On War


In the Name of The Father, and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit, Amen.


A friend, a very fine historian, asked me to read and comment on this article by Spengler (David Goldman): Why Only Countries Willing To Take Risks Will Survive And Prosper.  Both as a friend and as a devotee of Heraclitus, I could not refuse such a request and replied as follows:

Perhaps a difference between my estimate of the necessity of struggle/war and that of perhaps most thinkers is that I see it as an historical constant and in no way a precursor to an utopia.  Precursor to a brief period of peace and prosperity if the good (Dharmic) guys win the battles and the war, but not guided by a hoped-for utopia.  The brevity of an hiatus in struggle comprises the interval between knowing one has an enemy who wants one dead or enslaved and thinking that since affairs are generally quiet, they always will be, and so one can dispense with military prep, doctrine and commitment to victory against all possible aggressors.  And also dispense with learning generally.

I see struggle/war of all kinds, meaning of course legitimate conflict — for freedom — as constructive, not destructive, valiant, not violent.  Is that a common thought?

Goldman of late, I think, has been on a tear to claim Western Civilization — I prefer: The Latin Church — as Jewish in origin.  He and I have traded jabs from a distance in some comment trains, mainly at PJMedia.  My point to him is that something pivotal/tipping occurred around @ 30 AD and again in 70 AD in Roman Judea.  He of course won’t accept that.

Still, his recognition of the centrality of constant conflict in the sinews of strong nations is parallel to my thinking on the subject, thinking which is really, at least I hope, Heraclitean. 🙂  Only, I would not call it devilish, or an evil impulse.  I would call it the Divine Dance.  Devilish is NOT dancing, NOT moving, NOT updating, NOT self-correcting, NOT endlessly punching through to a fresh, if temporary, homeostasis.

My friend, the historian, replied:

The most direct explication of your thesis is in Sorel, who saw violence as a midwife of a new society.  Not too original, most modern thinkers praise a necessary violence as a tool to usher in their utopias, from BakuninPrudhon through Marx and Hilter.  It is also implicit in the concept of the Schumpeterian destruction, though it is applied to economics.


Update 1: 6 Reasons Why Starship Troopers Is The New The Art of War


Jane Russell
Jane Russell


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