On War and related topics

War is about two things: theft and subjugation (which themselves are closely related). In the Roman model which is no longer in use war was also about glory (the glory of conquest), however that was most likely the result of a successful propaganda campaign.

There is no such thing as real hate in the context of war (hate only occurs outside of war). Hate is never the reason for war. People only hate their enemies after they become enemies, never before. Hate is a useful emotional tool which allows for mass killing, and especially for effective killing as it turns humans into tools of death. Sufficient technology allows no more need for hate, when one can achieve mass killing by pushing a button, but subjugation will always involve intimacy with humans on some level so there will always be hate involved with war so long as there is war.

On something of a side note, what is called a “hate crime” in the United States is actually a war crime. Most wars do not involve large armies and are organized. Many wars are genocidal in nature and are carried out sporadically and in everyday life. The Ku Klux Klan is not a hate group but a militant group that periodically carries out acts of war.

The humans who perpetuate wars are those who gain the most from theft and subjugation and who pay the least in terms of the cost of war. In hierarchical power models such as have dominated the world for millennia it’s the humans on the top of the hierarchical structure who reap the largest benefits from theft and subjugation and pay the least cost in terms of having other humans die on their behalf. They invent fictions like honor, glory, and duty to allow others to be controlled by them as they go to their death in slavery to give the powerful more control and wealth.

The question “How do we end war?” is often asked but rarely answered. It’s not that difficult to stop or at least greatly curtail the amount and degree of wars in the world. The first thing to do is eliminate all hierarchical power structures, which put those on top both unaccountable to everyone else and most eager to commit to war. The second thing is to use military force only in defense and in circumstances that allow for no other course of effective action (such as stopping a genocide).

On a side note, no hierarchical structure is ever or can ever be democratic. No modern state is democratic, the United States perhaps the least of all. Hierarchy is the opposite of democracy. There are no such things as leaders or citizens in a hierarchical model. There are only rulers and subjects. Rulers treat subjects differently depending on their relation to the ruler, so for American rulers the American people are deemed “citizens” (those they keep a close eye on and give gifts to) and non-Americans are deemed “non-citizens” (those they don’t worry about except to exploit).

The “War on Terror” by necessity will be fought by American rulers primarily against the American people within the United States, since that is where the greatest threat to the American rulers exists (due to physical proximity, material relations (taxation) and elections). It will also provide a pretext for foreign wars, as we’ve already seen and will continue to see. While terror means one thing in a dictionary, it means something else to a ruler – it means anything that threatens his interests. Hence he uses terror to “stop terror” and he considers unruly American subjects to be “terrorists”, again receiving terror from him.

Modern elections have nothing to do with democracy. Elections are where subjects choose between Ruler A and Ruler B. The subjects themselves experience little difference between the rulers – only the elite culture treats the two rulers with much anticipation and differential.

The term “subject” is a fairly kind one by me. Subjects are always enslaved, as we witness whenever the police are called upon to stop whatever demonstration occurs if it “gets out of hand” (where it threatens the interests of the rulers).

In a “democracy” the police don’t use pure force because they want to maintain the fiction of being a democracy. The only difference between a “democracy” and a police state is that the police state no longer seeks to maintain the fiction of being a democracy.

Americans range between deluded and severely deluded on all political issues. They are ignorant about war, they are ignorant about the American political system, they are ignorant about their own role and degree of power within the system. Thus they are “shocked and outraged” about the Bush Administration, when all that administration is is a more transparent and less maintaining-of-fiction version of what has always come before, and what will always come again until the hiearchical model itself is destroyed.

Back to the original point of this writing: it’s extreme useful for a ruler to enslave someone. A ruler always wants control and slavery allows for total external control. A ruler wants nothing better than to enslave the world – that was the Roman vision that has so enthralled civilized Western society. Control means the ruler can do whatever he wants with that person – the ruler wants to avoid threats and he achieves that – he wants to reap material rewards and he achieves that.

The case of American rulers waging a war in Iraq is typical. Mass killing is undertaken in order to subjugate the populace. Torture is used to further the subjugation. Iraq has vast oil wealth which is now being transferred to American multinational corporations.

The only real solutions will occur following democratic revolution. There has to be no such thing as rulers and subjects in order to avoid the monstrosities of the past and today.


6 Responses to “On War and related topics”

  1. John Fair Says:

    Dear Writer: I believe that war is the result of failed politics and it is usually politics unwillingness to yield because sovereigns often result to backhanded ways to maintain control — could be that theft and subjugation is the overarching result. Secondly, the idea of glory in war is actually an illusion. The idea of glory can be used and has been used to motivate the uninitiated but ask a warrior and he or she will deny any idea of the glorious in combat …

    Warriors fight for one another only but once the blood lust has be unleashed, violence easily spirals out of control — this is why there are commissioned and non-commissioned officers in charge — it is their responsibility to ensure order and discipline and to control the level of violence — in the days of modern warfare (1700 – 1800) officers were often spared being directly fired upon —

    The role of hate is to turn the “other” into an object. I believe it is humanly impossible to violate another human subject — only after we have achieved the ultimate of objectification — e.g. I am not that — then can that object be exploited …

    In a democratic republic such as the good ole USA, the American people seem to have chosen to live in such a manner that to continue to do so will require exploitation and acts of violence

    Finally, ask instead “How do we plan for sustainable peace?” rather than your question “How do we stop war?”

    Your thoughts are rich. It is my desire that you take a more hopeful approach. Take a look at my website http://www.p2-planningforpeace.com … there are a few essays I have written to help me think through the question above — I look forward to continued dialogue with you and others as well — I have started a blog as well —

    May your continued work begin to bless others and bring forth peace

  2. briankoontz Says:

    There’s no rationality in hope as it pertains to things humanity has never achieved. Hope isn’t useful in achieving something – it usually leads to false optimism. People are against despair because they think it harms productivity and achievement – I very much disagree. If we actually had a culture of despair the entire culture would be able to deal with it and it wouldn’t be a big deal – it’s precisely because it’s a “taboo” that just like other taboos it’s made into something far worse than it is.

    I disagree with a couple things you said. There is no longer any glory in combat, but whether it was successful propaganda or for some other reason glory was a real emotion in the Roman model of war.

    I also disagree with your explanation for the reason for officers. Officers are there as middlemen – armies follow similar command-line structures as corporations. Officers pass along orders from higher-ups and when applicable make their own orders. It has to do with the command structure and following the procedures that the commanders desire. Whether violence is more or less “out of control” depends on a lot of factors such as whether or not the army stays and occupies a place.

    I assume by “failed politics” you mean failed diplomacy. I don’t agree with what you say here. The Bush Administration for example hardly ever engages in diplomacy in good faith. If someone who commands an army wants war they get war, and if they want diplomacy they get diplomacy. When diplomacy breaks down the reason is always “we don’t accept what you say”. And then the army comes out.

    I don’t think sustainable peace is the best approach, at least not in the short term. In the short term the keys are getting rid of nuclear weapons and putting all large militaries under the command of democratic forces (not republics, actual democracies, of which there are zero major ones in the world currently). That *may* lead to sustainable peace, it’s hard to say. Once that is achieved we can reevaluate what results from that and go from there. Without true democracy no other solution will work.

  3. mad dog Says:

    Brian, this is not totally unrelated, but I just found an article (from a left-liberal site, no less) of how Harry Reid is a tool of Bush-Cheney: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/12/14/reid/index.html

    I know, the ads are annoying. Just wait, and a link will show up that lets you see the article.

  4. briankoontz Says:

    I’m not sure I need to see the article if that’s the message – the majority of the congressional Democratic Party and all of the congressional Democratic leadership share very similar interests to the Neoconservatives, and behave accordingly.

    There are only a handful of respectable congresspeople. Dennis Kucinich is my favorite congressman, and I also like John Conyers, Barbara Boxer, and Keith Ellison. There might be a few more but I’m no expert on the congress, although I’m learning more these days. The US congress is not exactly a hot-spot of people who share my views.

  5. mad dog Says:

    My list is probably shorter than yours, but yes, Kucinich is on it. But you know what really irritates and frustrates me? This girl I know, who was a member of the green party, no less, who has total disregard for Kucinich, because he claimed to see a UFO. I even had her take an online test, sure enough, Kucinich was the presidential candidate that she most agreed with.

  6. briankoontz Says:

    The problem with perception of “UFO” is that people think of aliens when they think of the term “UFO”, hence the girl thinks that Kucinich is saying he saw aliens, hence she thinks he’s crazy.

    All a UFO is is what the term means – Unidentified Flying Object. Meaning, if some object is flying and you can’t identify it, it’s a UFO. What’s a UFO to one person is an IFO (Identified Flying Object) to another. There are a lot of UFOs over the western desert country in America not because aliens like the scenery but because that’s where the US government does a lot of it’s test flights for it’s new experimental (many of them unmanned) aircraft.

    The reason UFOs became popular in the post WWII era is just that – the Cold War saw the rise (literally) of high altitude spy drones and aircraft, many of which can come to a halt and then accelerate at high speed. The government, which always likes a cover for it’s activities, quite possibly helped perpetuate the “aliens” myth, although the ignorant American populace seemed to encourage perpetuating this myth within their own sad minds.

    Perpetuating the aliens myth of UFOs is a cultural crime, albeit a minor one. Everyone who does so should be ashamed that they are acting as a tool of the US government.

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