Thursday, February 23, 2012

For what do we fight? Cincinnatus versus the Death Eaters

As one of my friends so trenchantly expressed it when forwarding this link, "Kerodin's campaign to subvert the Three Percent movement into a cult of Death Eaters continues." I have neither the time nor the inclination to pig wrestle at the moment, but fortunately a friend forwarded me this critique, which I present below.
Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus
The Purpose of War is a More Perfect Peace
The purpose of war is not battle; it is a more perfect peace. To attain peace, a belligerent must break the will of the enemy people to wage war. No nation goes to war to fight; it goes to attain its national purpose. It may be that a nation must destroy the enemy’s army to achieve this purpose. But the destruction is not the end; it is only the incidental by-product or the means to the end.
If a commander looks at the peace he is seeking at the conclusion of war, he may find numerous ways of attaining it by avoiding the enemy’s main force and striking at targets that may destroy the enemy’s desire or ability to wage war. -- Bevin Alexander, How Great Generals Win, p. 30
It has been widely acknowledged that only some just purpose could give meaning to the death and destruction caused by war. Grotius approvingly quoted Aristotle’s view that “the purpose of war is to remove the things that disturb peace.” Augustine believed that peace “is the purpose of waging war. . . . What, then, men want in war is that it should end in peace.” This view of the ends of war is also held by more recent commentators. Even the one whom we remember for his declaration that “war is hell,” William Tecumseh Sherman, in a speech delivered in St. Louis in 1865, said, “The legitimate object of war is a more perfect peace”. Echoing this tradition, the British military strategist B. H. Liddell-Hart wrote, “The object in war is a better state of peace.” Clearly there has been a consistent acknowledgment of the importance of securing in war “a more perfect peace.” -- Jus Post Bellum: Just War Theory and the Principles of Just Peace, p.3., Robert E.Williams, Jr. and Dan Caldwell; Pepperdine University
Observations on Kerodin’s ‘Random Thoughts’
The proper consideration and application of ‘jus ad bellum’ (the moral reasoning that justifies the resort to war – the ‘why’), ‘jus in bello’ (the legitimacy of the means used to wage war – the ‘how’), and ‘jus post bellum’ (the justness of the resultant peace* – the original ‘why’ expanded to creating a just peace following a conflict) are each essential if the twin blessings of society and liberty are to be achieved. War engenders much horror, much that is in fact, in normal times, both evil and immoral. Yet there are some things that are illegitimate in peace that become legitimate in war (see “Just War Theory” for a detailed exposition of these considerations.) However, suffice it to say that the attitude “anything goes”; that there is “no moral high-ground” is counter-productive to achieving the ends sought – a better peace.
A regime has to be seen as an occupying power, unresponsive to the will of the populace, resting on arbitrary rule unconstrained by due process, relying instead on intimidation and use of disproportional force—home invasion in particular, networks of anonymous accusers, checkpoints and humiliating searches which can't be predicted or avoided, indefinite detention and lack of genuine avenues for redress. This is the stuff of illegitimacy. -- Ole Remus at The Woodpile Report.
Which brings me to the problem of legitimacy. Any civil war fought between the present ideological factions in North America will have at its core the necessity of establishing and/or maintaining “legitimacy” among the population at large. Else the restorationists are nothing but a bunch of criminals. Most of our fellow countrymen are politically non-aware of our present crisis of liberty. Living their day-to-day lives in ignorance, comfort is their goal. Presented with a political-economic-social crisis, they will gravitate to government leaders for government solutions (to government induced problems, to be sure). This is the default setting – regardless of the inroads which the tea Party has recently made on awakening the electorate from its normal state of political insomnia.
The restoration movement must seek to demonstrate that its view of day-to-day political-economy is the historically American, valid view, and that a return to normalcy (“a just peace”) is more likely, reasonable, and certain once the authoritarian hand of grasping and overweening government is cast off. Absent development of such an understanding by a significant portion of the electorate - legitimacy, with all the tacit support that it engenders, will be lost… Absent a significant identification among the electorate of the restoration movement as ‘legitimate’ in its aims, ways and means, violence – even if directed against perfectly suitable authoritarian targets – quickly becomes counter-productive.
The object is to secure a more perfect peace.
Restraint is sometimes warranted on the journey.
And - the Iroquois Confederation were not fellow colonialists; they were not part of a society and community riven by violent, ideological faction, as is America, circa 2012. The Iroquois Confederation were foreign belligerents which Washington needed to knock out of the war to focus operational strength against the British main force.
This distinction matters.
The restoration movement must have, at its core, a broad understanding of the American Credo, along with an appreciation for turning that creed of liberty into practical applications on “why we fight” – jus ad bellum, “how we fight” – jus in bello, and “securing a just peace” - jus post bellum. Targeting every minion of federal, state and local government for elimination is perhaps a bit counter-productive to obtaining political legitimacy. Scorched earth destruction of the means and mechanisms of economic wherewithal are perhaps counterproductive to establishing a viable, post-war society. Application of ‘excessive force’ – among members of your own society, in the furtherance of the cause of liberty – is perhaps contra-indicated as a mechanism for establishing a ‘just peace’.
When contemplating ideological conflict within a society, judgment, restraint, and a consideration of the resultant state of political economy matter a good deal. Not just ‘anything can go’ – if you want a society that is worth being a member of.
-- Cincinnatus.
* “A just peace is one that vindicates the human rights of all parties to the conflict.” There are four extant principles to a just peace: 1) restore order; 2) establish economic reconstruction; 3) restore sovereignty, or self-determination; and 4) punish ‘human rights’ violations related to the war and its origins.)


Gunny G said...

Great essay.

My favorite Sun Tzu quote that mirrors not only the essence of the essay but what we are facing now is:

“When strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.”
― Sun Tzu

bubba said...

The youngsters, the immature and the government snitches are itching for a fight.

Anonymous said...

As usual, Kerodin is only half-right. ;^(

Kerodin: No business is an enemy, though individuals who go to their cubicle every day and work to further your enslavement are the problem.

It is important to maintain the distinction between businessmen who are eager to use state power for the purpose of enslaving their countrymen and those who cooperate with the regime from fear of reprisal. The further down the path of socialism we trod, the less control any man has over his personal or business affairs.

Already, the American economy has begun to resemble that of NAZI Germany and Fascist Italy. Mises exposes the perfidious nature of this arrangement:

The second pattern [of ecomomic intervention] (we may call it the Hindenburg or German pattern) nominally and seemingly preserves private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary markets, prices, wages, and interest rates. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs, but only shop managers (Betriebsf├╝hrer in the terminology of the Nazi legislation). These shop managers are seemingly instrumental in the conduct of the enterprises entrusted to them; they buy and sell, hire and discharge workers and remunerate their services, contract debts and pay interest and amortization. But in all their activities they are bound to obey unconditionally the orders issued by the government's supreme office of production management. This office (the Reichswirtschaftsministerium in Nazi Germany) tells the shop managers what and how to produce, at what prices and from whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell. It assigns every worker to his job and fixes his wages. It decrees to whom and on what terms the capitalists must entrust their funds. Market exchange is merely a sham.

By all means, target the Reichswirtschaftsministerium but spare the Betriebsf├╝hrer, because restoration of control over the means of production (capital) through authentically private ownership ought to be included as a goal of the larger, political restoration.

Gratuitous attacks on private property are injurious to that end.


TPaine said...

Well, this regime has worked long and hard to make the general population comfortable with slavery, and they have succeeded beyond anyone's expectations.

So - we have already lost, if we expect a revolution will result in our popularity and the dismissal of the socialist agenda. We have a population of black people who will vote for Obama simply because he is black; we have a population of Hispanics who will vote for Obama simply because he will give them this country for a song; and we have a population of wealthy who will keep Obama in power to keep their royal status intact.

The rest of us, the Tea Party (not seduced by the Republicans), the independents and the libertarians, are more or less shit-out-of-luck.

For what do we fight? I don't rightly know anymore. I guess this country really IS a democracy, and the majority will get its way. Me, I smell despair and retreat. But I will not go gently, as many of you will. I'm 65 years old and I'm not dying a slave after a very productive life. I earned everything I have, and they'll have to kill me to take it.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

You know, I can see why the gun fearing weenies are so desperate to paint you as a wild eyed radical know-nothing. They have to keep people from reading what you write. If people read your words instead of listening to the lies spread about your words, the statists are the ones who look like idiots.

Anonymous said...

A Just Peace is one which restores our liberty by any means necessary.

Yank lll

sofa said...

Amen, Mike&Friend.
Well said, Bubba.

Shy Wolf said...

"...The Iroquois Confederation were foreign belligerents which Washington needed to knock out of the war to focus operational strength against the British main force..."
Not that it matters today, but it seems to me that the Iroquois were fighting the 'foreign invaders' of their homeland. As were the Seminole, the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Apache...
That history has made heroes of those who cajolled, stole, declared right of 'emminent domain' upon entire nations of peoples, is proof that 'to the victor goes the high road'.
We can claim superiority over our enemy, but until we have vanquished him, they will be claiming the high road no matter how righteously we fight.
I'm sure that Custer had the high road as well.
Until you talk to the Sioux and hear their history.

Dedicated_Dad said...

You said "...This is the default setting – regardless of the inroads which the tea Party has recently made on awakening the electorate from its normal state of political insomnia.

I think what you MEANT was "...normal state of political SOMNOLENCE - or BETTER YET -- their "...normal state of political SOMNAMBULATION (sleepwalking!)

"insomnia" is "inability to sleep."
"somnolence" is "sleeping."
"somnambulation" is "sleepwalking!"

Pericles said...

The comments over at WRS show that we have a shortage of strategic thinkers.

I'd say that most of us would agree that we are heading for economic difficulty. That difficulty will stress the ability of Leviathan to keep all of its dependents well fed and thus peaceful. This is good for us.

It teaches that (A) we were right about the economy, thus gaining credibility (B) the security apparatus that is much feared by some of the FREEFOR will be used to try to keep order among the dependent class. We get to sit back and watch two enemies of freedom eat each other, while we take on the remnants.

What is not to like about that?

Ken said...

What bubba said.

Ace said...

Just War Theory is a dangerous crock. It's something I would wish on my enemies, not my allies. It's main result is a longer, more drawn-out war, with more dead and more animosity.

The goal of war is not simply to make the other side lose their will to fight; it's also to do so quickly, with minimum loss of life and property for you and your allies, and in such a way that the peace is durable. Just War Theory accomplishes none of that.

Anonymous said...

The true meaning of Nazi Doctrine Applied in America,will not be questioned by the sheeple till a bayonet is shoved up their ass and they are loaded onto the 40 + 8s.It`s probably already to late to avoid the nightmare this place is headed for.I was incredulous at the US senate NDAA vote count 93-7 !. Talk about backstabing !.This is how your elected representatives"go about the people`s business!". Placing the power of God in the hand`s of a man who does`nt even hide his hatred for this country.November 2012 is the last chance to stop this insanity.What great choices we are given this time! Obama or Whitewashed Obama (Romney)Anyone who has any hope at all for the future of the American Republic,need`s to go ball`s to the wall for Ron Paul NOW!.If this bunch of creep`s get 4 more year`s,the USA and the hope`s of it`s founder`s will be discarded on the trash heap of world history and in time forgotten. Enslavement and subjugation will be the future of those to lazy or cowardly to defend their liberty.