Friday, August 18, 2006

The "Peace" of Death

The Peace of Death
by Dmitry Chernikov

The following is what one poster has written as a response to a article (which, to save you time, is itself of no interest):

"Without a doubt we do have to fight them. Key phrase in your post "better to crush them now" exactly! Question is… why and the hell doesn't the United States military do just that? If we are in the fight of our life put the boots on the ground and kick some ass, or better yet, give warning to all civilians to get of dodge because there is soon to be a very large explosion followed by a even larger cloud."

Read it slowly: "A very large explosion followed by an even larger cloud." Here I have to ask him: and then what? And then, presumably, we will have peace. There are three possibilities here. Either (1) the author envisions a world in which all human beings are wiped out through a nuclear war. That world, empty of humans, will be peaceful. Obliteration of all life, the void is indeed a peaceful state, if nothingness can be called a "state" rather than non-being. Or (2) he thinks that swift destruction of civilized life on a truly massive scale will break the spirits of every survivor and cause them to submit passively with resignation and indifference to their fate to the author’s will. Or (3) he believes that the same thing will, like it happened to many after the first two world wars, shock people into utter abhorrence of war and therefore result in perpetual peace.

All three of these are without a doubt quite mad.

But such is the mindset of what Fred Reed called the "Warrior" type:

"The Warrior is emotionally suited to pitched, Pattonesque battles of moral clarity and simple intent. I don’t mean that he is stupid. Among fighter pilots and in the Special Forces for example it is not uncommon to find men with IQs of 145. Yet emotionally the Warrior has the uncomplicated instincts of a pit bull. Intensely loyal to friends and intensely hostile to the enemy, he doesn’t want any confusion as to which is which. His tolerance for ambiguity is very low. He wants to close with the enemy and destroy him."

This works in wars like WWII. (Note that the American military is an advanced version of the military that beat Germany and Japan.) It does not work when winning requires the support of the population. The Warrior, unable to see things through the eyes of the enemy, or of the local population, whom he quickly comes to hate, wants to blow hell out of things. He detests all that therapeutic crap, that touchy-feely leftist stuff about respect the population, especially the women. Having the empathy of an engine block, he regards mention of mutilated children as intensely annoying at best, and communist propaganda at worst.

Among the four temperaments, Reed is describing his own: the Artisan, but not just any Artisans but corrupt and insane ones. The temperament whose chief cardinal virtue is fortitude (for Guardians it is fear of the law, for Idealists, justice, and for Rationals it is prudence) and whose spiritual life is creative power, is channeled by the state into evil. The state literally damns these people’s souls by turning them into tools of death and devastation, the complete opposite of the "generous to a fault" folks who give life and pleasure with abandon that they are meant to be. Rather than striving to be Donald Trumps, Jerry Seinfelds, or Beethovens, they want to nuke the world. They are the ultimate losers.

Another poster on the same thread writes:

"The only way to rebuild Iraq into a stable democracy is to tear it down totally and build it back up; that's how we did it in WW2 and it worked out just fine!"

The attitude here is identical. Iraq must be destroyed in order that the people may become like putty in the hands of the author and be "rebuilt." No longer are we dealing with human beings but with inert materials, like clay or lumber. Or, perhaps, it’s the merciless purgatory for great sinners that the author recommends: beat the scum until they cry for mercy and come to hate their sin. Then and only then can they be reformed. Whether what applies to brutal criminals applies to the civil society of Iraq is left unclear.

At any rate, Europe has been at peace since World War 2 due to an ideological change of the abandonment of fascism as an economic system and an acceptance to some extent of free markets. Because of the similarities between fascism and socialism (though, of course, each system takes unique forms in every country), the rejection of the latter has, too, immensely contributed to world peace. What peace has not been the result of was the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan. Had France or Britain adopted state control of the economy and culture, trade barriers, and "self-sufficiency" afterwards, they would have become the next aggressors.

Here is the final example in the same place to illustrate my analysis:

"We are in a struggle that is life or death for all involved. We will either have the will to defeat our enemy or we will emolden them by giving up and going home. We had all better realize that just as Sec. Rumsfeld said, they will not give up, and any retreat now only increases the likelihood that we will be fighting them closer to ou shores, if not within our borders....but we will have to fight them! Better to crush them now, than have to contend with them forever!"

It is a famous quip that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Here, first, it’s either us or them; there is no possibility for both "us" and "them" to cooperate and in so doing for each group to further its own well-being, as happens on the free market. But second, it once again proves Reed’s insight: for such men it’s victory at any cost, where victory is defined simply by the number of "their" people killed, regardless of who they are. If that "strategy" is not working, it’s the fault of the weak-willed public, the subversive media, or the crooked politicians. Fortunately, I think I know the cure for this mental illness. It is to have the authors themselves go and fight on the front lines and be seriously (though hopefully not permanently) injured. Realizing that one needs help in order to go to the bathroom and that that’s what war does, tends to, I think, weaken one’s bloodlust.

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