Are the "Roots of War" philosophical or psychological?

Posted by Esceptico 4 years, 11 months ago to Politics
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In 1966 Rand wrote “The Roots of War” in which she outlined her views of WWI and WWII. She argued: “Observe one of the ugliest characteristics of today's world: the mixture of frantic war preparations with hysterical peace propaganda, and the fact that both come from the same source — from the same political philosophy, the bankrupt, yet still dominant, political philosophy of our age is statism.”

In 2016 David Swanson, a peace activist, updated his book “War is a Lie” in which he presents a compelling case wars are predicated upon lies fed to the public by politicians who want war for the sake of war. The Amazon blurb says: “WAR IS A LIE is a thorough refutation of every major argument used to justify wars, drawing on evidence from numerous past wars, with a focus on those wars that have been most widely defended as just and good. This is a handbook of sorts, a manual to be used in debunking future lies before future wars have a chance to begin.”

Swanson argues the lies have nothing to do with ideology, but with simple (1) aggrandizement of power of political leaders of all political stripes and (2) money via, what we would call, crony capitalism by which make arms manufacturers rich and they, in turn, are the major contributors to the politicians, thus forming a synergistic relationship.

Using Occam’s razor, my question is: Do you think Rand attributed war too much to philosophy and ignored other causes such as a psychological need for power?


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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 11 months ago
    The psychological need for power - a trait - would influence the choice of any philosophy. Psychology part is the 'nature' of the individual - used or not. as perceived and measured in Law #2. It does mean that the nature of an individual is subject to change just as it the nature of water/ice/vapor or a plant or a rock. Being subject to change means constant observation and evaluation is necessary. The Philosophy part would not arise until 'Rule three. I'm considering one is the individual and the other is the result and will drop the thought there for others to support, reject or refine.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 11 months ago
    Wars have been manipulated since the Templar Nights figured they could make money from both sides...well after they were taken out the Black ignobility ( Venice Central Bankers) took up the same practice.

    But remember, regardless of who started it...people were being killed and countries taken over prior to WWII.
    I'd have to say that we had no choice
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 11 months ago
      You do and did but you won't use it. Like the clerk in the store that moaned out his support of multi cultural diversity and almost puked when I agreed and said."Makes it easier for people like me to tell people like you what to do and when to do it."

      What gives us the right? Besides that oath of office? We can and will. You could have but didn't and....won't.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 11 months ago
      That is not the question. The question is: "Do you think Rand attributed war too much to philosophy and ignored other causes such as a psychological need for power?"
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 11 months ago
        Yes she did...Those that need power have no philosophy...they only have a brain and not a mind.
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        • Posted by XenokRoy 4 years, 11 months ago
          I think everyone has a philosophy. Most do not define it knowingly. Many have a philosophy of power at any cost. The psychology is a product of the undefined philosophy.

          At the root of any action is the philosophy that the person really adheres to in life. From that comes a complex web of psychology and and other factors. Peal it all away and find the philosophy that drives a man, and that mans actions will make more sesnse.

          Obama is after control. For him or others to which he is friendly. Trump is after the same. Control is a doorway to power, but not the same. A person who wants control, to be worshiped, wants something more than power. These two are like that. They want to be so loved by people that they could shoot a person in times square and no one would skip a beat following them. If you do not have that kind of reverence for them they want to crush you.

          Clinton's are after power at any cost.Clinton would like to be able to shoot someone in times square and have no one capable of doing anything about it, even though they may want to. If anyone tried, they want the ability to make that persons life miserable so that none will appose them.

          Very similar basic philosophical values, but the psychology of both stem from the philosophy so I do not think Rand overstated the power of philosophy in our world.
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  • Posted by $ Technocracy 4 years, 11 months ago
    Rand was a Philosopher and examined things from that perspective. I think her conclusion is in error that philosophical Statism is its root.

    War has existed longer than States have.

    In modern times there are no significant armed forces that are not part of a state. Even though some states would barely qualify. However, the Philosophy of Statism is not the driver since no state drills down to Philosophy for their reasons for war. There are far more easily expressed reasons far closer to hand than root philosophy.
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 11 months ago
      Some units do. Some deal in politics. Some deal in war games based on their oath of office. they are the one's that are ready, willing, and able. They are also the most significant units in the military. What's that saying about the many things that lie between reality and your philosophy?
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    • Posted by 4 years, 11 months ago
      Suppose the root is not philsophical statism, but "I am the bully and all of you should fall in line when I give an order."
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      • Posted by $ Technocracy 4 years, 11 months ago
        You have something we want, surrender it or we take it.

        In many cases power for power's sake is not the main focus. Or at least, not power in the sense of maintaining ongoing power over a subjugated force.

        Rule over the unwilling is an awful lot of work. It is easier to take whatever you wanted and go, leaving them to pick up the pieces for themselves after.
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        • Posted by 4 years, 11 months ago
          History seems to show the winners keep what they can until the revolt comes and they are thrown out.
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          • Posted by $ Technocracy 4 years, 11 months ago
            Like the US did with all the Pacific Islands?
            Oh, thats right, not.

            Perhaps in most instances, the victor remains until thrown out historically. Much of that can be attributed to technology changes. Guerrilas or reviolutionaries become more effective at revolt as techology improves. Also cultural factors and philosophy play a part too.

            But there are always exceptions to provide the grain of salt in historical trends.
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            • Posted by 4 years, 11 months ago
              I sued to believe that, too. But, we invaded and kept Hawaii and Somoa, for example. We invaded and kept via a puppet government, the Philippines. We invaded Mexico and kept a tremendous amount of territory. We invaded and kept Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This list is quite extensive, and these are just the ones which come to mind.
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              • Posted by $ Technocracy 4 years, 11 months ago
                Name a single country that has had the same government and borders throughout recorded history.

                Conquest and reconquest is a central sweep of history.

                We no longer control the PI, if we did Subic Bay would still be open to our Navy.

                i admit to know knowledge of how or why we wound up with Samoa. But unless it was for naval basing or landing strips, I have no clue why we would take it or want to keep it.

                Mexico, which war with the descendants of Portugese and Spanish conquistadors and the subjugated native tribes do you mean? I guess the raids from that side didnt count.

                Puerto Rico - will not become a state and integrate into our political system, yet will not leave. What are we supposed to do with them?

                While the US does not enjoy the noblest motives in every case, I also maintain that most countries have far worse motives and consequently far dirtier hands.
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                • Posted by 4 years, 11 months ago
                  Thank you for confirming my description is what the US did. Your explanation is more of what I was also taught in school than what really happened or, in the context of Objectivism, should have happened.
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