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Old June 25 2013, 07:30 PM   #44
Charles Phipps
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Edit EYZ wrote:
When faced with opponents who could care less about killing you, pacifism is suicidal.
The thing is this is easily enough to maintain when there's a guy waving a gun around in a hospital, less so when involved with nations. Richard Nixon, criminal mastermind and founder of the EPA/friend to Native Americans (showing the complexity of the world in one person), approached the FAR more radical Chinese Communists than the Soviets. As a result, the nation most seemingly likely to go crazy on the world became our closest trading partner.

Irregardless of your opinion of China's morality then (or now), it was a victory without firing a shot.

In many situations, it's the only non-suicidal answer.
"Yes Minister" talked about this a bit as its usually more complex than "us or them." In the Grand Design, they talk about the chief problem of nuclear war being no one actually knows what the hell would trigger someone deciding to drop a nuclear bomb. Invasion of West Berlin? What if it's actually a military coup from within West Berlin? What if it's a rogue commander? Ect ect ect.

Of course, I'm an author too and I had a really good inspiration that I'm going to have to put in a book someday that peace is a lot harder to do and requires a lot more toughness than war because you need to have rock solid self-control as well as a willingness to work around things you might consider grave injustices.

It is about choosing the method that won't end with your opponents having a good laugh and then killing you and all participants to the non-violent demonstration, in the process also terminating your movement and its goals.
That's the thing, though, if your enemy wants to annihilate you and you can't beat him--another option needs to be found because Plan B actually sucks just as much as Plan A. History is filled with courageous self-sacrificing souls who stood up to Genghis Khan because they feared annihilation--and were annihilated because they stood up to him.

Galling as it was, surrender actually won the day there.

Christopher wrote:
Often stated, yes, but as I said, history tends to disprove that belief.
Perhaps, though the Civil Rights issue is thornier as the fact blacks served in both WW1 and WW2 lead to a good deal of change. It just didn't make things better all at once. I will say, however, kudos to the French for being the first to say, "what the hell, United States?" over black soldier's treatment.

Realpolitc is no stranger to the past anymore than the present, either with plenty of nations being "rivals" only in the sense that their leaders wanted each others land. Nations are required to exist before you have nationalism.

You're 80% right from my knowledge, though.

Christopher wrote:
But my point is that there are two different issues that shouldn't be conflated: How to end a war, and how to prevent the next one. The winners in WWI handled their victory poorly, mistreating their foes and exacerbating the problems that had caused the war, and thus made WWII and the Mideast conflict inevitable. Whereas the winners in WWII helped their defeated enemies rebuild, regain their dignity, and become members of the international community, and thereby ensured that there would be no further wars with Germany or Japan. There's a big difference between a cease-fire and an actual, lasting peace. And you can't build the latter with threat and intimidation alone.
Very true. Machiavelli said if you kill man, don't steal his son's property. Which, while sounding appalling, is basically; "if you make it so a man has nothing to live for, he has nothing to lose." The world's history is all too clear that desperate men are the most dangerous of all.

In Star Trek, the Federation ended up beating the Klingons mainly because they made it so the latter NEEDED the Federation.
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Last edited by Charles Phipps; June 25 2013 at 07:43 PM.
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