Memorial Day and Wars

Posted by Esceptico 4 years, 9 months ago to Politics
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Ed Hudgins starts his May 30, 2016 article “Memorial Day: Honoring Warriors and Stopping Wars” with “But the key to stopping deaths in wars—and the wars that regimes wage on their own citizens—is victory in the war of ideas.” Perhaps we Objectivists should explore what is the best way to stop wars. Suppose all the wars he lists (and more) were not based upon what we have been told and what we believe. Suppose we have believed and acted upon lies.

David Swanson, in the introduction to his book, “War is a Lie,” observes: “Not a single thing that we commonly believe about wars that helps keep them around is true. Wars cannot be good or glorious. Nor can they be justified as a means of achieving peace or anything else of value. The reasons given for wars, before, during, and after them (often three very different sets of reasons for the same war) are all false. It is common to imagine that, because we’d never go to war without a good reason, having gone to war, we simply must have a good reason. This needs to be reversed. Because there can be no good reason for war, having gone to war, we are participating in a lie.”

His book is a compelling challenge to the ballyhoo that freedom is always under threat and the “others” don’t like the way we live so they want to kill us.

For example, he points out “Many people in this country are inclined to a healthy skepticism or even fanatical certainty of disbelief when it comes to statements our government makes about anything other than wars. On taxes, Social Security, healthcare, or schools it simply goes without saying: elected officials are a pack of liars.” That sure fits us Objectivists.

But, Swanson adds, “When it comes to wars, however, some of the same people are inclined to believe every fantastical claim that comes out of Washington, D.C. ...”

Should Objectivists beat the war drums every time we hear some “patriotic” slogan or one of our soldiers gets killed in a place he should not have been in the first place, or should we work more toward peace?


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  • Posted by coaldigger 4 years, 9 months ago
    I believe that most wars are a diversion created by a bad government to keep the populace focused on an enemy that is not the bad government itself. If men valued their own life more than anything on earth, they would not give it up for a state. The concept that you have a moral right to attack another nation in order to prevent them from attacking you is a blank check to follow a lie to your death.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      I think you are in great part right. Add the insatiable lust for power, and you have eternal war. Just as we do now. And the government makes a memorial day for the “fallen heros” who died not for their country or freedom or anything noble, but for a politician and his financial supporters.
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