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The Twilight Zone: Syria—2017©(pending?)

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Men are afraid that war might come because they know, consciously or subconsciously, that they have never rejected the doctrine which causes wars, which has caused the wars of the past and can do it again—the doctrine that it is right or practical or necessary for men to achieve their goals by means of physical force (by initiating the use of force against other men) and that some sort of "good" can justify it. It is the doctrine that force is a proper or unavoidable part of human existence and human societies.
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, pg. 35

Sometimes the distant beating of the war-drums, as read in the headlines of the news aggregates and resonating from their various news affiliates by the self-appointed modern-day medicine-men of the super-villages, can be heard setting a tempo for the march of Attila's henchmen to the battlefield—should they heed the call.

With the recent activity in Syria, a Russia warship and 150,000 Chinese military lining up outside the combat arena. How many of the archer's have pinch-drawn their weapons in anticipation? Conjure an image of Theoden in Helm's Deep just before he utters "And so it begins."

With this in mind, it was time to read The Roots of War again. Her mastery of the language leaped out in the opening line of the CUI quote. Men have never rejected the doctrine, i.e., men still accept the doctrine that force is a proper or unavoidable part of human existence and human societies.

Alas, for those that have rejected it, there are still those who have not.

A quick trip to Wookieepedia (The Star Wars Wiki) found that those on the Dark Side of The Force aptly drew their power from raw emotions and feelings (used as tools of cognition?). In reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell provides an encounter with Microprosopus. Perhaps J.R. Tolkien ran across another historic reference that served as inspiration for his 'Eye of Sauron'. (The lidless eye, and per Tolkien . . . that never sleeps.)

As she ended the paragraph previous to the one cited at the beginning of this post: "[W]ars have kept erupting throughout the centuries, like a long trail of blood underscoring mankind's history." I would have to add that the largest pools of blood in that underscore seem to be gathered where statism has been the most deeply entrenched.

Edited by dream_weaver
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Not to disagree with you, but to explore this further, what do you think the reason for this is?

Nation states are recognised as legitimate entities, more so than other entities when it comes to the use of force. They typically command and can deploy more lethal force and more rapidly than other entities can. A role of a nation state is usually disarming its own people and putting as much control over the use of force in the hands of the nation state as possible. A nation state is typically better organised when it comes to warfare than private individuals are, even when they are working collaboratively (e.g. to offer some kind of resistance).

When power is harnessed and concentrated in a confined and contained space, when that containment fails, the results will be catastrophic to the extent of the concentration of power. If the USA lost all constraint over the use of its military force, it would be massively more destructive than if a small African state were to.

In my view, the initiation of force is directly a result of a failure of peoples to uphold justice objectively, where rights and obligations are not enshrined clearly or are not observed, thus preventing the justice system from resolving disputes peaceably. It is only these elements that stand in the way of the use of force.

Whilst there remains numerous different nation states, many acting on the basis of different, irreconcilable value systems, there will inevitably be perceived injustices with no mechanism to resolve them peaceably. Therefore conflict is inevitable until such time that at a fundamental level, those value systems agree on the core elements.

Objectivism sets out what those elements are. It is what the world needs if we want the ink to run out on that underscore. But we will never see it, because the world is mostly insane.

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5 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Not to disagree with you, but to explore this further, what do you think the reason for this is?

I'm not sure what you have in mind for your question specifically. Are you questioning something in my post, or prefacing your post with the question?


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Excerpts from the video as presented on ARI:

“The Syrian regime has used chemical weapons . . . . America will not step in, does not intervene, does not need to do anything, if you’re just slaughtering people using bullets and bombs and other so-called conventional weapons. But if you use chemical weapons, now that’s bad. Why is it bad? Nobody can really give you a reason. . . .

“What American interest is differentiated between the use of chemical weapons versus conventional weapons? . . . Look, at the end of the day this is basically an appeal to emotions. This is an emotional response. . . . It’s one of the most brutal ways to die — but you’re still dead. It’s emotionally wrenching to watch somebody die of chemical weapons. . . .  But that’s what this is — this is foreign policy based on emotions. This is foreign policy based on fear. This has nothing to do with interests. This has nothing to do — even on the humanitarian ground, this has nothing to do with the number of people dying. This is purely emotion-driven. This is purely nonsensical. It makes absolutely no sense.”

A little better, but still lacking in providing a clear rationale for the action, the Daily Mail presents:

The United States dropped its largest non-nuclear weapon on Thursday after it targeted an ISIS network of caves and tunnels in eastern Afghanistan.

What is disturbing is that it is congress delegated with the authority that Trump is usurping, albeit with 'Executive Orders' blurring the lines  . . . from the same Daily Mail article:

Trump suggested he had not personally ordered the bomb strike but delegated authority to commanders in the field.

And again, in the appeal to the emotion, for "it makes no difference to a man whether he is killed by a nuclear bomb or a dynamite bomb or an old fashioned club."
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal—The Roots of War, pg. 42

The explosion will also send a saber-rattling message to North Korea and Iran that rogue states' nuclear-weapons ambitions could be met with brute force.

So in another point drawn out by Yaron Brook in his video and paralleled here, the proxies of Syria and ISIS are being used here instead of identifying and dealing directly with North Korea and Iran.

World War III is experiencing unprecedented searches on the topic by Google.

One reason for the heightened concern over these conflicts could stem from memories of the Cold War, in which Americans were placed on high alert regarding the USSR and their own nuclear weapons.  Now, we have Russia and the North Korean nuclear weapons infiltrating our every media stream, and the nostalgia of fear has returned to us.

Years ago, I read the disclaimers in my homeowners insurance policy which excluded coverage where damages were a direct result of war. It appears that War Risk Insurance is available . . . for a price.

Wrapping this segment up with a citation from the Malevolent Universe Premise:

As the simplest empirical refutation of that metaphysics—as evidence of the fact that the material universe is not inimical to man and that catastrophes are the exception, not the rule of his existence—observe the fortunes made by insurance companies.

The Blue, Smoking Mirrors (blue smoke and mirrors*) seem to be captured in this "tweet", provided by AP:

President Donald Trump upped the ante in a war of words with Pyongyang in a tweet on Tuesday that said the North is "looking for trouble."

* A phrase often reiterated about Paul Volcker's policies by Mark Scott in the late 80's.

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On 14/04/2017 at 1:13 AM, dream_weaver said:

This strikes me as belonging to a malevolent universe premise.

You are incorrectly struck.

The reality is, in my life I am not going to see billions of people switch from a life driven by emotion and dellusion.

Interestingly, many Objectivists are the very quickest to assume malevolence, whilst rejecting the same premise. A contradiction with more than a hint of irony.


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Re the argument above. To simplify, killing using chemical weapons (although emotionally more distasteful) is no different from using conventional arms to kill someone because the end is the same in both cases.

People are offended by indiscriminate killing because it is unreasonable and destroys lives that have value to them. The failure to discriminate tends to result in the violation of rights not just in war. 

Racism is another example of a failure to discriminate. Racism can be caused when people have had bad experiences with people of a certain race and falsely reason that people of that race are all the same. A person then defines the person's race as the driver of the behaviour they dislike. People say racists discriminate against a person's colour for example, but in fact it is a failure to discriminate that causes this position to be held.

In war, people feel emotional about indiscriminate attacks causing massive suffering for the same kind of reason that they rationally reject and feel emotional about racism. In the cases of racism and warfare the action is blind to the individual differences of those subjected to attack, whether it is a chemical weapon killing non-combatants, or a racist police officer killing an innocent person at a traffic stop.

The dead from war have no point of view. Although I'm sure most people of self esteem would not like to lose their life in a prolonged manner that inflicts great suffering when a quicker less painful alternative is available to them.  It is the living witnesses, who are also injured by what has happened to the dead. No moral human being wants to see someone endure a slow agonising death, when this has been caused intentionally and indiscriminately it is an evil act.

It is not wrong for those people to seek justice, to argue for such indiscriminate weapons from being banned from war. Just as there is nothing irrational about people calling for an end to racism. However just as it is not racist to arrest a black criminal (for example), it is not an atrocity to shoot and kill a combatant in war.

There is no contradiction in saying one accepts bullets & guided bombs but rejects biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. In fact the contradiction is held by those who fail to recognise how unreasonable the use of the latter really is.

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