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Old June 4 2012, 06:48 PM   #54
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
naverhtrad wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote:
I DID analyze history in absolute numbers - which do matter.
Agreed there.

Not so much there. Proportion of the total world's population doesn't matter except on the most obtuse and abstract level. (There's a reason why Pinker's Whiggish hypothesis is characterised by wiser minds as a comfort blanket for the smug, after all.) T'Girl already did a better job than I could have at pointing out the absurdities.
You'll have to come with something better regarding Pinker's Whiggish hypothesis than non-sequiturs with a hint of ad personam.

T'Girl - she confused the percentages I presented with absolute numbers; the only thing she pointed out is her misunderstanding.

About the proportion of the dead relative to the entire population: as said, it is quite important; I already outlined several of the reasons:
The proportion of the population affected by war/etc, the chance a person has of suffering due to it, how far the death count ususlly became until war/etc stopped, etc.

As already said, this element of the analysis is less important than absolute numbers or proportion of the population.

On one part of the equation are the victims, on the other, the perpetrators (enemy soldiers, killers, etc). Both are important.

Your perspective is the victim's; for her, there's no difference regardless of the method used for killing.

For the characterization of the perpetrator, on the other hand, there is a very large difference:
"Why do people not react with the same revulsion to drone strikes that wipe out entire innocent families as they would to, say, the massacre at My Lai?"
Because it's a LOT easier for a normal human psyche to accept death when it's just abstract numbers - when it's more abstract, less hands-on, in general - than to kill someone in gory detail. As said, the latter indicates a larger level of sociopathy then the former - as per psychology, that is.
Considering you personal history, your distaste for this fact is understandable - but it does not change the fact.

naverhtrad, we ARE telling the story in hindsight. We're comparing the past, not the future.

In which case you know the numbers I posted are far from bogus.
If you wish to seriously challenge them, you must come with something far more convincing - concrete, that is - than 'don't matter except on the most obtuse and abstract level'.

In this case, they tell a rather large part of it.

Your links are acient/medieval high-minded 'theory' that was badly contradicted by practice - the practice and frequency of war in those times (including practice of war by the roman empire and war incited by the church).

Some feel-good philosophying and ineffectual measures are not the measure of how war and peace are regarded by the people.
The practice of war and how it's - inevitably - viewed by the society, the people (as an inescapable part of life) is. And war WAS a constant part of life during the roman empire or during the X-XIII centuries - and viewed by the people as an inescapable given.

I said enlightenment AND scientific progress were the ROOT (as in, initial) causes of the current peace.

Nationalism was NOT enlightenment.
The XIX century was dominated by ~4 'large' currents: enlightenment humanism; conservatism (sharing the same methods - rationality - and ultimate goals with enlightenment); nationalism; utopian ideologies.

Edmund Burke, Joseph de Maistre - and Metternich - were conservatives - their goals and methods were similar to the enlightenment's. The difference? They believed continued monarchy was the way to progress and peace (the experience of the french revolution scaring them away from liberal democracy).
Conservatism may be called counter-enlightenment - but it shared most of its content with enlightenment.

Nationalism and its utopian ideologies, on the other hand - these WERE counter-enlightenments. They rejected reason itself as a legitimate path to reach valid conclusions about society, governance, etc. Rather, what 'felt' right was the way to go.
As for the results of these currents - communism, fascism, etc.

Edit_XYZ wrote:
Also, during the XX century, war/etc decreased globally, not just in Europe. About Europe - the longest period of peace in history was from ~1945 to the present, surpassing the two intervals from the XIX century.
I would argue that the period between 1945 and 1990 was a peaceful one for Europe. After 1990, not so much - or perhaps I am assigning Yugoslavia too much importance.

But what you had between 1945 and 1990 was a balance of power between two blocs which could counter and check each other through the threat of mutually-assured destruction, and which upheld the states in their spheres of influence through a generous aid-based foreign policy. That was a stable state, for the time. What you had after 1990 was a growing imperial hegemony which destabilised state structures where they were not already strong (hence the outbreak of violent anarchy, terrorism and VNSAs throughout the developing world after the collapse of the USSR), and which is now giving way to another balance of power - one which could take some time to create a new peace.
We're comparing the XX century with previous ones.
Yugoslavian was was no big deal when compared to past ones - meaning yes, you are assigning it disproportionate importance by virtue of it being recent.

The growing american hegemony is really tame and quite benevolent by comparison to past empires/hegemons and their modus operandi. It's debatable whether you can even name the american actions 'imperialistic'; with past empires, you never have such problems.
One thing last century gave us is communism. Wonder how many ppl lost their lives to make this failed system of govt, work.
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