War

February 23, 2007 at 2:13 pm (politics/law/economy)

People like to blame war on religion, race, and culture. In reality war is caused by money. War occurs when the cost to kill your neighbour is cheaper than the cost to buy what you want from them.

Are there really inalienable rights that human beings have? If you do not have the money to defend your freedom, does it really deserve to be yours? If we define money as value, then if you provide little value to your society do you deserve to exist at the expense of taking away value from other cultures?

Society often defines “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as inalienable rights. That is fine, but if you ask 100 random people accross the world you will get 100 different definitions for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Is driving your pick up truck considered a liberty and pursuit of happiness when the cost to get the oil includes so much damage to the environment and bloodshed? These inalienable rights are open-ended generalizations that only have meaning to the culture defining them.

To understand the cause of war we need to calculate the expense of a life. Again it goes back to money. The cost depends on your ability to defend what you have that is valuable to others. If you own nothing of value, then no one is going to bother you. Think of a cow. Most of us do not think twice about the enormous pain and suffering we have put dozens (hundreds?) of cows through only because they provide value. Since the cow can not defend it’s own value, it is killed and consumed.

The same extension applies to humans. Those cultures that provide value to others, like mid-east, have to be able to defend themselves . Otherwise human beings do not think twice about committing genocide so they can continue their “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. If you and I don’t have “feelings” for cows, why should we have feelings for humans that cause us more harm by not allowing us to be free? In fact people often feel more anger for humans since they are capable of reason, but do not use it. It’s not the cows fault it had to be killed, but it is the human’s fault for being killed.

I do not know who is right or wrong, but these are just some ideas you won’t ever hear on TV, but really explain the heart of the matter. Freedom is all in the eye of the beholder. To put it another way, “One man’s genocide is another man’s freedom fight “.

It’s conclusion, everything is relative and needs to be judged from the perspective of those it affects. Those with more money (value) will always control those with less value. This is a fact that history has taught us for thousands of years.

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20 Comments

  1. olivier cocteau said,

    I’ve heard dozens of arguments which blame all of society’s problems on a group they didn’t like. Take your pick: all society’s problems are caused by: religion, the theory of evolution, jews, illuminati, reptilian humanoids, males, people who eat meat, people who don’t smoke pot, communists, socialists, satanists, secular humanists, the british, the french, the arabs, white people, rich people, catholics, “new age” … there does seem to be *some* correlation, but probably no stronger than just saying what they are all avoiding: *people* start wars. Get rid of the people, the wars stop. It changes things slightly if the person making the argument is part of the targetted group, then you start thinking, “maybe we can change”, rather than “they are all out to get us, so we better get them first”.

    I like discussing the value of life. Someone asked me if I believed in the death penalty. I had to explain that, in theory, a society must either accept it in full, or reject it completely. If you reject it completely, you also can’t support war, even in self-defense, or maybe even hamburgers, (if life has value, why value human life over animal life). I liked “Eric the Viking”, where there was an island where, if one drop of blood was spilled, the whole island sank into the sea. … Anyway, since we obviously have to live with exceptions to the right to life, then wouldn’t all forms of death be acceptable to those who have authority over it, and any arguments over the value of life would be meaningless.

    Just my [weird] opinions, not saying any of the above is true.

  2. rabeldin said,

    The closest I’ve come to understanding war is to attribute it to our xenophobia, fear of the stranger. The Islamic tradition of defending any guest with your life is a way of attempting to break xenophobia’s hold on people. Even if you offer hospitality to a stranger under false pretenses, you are obligated to him. I like that.

  3. void said,

    War is not made because of money, or religion or politics, or whatever it is they say it is. Those are the justifications, yes; but those are not the actual reasons to why people go to war. The actual reasons for going to war are usually just things that the basic human desires, its mostly dealing with power. At least usually its power, sometimes (in the past) its lust, sometimes its just the desire to do something (your bored). But mainly all wars have started because of basic human traits and usually because of the desire for power, for control. That desire for control leads people to making justifications and/or reasons to themselves, as well as other people, to the reasons they do things, so that way in their mind, it seems logical and thus reasonable to go to war.

  4. swstephe said,

    Lust for power is really just genetics. It is still our primate part of the brain insisting on being the alpha male — to struggle for dominance and security through physical strength, violence and intimidation. It was once a genetic advantage, not based on reason.

    When the last Superman came out, (I didn’t see it yet, just thinking about the concept of Superman). I couldn’t help wondering why it was necessary that the good guy win — and through physical strength/invulnerability, not through logic or wisdom. In *that* particular universe, it might be just as likely that the winner and strongest individual would have been a supervillian. There seems to be a deeper layer that is implied, (but never explicitly stated), that “good” will always triumph over evil. I wonder if supervillians necessarily think of themselves as “evil”, (as they are typically portrayed), but may, in fact, think of themselves as every bit as good as the superhero, but opposed to the status quo, (a revolutionary), while most superheroes tend to be somewhat conservative. There was an interesting alternate universe Superman, “The Red Son”, where he was raised in Soviet Russia and used his brute strength to dominate the world under his own image of “goodness”. Unfortunately, there were still many traces of conservative American sentiment in the book that I didn’t like.

    People go into wars with that same kind of mentality. That a contest of violence and military brute force will determine who is “good” because it will always triumph over evil … and I don’t think people think it is just because the winner will rewrite history just to make themselves look good, but that there is a deep supernatural belief that war, or any other kind of violence, will be supported by someone or something that prefers the victory of “good”. Machiavelli showed that, in his time, this was necessarily not the case. Good rarely triumphed over self-interest and greed.

  5. invictus said,

    Rubbish. If there is a just cause, then society will lead the movement for war.

    Troll elsewhere.

  6. rabeldin said,

    Rubbish to your idea of a just cause. Justice is nowhere to be found. What we find all around us are winners and losers. The winners write the history books and that is where we got our ideas of “just causes”.

  7. haalt said,

    The most interesting answer I ever read came from Rosenstock-Huessy, who believed that war stems from a breakdown of communication between two or more nations. Money, land, etc. don’t cause war–they cause arguments and disagreements, but war itself comes when two nations are no longer willing to listen to one another speak about these issues. When nations stop listening to one another, they pursue their desires independently and regardless of the other, and thus come to blows: so long as they are communicating, however, they cannot veritably be said to be at war, unless they are trying to terminate a war.

  8. invictus said,

    Self-defence – just. Theft – unjust. Defender loses, still just. Thief wins, still unjust.

    A mind would have to be very weak, or blind, to believe that justice is wholly dependent upon victory.

    We’re surrounded by winners and losers, but that’s a separate spectrum from that of justice and injustice.

  9. rabeldin said,

    Your thinking in terms that there is such a thing as just and unjust. There is no thing as just and unjust. If you are to think in terms that there is, that is to think there is a right and wrong, and you possibly are using the just and unjust from a moral point of view.

    But morals are undefinable in our existance, because you have to realize that there is really no such thing as a right and wrong way to do something, in existance that is. We humans supply the meaning of right and wrong, and thus give moral position to something. Making morals the reason to justify why we do things against those who disagree with our morals; our morals become-in a way-our subtle laws that we use to say WHY we do or dont do things.

  10. void said,

    i think haalt’s point of view was very interesting.

  11. exile said,

    “In reality war is caused by money”

    Balderdash. War existed before money was invented, and exists in societies where money is not used.

    Many wars are about IDEAS and POLITICAL POWER. The latter has some connection with money, but only as a means to an end. A man with sufficient power (such as Mao, Stalin or Hitler) has no need of great wealth.

  12. ingrid seth said,

    You are confusing the issues here.

    Morality is subjective, justice is not. Justice is clear and quantifiable. Those who say such things don’t exist are invariably doing so only because they find it simpler to shut their eyes and feign nihilism than to actually interact with the valid matter of justice and injustice.

  13. genecks said,

    Can you justify that justice is not subjective? How do you objectively define justice? Is justice defined by balance? How is that balance achieved? Why do you call it balance?

    War is caused by a lack of communication, which leads to hate; thus, hate leads to pain; pain leads to suffering; and suffering leads to someone watching Star Wars.

    Also, your argument (to whom is above) might be better if you didn’t attack individuals. However, if you can justify your action in an objective manner, then maybe your thoughts will make sense.

  14. void said,

    I agree. And also, define justice, because justice only hapens when you have morals or a moralistic basis defining what should be done and how it should be.

    Justice is about justifying what is right and wrong from a human perspective. Unless you can define it differently.

    And no I dont find it easier to close my eyes and blindy accept nihilism as true. Just like your doing right now, justifying your argument by saying that im justifying using nihilistic points of view.

    Thats what the whole purpose of my post reason, justification and belief.

    Perception is reality, and there is no consistant “quantifiable” (oooh big word), reason to do anything, and the only reason you really do anything is just because you feel like doing it, it makes you feel like you want to do it again.

    Because to think that theres a reason, or a logical reason at least, to do or not do something, only closes your eyes and makes it easier to lie to themselves is exactly what you and I are both doing (as from what you said).

    So my question is, how is justice objective? You make it sound like it is. So define what justice is, and explain how justice is not subjective.

  15. danielle said,

    War is the natural state of human affairs. It is peace that requires an explanation

  16. ingrid seth said,

    A good point. And of course “peace” is a relative term – many nations apparently at peace are subject to insurrections, terrorist attacks, organised crime, repressive governments etc, in some cases with a higher death toll than many a “real war”.

  17. jean said,

    Dependent upon human existence, of course, because we create it and are its subject. But we can’t make injustice just or justice unjust. Those are based upon equity, and that is quite a simple matter.

  18. ingrid seth said,

    Justice: A state of equity.

  19. rabeldin said,

    But some are more equal than others.

  20. kangda said,

    It is just a means to an end.

    Many things are only accomplished by going to war, or through violence.
    There is no root cause that is responsible for all wars, unless you wanted to remain very general and come up with a phrase like “someone wants something”.

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