[thechat] war phase 2

Joe Crawford joe at artlung.com
Fri Nov 30 09:42:51 CST 2001

<<this never made it to the list, suspected of being rich text I think>>

on 11/29/2001 3:01 AM, martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com at
martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com wrote:

> Not sure if I agree with such a simplistic analysis, Joe.
> Sure, bloodshed has occured. Sure, at a later point, some freedoms
> (for those with money, mostly) have arrived. But you can't make the
> logical leap of one causing and being a prerequisite for the other.
> There are plenty of countries where the nation (relatively) peacefully
> evolved into freedoms ('relatively' because there are always going
> to be some reactionary elements of those with the power trying to
> hold onto it by any means). There are plenty of countries where
> the nation revolted but freedoms weren't established.
> I'm sure we can all think of examples of both.

Martin - I'm aware of your argument here - that I'm mistaking events
which are merely in sequence with those with causal relationships. My
argument indeed is that force *has* directly resulted in freedoms for people.

I will NOT ARGUE that this is preferable to civilized discourse and
debate, and democratic (which is to say, by popular vote) decisions by
people to take action and secure peace. I'm also naive enough to think
that the things learned from Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King are
bright shining examples to us all for how to go about making reforms of
human society.

However, with regards to bloodshed, the two examples I immediately think
of are the American Civil war and the American Revolutionary war. In the
first, bloodshed over various and sundry disputes, including the issue
of slavery, resulted in a win for federalism, and abolished slavery. And
certainly, the united states would not have been formed had we simply
said to England -- "well, we desire to be independent - we don't feel
like we need to be part of the Empire any more" - the reaction of
England was not simply "oh okay, you kids go ahead and become a
sovereign nation" - we had to end up killing each other.

Because sometimes, your back comes up against the wall and you end up
saying such wacky things as "I know not what course others may take, but
as for me, give me liberty or give me death" -- a speech that's entirely
worth reading:


 I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp
of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the
past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the
conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those
hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and
the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been
lately received?

          Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer
not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this
gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike
preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and
armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown
ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to
win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the
implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings
resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its
purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other
possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of
the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No,
sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no
other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which
the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to
oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for
the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject?
Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is
capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and
humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been
already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves.
Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which
is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have
supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have
implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the
ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our
remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our
supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with
contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may
we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

    Joe <http://artlung.com/>

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