Sunday, 2 September 2007

The futility of war

The war solved no problem. Its effects, both immediate and indirect, were either negative or disastrous. Morally subversive, economically destructive, socially degrading, confused in its causes, devious in its course, futile in its result, it is the outstanding example in European history of meaningless conflict. The overwhelming majority…wanted no war; powerless and voiceless, there was no need even to persuade them that they did. The decision was made without thought of them. Yet of those who, one by one, let themselves be drawn into the conflict…almost all…were actuated rather by fear than by lust of conquest or passion of faith. They wanted peace and they fought for thirty years to be sure of it. They did not learn then, and have not since, that war breeds only war.”


“The Thirty Years War” [1957]

When does the overwhelming majority ever want war?

Is not fear the driving force of all conflicts?

“War breeds only war.”



Richard W. Symonds said...

If 'they' declared war, and nobody turned up...there would be no war.

anticant said...

But 'they' turn up because they have been indoctrinated by their leaders and priests that God, Jehovah, Allah, etc. etc. wants them to 'defend' his honour and smite the infidel.

All wars are fought in the name of some vengeful, supposedly righteous, 'god'.

Richard W. Symonds said...

Or that people just like killing each other - and will find any excuse on hand to do it...

Emmett said...

MR Symonds has that right -- there /is/ the probem of the shadow & Evil, and we dismiss these in our lunatic wishful positivism only at our peril. Auschwitz was /the/ positivist icon of the twentieth century and, precisely, a humanist endeavour, specifically in /hygiene/, QED. No more hope in atheism or agnosticism or scientism than in any 'divinity', /eg/.

anticant said...

Yes, Emmett, maybe not - but the special evil of religion as a motivation for fighting and violence is that the belief you are doing it at the command of a 'supernatural' Being makes it much harder for you to accept that you may be wrong.

Cromwell - a valiant 'fighter for God' himself - once famously said to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken".

Try saying that to a jihadist [substituting "Allah" for "Christ"]. I think you would get short shrift - and probably your throat slit into the bargain.