Monday, May 29, 2006

War: What is it good for?

War…proves some to be gods and others to be mere men, by turning the latter into slaves and the former into masters… War is just. –Heraclitus

During the years of the so-called peace, politics…have only a meaning inasmuch as they prepare for total war. –General Ludendorff

War means the State in its most actual growth and rise: it means politics. –Max Scheler

War is not only a practical necessity, it is also a theoretical necessity, an exigency of logic. The concept of the State implies the concept of war, for the essence of the State is Power. –Treitschke

[I]t is in war that the State displays its true nature. –E. Kaufmann

The State, from the first moment of its existence, takes its stand in the sphere of war… War is not only the most perfect form of State activity, it is the very element in which the state is embedded; war delayed, prevented, disguised, avoided, must of course be included in the term. –H. Freyer

Quotes taken from Hegel and the New Tribalism, chapter 12 of Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies.

They struck me as appropriate for Memorial Day.


steve said...

These quotes are interesting in that they raise the question, is war simply an element of human nature, unavoidable, perhaps ingrained in us since our early evolution. Or, does the human race have a chance, a glimmer of hope that war will completely be abolished in the future and human beings will have evolved to a point where war is not a necessary means to an (neverending) end? We've only been on the earth for such a short period of time and who knows if war will prolong or perhaps (abruptly even) cancel out our existence.

I recently saw a very eye opening program on TV about how the current war in Iraq has actually caused major advancements in surgical and medical care! Wild stuff.

Einzige said...

The American Civil War was also a boon to surgery.

I think my point (as well as Karl Popper's) was that Statolatry - the belief that the State is a benevolent force - is a dangerous thing. Although Popper would stop short, I'd go so far as to say that it's dangerous to even call the state a "necessary evil" - though it may be an inevitable one.

Solan said...