Author: Alex Powell
Originally Published at Peace and Conflict Monitor on: 02/20/2014
Dedicated to The Very Venerable Geshe Damcho Yonten – He who shares a similar name with a person who distinguished himself historically on the battlefields of the Tibetan plateau.
Unless we have dismissed the possibility of war as a valid proposition advocates of peace will have no answer to those advocates of war who suggest constant readiness, aggressive interrogation, pre-emptive strikes, who justify collateral damage, mass casualties, an arms race, nuclear weapons and the like as valid propositions also. Unless we willingly create the non-possibility of a valid war (a war that achieves the result of its aim, security) its advocates will always question our own knowing against wars associated chicanery with the counterpoint “anything can happen, we must be ready” and therefore be ever-ready to justify war. We must dispose of the notion of war via destroying the notion Just War as all variations of war fall between the two, Just War and Unjust War, if we rid ourselves of these two every variation in between that relies on them is removed also.
Just War –VS- a Just War is not a valid proposition because if the aim is justice on both sides, there can be no justification therefore no validity to fight against justice and be just. There can be no validity to fight a war against the just (agents of justice), as without them justification and therefore justice (the object of the just) could not be designated just and therefore not sustainable as a qualification of war on either side.
But in the formulation Just War –VS- Unjust War, how can one side be considered Just when it requires their opponent to be Unjust but have no way to justify it other than believing they are Just? This would mean they are confused not necessarily morally wrong in the absence of a clear (so that all sides can see and understand) statement on the respective Justness of each sides position on the conflict from the all-mighty. Even the Just have no other way of justifying themselves other than by believing themselves Just. So how can it be considered Just to fight against the confused? How can security be achieved (the aim of war) in a just way (Just War) by destroying the confused?
In this way the idea of a Just War is clearly shown to be not valid. And, if the notion of a Just War is shown to be not valid, this only has to be done once, because whenever the notion of a Just War is raised it will be rid of its validity and thus the dialectics of political intrigue, religious factionalism, ideological posturing, mission shifts etc., associated with the rightness of war cannot be considered relevant through lacking validity by being associated with a non-valid argument, Just War; even though others may present very emotive, very convincing or very convoluted arguments to support the dialectic on both sides.
This way we get closer to the truly Just Act and away from Just War. Conversely if you accept the validity of a Just War reasons must be put forward for why such is valid every time the notion of a Just War is raised and you are compelled to become involved in these arguments. If you do not accept the validity of a Just War the reasons put forward for it via political intrigue and the like cannot be issues for you.
True, it is simplistic to consider War as one act, it must be considered critically from many angles. This is especially true if a conclusively Just Act is what you are trying to establish. However this proves to be the Achilles heel of the Just War idea, as doesn’t this idea try to distil War into one act, a Just one? While if we do not accept the validity of Just War then we are forced to consider War and its particular instances from many angles as a default position in the dialectics of war is not an option for us. Therefore it is shown that compulsion cannot support a Just Act because compulsion by definition cannot intend to do something and only by intending to do something can one be considered Just or Unjust. As agents of War are compelled to engage in the act, the idea of a Just War and therefore any War is not valid through not achieving the result of its aim, security, as one is only secure when one is not compelled to act. If we are compelled to act, how can we be secure?
Bio: Alex Powell is a researcher living in Wales. Has previous work on memory recognized by The Royal College Psychiatry with major implications for neuroscience and theories of mind. Has written: Diversifying market forces drive global economic interdependence, not Globalization. Currently, working in web development with a focus on engineering applications for right livelihood organizations. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org