Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Monday, September 08, 2003

The Word 'Civilized' Does Not Describe Our World

A few weeks ago I was enjoying a cable-tv presentation of the classic The Legends of The Fall. (The LJ, of course, is both sensitive and romantic especially when a beautiful girl is involved.) Much to my delight, the father character in the movie responds to his idealistic son's reference to the "civilized world" being in peril during WW1 by stating: "do not use the word civilized to describe the world we live in" (or something like that). I am reminded of this as I read that Helen Thomas is frantically searching for a body count--especially of innoncent civilians--in Iraq. In Human Action Ludwig von Mises writes that:

"The combined effect of military, financial, and political circumstances produced the limited warfare which prevailed in Europe in the three hundred years preceding the French Revolution. Wars were fought by comparatively small armies of professional soldiers. War was not an affair of the peoples; it concerned the rulers only. The citizens detested war which brought mischief to them and burdened them with taxes and contributions. But they considered themselves victims of events in which they did not participate actively. Even the belligerent armies respected the "neutrality" of the civilians. As they saw it, they were fighting the supreme warlord of the hostile forces, but not the noncombatant subjects of the enemy. In the wars fought on the European continent the property of civilians was considered inviolable. In 1856 the Congress of Paris made an attempt to extend this principle to naval warfare. More and more, eminent minds began to discuss the possibility of abolishing war altogether." (Human Action, 823)

Indeed, despite modern technological innovations, we can easily argue that the world is more barbaric than ever:

"Men are killed or maimed, wealth is destroyed, countries are devastated for the sole benefit of kings and ruling oligarchies. The peoples themselves do not derive any gain from victory. The individual citizens are not enriched if their rulers expand the size of their realm by annexing a province. For the people wars do not pay. The only cause of armed conflict is the greed of autocrats." (Human Action, 823)

According to estimates, the attack on Iraq, thus far, resulted in the deaths of 37,137 innoncent civilians. Nonetheless, idiot Republicans have defended this atrocity in discussions with me by noting that "we saved 100,000 Americans." I have yet to see which Americans were "saved" by the same people that abhor violence against unborn victims.

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