Thursday, November 8, 2007


"The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."

This is one of the most haunting quotes that I have read. It visits me now and again when I think about war and pacifism. For Thucydides (460 - 395 BC), it was completely transparent that the wealth and power of the Athenian Empire relied on its military supremacy to violently crush dissent. Athens dominated their smaller allies, spent the funds of the Delian League any way they chose, and considered themselves the moral and political leaders of the Peloponnese. When a city-state protested they were attacked. Thus, an educated Athenian citizen must experience combat to understand how terrible it is yet how necessary to maintain their way of life. Has anything changed? Is this true in the first place?

A pacifist is completely illogical. Wanting peace is self-destructive. Their freedom is founded on the slavery of others. That's the terrifying question: is the freedom of a democratic state tied to violence abroad? The center of an Empire feeds off of the periphery and must often send out its military to stamp out the rebellious fringes.
Democracies are only peaceful if they're economically satisfied. But as soon as a state attempts to end unequal trade relations -invasion time.

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