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KiwiBiggles

Blog: But... isn't war bad?

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I am sorry, but your logic is flawed.

 

Boot Camp is for humans a rather recent invention. Boot Camps became necessary the moment the civilisation had attained such moral value that they became necessary. That is however not their origin. The 20th Century boot camp (as seen in Bad Lads Army, Full Metal Jacket) etc etc is derived from the warfare in the Napoleonic Era where discipline was everything. You had to be able to stand and be shot at, then be fit to return the favour. The general style has not changed all that much between 1750 & 1950. The same focus on Discipline so you would remember your basic skills when the bullets started firing. Today, their purpose is as you state, but not to convert, merely to bring forth the qualities our ancestors have had since the Stone Age.

 

Wherever there have been humans, there have been conflict. Wars have shaped our entire history and I would daresay War Alone. I do not say it is our genes, but it is a part of our nature - to fight or flight. If it was not in our nature, it would be much more difficult to incite populaces to war.

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'Senile old men start wars but it is the young who must fight and die'.

 

War is not in our nature .After all,why can't human beings peacefully co-exist?But what is it that causes a man to commit cruel acts of Tyranny?Not knowing what kind of effects his actions would have on others.In his own mind,he would be doing the 'Right Thing'.Remember,the people who start and incite wars are always the ones farthest away from the battlefield.The real men who fight never take pleasure in killing.Instead,they take pride in the fact that their sacrifice is necessary for the future of their country's children.Sure,life is hard.But we as humans,are not animals.The 'survival of the fittest' principle does not apply to us.Because we care for each other.Because we are willing to go it all,just to help another man carry on his path safely.

 

Only those who have actually fought and lived through it all will understand this.They are the ones who value life the most and know the true meaning of sacrifice.A soldier is trained to follow orders and to trust in his commander's judgment.But,he still has his own thoughts.Thoughts about the opponent he's just killed.Thoughts about the dead guy's family.Parents who would miss him,a wife who would be widowed,children who'd be orphaned.But,the soldier never hates.Hate is a burden only for the cowards to bear.The soldier respects his opponent and takes honor in stepping up to the challenge and risking it all.

 

Anybody who believes that war is necessary should think again.Civilians can easily mouth off to another country.But,can they look down the barrel and accept death without fear and shame?War isn't and will never be a human trait but,will always be a quality of the weak willed.

 

Being a soldier(not just infantry!) is the highest honor and maybe the highest form of life on earth.Be proud of who you are and live life without boundaries.

 

Heres a salute to everyone who has served.And heres a tribute made by one of my friends in the Army:

 

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Boot Camp is not a recent invention...Before Napoleon were Friedrich der Grosse, before him the Spanish Tercios, before them the Swiss mercenaries of Middle Ages and the Mongols, before them the Roman Legions, before them Alexander Army, before them, the Spartans......The list is very long.

All of this armies were true killing machines. They have their own tactics, and they fought in formations, with officers and generals. They all needed discipline and a severe training to make their tactics right.

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Being a soldier(not just infantry!) is the highest honor and maybe the highest form of life on earth

 

I guess we'll have to disagree on that one.

 

But,the soldier never hates.

 

That's not quite backed up by history.

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Human Rights are not backed up by history.

 

The idea of human rights evolved throughout history.

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Boot Camp is not a recent invention...Before Napoleon were Friedrich der Grosse, before him the Spanish Tercios, before them the Swiss mercenaries of Middle Ages and the Mongols, before them the Roman Legions, before them Alexander Army, before them, the Spartans......The list is very long.

All of this armies were true killing machines. They have their own tactics, and they fought in formations, with officers and generals. They all needed discipline and a severe training to make their tactics right.

 

Wrong. Boot Camp is a specific form of training. It is not a general term for the training of warriors. It is the art of breaking people down to the extent necessary so they become disciplined, then building them back up again.

Edited by JonathanRL

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Well, this kind of training was developped in XVII, not XVIII, (break people to building they back), but was not a novelty. This is exactly thas was made to the Spartan children and in minor extent to the Roman soldiers in the Champ of Mars. This kind of training was somewhat forgotten in middle ages and return in the Friedrich der Grosse-Marlborough era. It was neccesary, beccause the strict discipline was needed to maintain formations.

 

Nevertheless, the point is that you really need a lot of discipline and psichological factors to make a combat unit. It doesn't matters if you achieve this discipline through early education-training-brain wash, boot Camp, a strict military code (with a lot of punishment to infractors), a lot of propaganda to encourage soldiers or whatever you think. The fact is that you need to train soldiers to make them true soldiers. A good example were the German Army at the end of WWII. You can fight an Army or SS unit or a Volksturm unit and there was a lot of difference!

Edited by ojcar

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The point is not to make true Soldiers. The point is that war has existed without the institutions that created the best soldiers we have. And even without these places, there has been war. Native Americans, Aztecs, Asia, Europe, Middle East. Wherever there have been Humans, there have been war.

 

War is simply an historical constant. As thus, is it in our nature. I know how many seem to have an issue with this opinion, but we are a predator species, and such are usually built and meant to compete. Since we outmatch most of what would be our natural predators with the use of tools, we have only each other left to compete with.

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So you are saying that Hitler, Churchill, Stalin, Bush, Shaddam, Napoleon, Cesar etc were only following their animal instincts??????? So, we are ruled by a bunch of monkeys....

 

This sounds as an excuse. Humans are different than animals. Humans have motivations. Humans fight for some things totally strange to animals, like Religion, or Economy. The war is another tool for Polytics of any kind.

 

War is an historical fact, no doubt about that, but there are something more than instinct. Human beings are much more complex than the other animals. We are bad or good by nature? I don't buy the Rousseau "Good wild one" thing (as KiwiBiggles seems to say), but I don't think we are the bloodthirsty predators JonathanRL seems to think we are. Maybe a little of both, some people more peaceful than others...

 

An interesting example of how the forms of war evolued: In XIX century, South Africa the war was like in most primitive cultures, in a ritualized form. Both Armies made an appointment and stand onein front of another, with their warpaint, spears and shields, making their war shooting, etc. Each Army had their Champions and the champions fought. The champion that won, won the "battle". Very few champions died or were severely injured.

Then, in one of these tribes came a young man with new ideas. He created a new Army. The old ritual spears were substituted by short spears designed to kill. He introduced in his young men a form of training and a very strict discipline. He created military units with officers and tactics. When a "ritual war Army" were in front of this new Army, with their champions waiting for the enemy champions, the entire Army charged, making a carnage....

This tribe were the Zulu and the young man was Shaka. He forged a powerful empire this way. I think same thing was in the rest of globe ages ago...

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So you are saying that Hitler, Churchill, Stalin, Bush, Shaddam, Napoleon, Cesar etc were only following their animal instincts??????? So, we are ruled by a bunch of monkeys....

First of all, Yes. We are descendent of Monkeys. I know some have alternate theories on the matter, but our evolutionary path, either by nature or intelligent design is pretty clear.

 

Second, All who you are mentioning are people who have grown accustomed to the War as a tool for the state. Just like the Boot Camp is a tool to make war more efficient, so has war made its mark upon politics.

 

My point is, that our species was developed for competition. When tribes evolved into nation states, this competition was turned into what is now known as modern war. This is true for pretty much all our social values. Morals, Mating, Communication, Appointments. Just as they have evolved but stayed the same, so has War.

 

I am not saying war is a good thing, but I am of the opinion that I do not think any creature can overcome their nature.

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It is the art of breaking people down to the extent necessary so they become disciplined, then building them back up again.

 

"Break to build" is also one of the basic philosophies in sports actually.

 

As for war, I think nations that never/for a long time didn't have war come to their country are all to easy to call for war...

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Very interesting, JonathanRL. First of all, I know the Darwinist Evolution theory. I'm a Molecular Biologyst, go figure...But I'm a Nurse too and I know humans aren't totally equal to angry monkeys (I had to study a little Psichology and Psichiatry to become a Nurse).

 

But look again at the example: primitive societies had a different kind of war. When a Nation (in this example the Zulues) become more power centralized (Shaka even created a kind of Cult of Personality), organized and disciplined, that is, more civilized and more moved away from the monkeys (if you prefere that), more violent is their war machine and more discipline, training, etc is needed.

 

By the way, you can't separate war from politics. Ask good ol' friend Von Clausewitz.

 

I'm loving the discusion JonathanRL!

Edited by ojcar

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I believe that if human beings are disciplined enough to control themselves and to prevent themselves from committing acts of an in-human nature,then wars can easily be prevented.Yes,we are a predatory species but,but one with rules.Just because a theory states that we evolved from chimps does not give us a reason to go to our non-human roots(even if the theory is true).Also,human nature is not completely based on competitiveness but,on being a part of a group(in short,being accepted).  

 

Declaring war is just defeat within itself.

 

Just like Gandhi Said:

 

"Victory attained by violence,

 

is tantamount to defeat".

 

 

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It took to Man a few millenia to progress from the silex-spearhead javelin to the portable crossbow; less than one millenium more to progress to the bolt-action rifle; and less than one century more to 'progress' to the inter-continental nuclear missiles and possibility to obliterate any life on Earth. Evolution has been imperfect and uneven to us. While our intelligence is objectively awesome, and our skills to improve objects and organizations really admirable, our natural tribal instincts didn't progress the same and have remained simply... appaling. They have but slightly or not evolved since our hairy anthropoid ancestors irrationally fearing or envying their neighbours at the next cave or valley. "They are monsters, they eat their own children.", "We are superior, our way of life is the best.", "We deserve this land, the God(s) [whatever the name] gave it to us.". And so disgustingly on...

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

"War is the continuation of politics by other means." (Von Clausewitz)

 

"Politics is the continuation of war by other means." (Kremlin's wisdom)

 

"Sports is the continuation of war by other means." (Rocky IV)

 

"Daddy is the continuation of Jesus by other bretzels." (George W. Bush)

 

"F**k, war, f**k politics, f**k means!!" (anarchist wisdom)

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We must not overlook that the war of principles, even if some are not yet clearly "identified".

For many of these principles reflect the idea that war, initially a military activity, is to fuelled by the fight and nothing else, and that his victory is possible by appliquation of a serie of rules to follow. Their implementation must (normally) produce a positive result. In this case the echec is then due to failure of one of these "rules" and not the opponent.

 

I will be more partisant a second approach where the war would be such a "dialectic" between two opponents whose nature is not unitary. In this case the principles of war are at best a "set of conditions leading to the success in combat," but where there is no "keys" or formulas, and therefore no list of principles to follow. Based on the antagonistic dimension of the war, and not taking it as a simple military confrontation, while recognizing that the war is a social phenomenon and a part of global policy. The conduct of war is therefore expected to rely on the intelligence situation. May like the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act formula said it.

And, after all, some of the greatest social and technological advances, don't they were completed during times of war ?

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"War is an act of violence with whom we try to force the enemy to accept our will." Carl von Clausewitz

 

i hope this is the correct translation into the english. The original definition is written in german language in 1830 in the book "Vom Kriege":

 

"Krieg ist ein Akt der Gewalt mittels dessen wir versuchen unserem Gegner unseren Willen aufzuzwingen."

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"War is a declaration of [moral] bankruptcy in politics."

- Günther Rall

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War is but a dangerous disease to an infantile mankind painfully searching for its way. Torture, this dialogue into horror, is but the awful other side of the fraternal communication. It degrades the one who inflicts it even more than the one who suffers it. To give in to violence and torture is, through incapacity to believe in Man, to give up building a more human world."

 

The author of these words is not an Hindu guru or a dreamer poet. General Jacques Pâris de Bollardière, Compagnon de la Libération, DSO and bar, had been once a commando senior officer, a fine tactician in insurrectional and counter-insurrectional warfare, a true war hero, and one of the most decorated French soldiers ever. Yet he never gave up his chivalric and Christian deep principles. After having seen torture inflicted to men under his command in France, and by men under his command in Algeria, he became an active and emblematic apostle of nonviolence.

 

 

 

I think with infinite respect about those among my brothers, either Arab or French, who died like the Christ, at the hands of their fellow men, flogged, tortured, disfigured by the scorn of men.

 

 

 

 

 

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I am sorry, but your logic is flawed.

 

Boot Camp is for humans a rather recent invention. Boot Camps became necessary the moment the civilisation had attained such moral value that they became necessary. That is however not their origin. The 20th Century boot camp (as seen in Bad Lads Army, Full Metal Jacket) etc etc is derived from the warfare in the Napoleonic Era where discipline was everything. You had to be able to stand and be shot at, then be fit to return the favour. The general style has not changed all that much between 1750 & 1950. The same focus on Discipline so you would remember your basic skills when the bullets started firing. Today, their purpose is as you state, but not to convert, merely to bring forth the qualities our ancestors have had since the Stone Age.

 

Wherever there have been humans, there have been conflict. Wars have shaped our entire history and I would daresay War Alone. I do not say it is our genes, but it is a part of our nature - to fight or flight. If it was not in our nature, it would be much more difficult to incite populaces to war.

 

Calling someone's logic flawed can be misinterpreted as a personal insult.

 

That being said, conflict exists everywhere there are animals. The bulls fight over grazing land and cows to boink, dogs fight over leadership and can outcast each other under threat of death, and bees fight to kill the other queen. In my opinion the weapons of war are much deadlier then before, but war itself seems less deadly then ever. We have the Geneva Convention and other treaties to thank for that. Your chance of surviving nowadays is much higher then it used to be due to the outlaw of exploding bullets, gas, and flame-throwers. Also, there is compelling evidence that the West has taken extra steps to care for the enemy wounded more then ever.

 

Tragedy happens, but in democracy, when you send your young men and women into war, it's your war too. The troops don't send themselves, the civilians do.

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