on rationalresponders.com - there are half a dozen definitions in US law, US military manual, international law etc and they ALL apply to the last three US administrations for the actions in Iraq and later also Afghanistan.

ok

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen