This is a comment on this Aeon article, which ones again promotes the idea of a creative war. Last time it was clearly fallacious, this time the argument is rather intriguing though imprecise and implying fallacious thought.
The best way to analyze the phenomenon of war is again to adapt the fauceir position. War is conflict between social groups, collection of people that are united by some social contract. Usually war is conflict between states and/or organizations that strive for state like power. Sometimes this term is extended to include conflict between political factions and smaller groups within organizations or companies, especially if casualties are involved.
All these concepts have in common that they are only flat or descriptive. Fauceir Theory instead provides a functional definition based on fauceir hierarchies. According that two types of war may be distinguished.
- War between social groups at the same level of the fauceir hierarchy. This type of war clearly has the character of competition as we know it in free market economy.
- War waged from a higher ranking social group to suppress its elements. This type of war has many characteristics of enslavement. Sometimes also called war against its own people.
The amazing thing about these two definitions is that they are often confused to produce logically wrong conclusions. This is, I have to say, intentionally planned by ideologists.
For instance, the war against its own people is always justified by competition with other state like organizations. The most recent example is the war on terror that lead to substantial cutbacks in private rights and freedom worldwide, and to give the most horrible example remember the holocaust.
On the other hand, the own people often are intimidated by threads of war. As an example may serve the Social Democrats in Germany after WW1. They successfully prevented a revolution by coining the slogan “We don’t need an other war.”
Conclusively, if we were talking about the cleansing effect of war we have to state that only the first type, the competition between organizations bears progress. The other type is reactionaryism.
Admittedly, in any major conflict involves both types, so it is a well known fact that in times of external war internal repressions are common. People even the critical ones rally behind a leader if there is an external thread.
That said I think celebrating war’s creative power nowadays is equal to committing a fallacy as we don’t live in Rabindranath Tagore’s time any more. Our knowledge about history is broader and more detailed now. We ought to formulate more precisely to make our claims distinctive. After all celebrating Shiva as God of War was characteristic of a period of Indian economic and social stagnation.
This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.