While at gym, which was pleasantly sparse, I had occasion to listen to an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with war. The panel of talking (un)heads was composed of folks who labeled themselves as philosophers.
Normally I am well inclined to listen to philosophers – the real ones, not the religionist noisemongers who pretend to be such – since they have nothing to offer but rationality. But this morning their arguments rang poorly and absent of tone.
The panel kept trying to talk in terms of “just” war and “fairness”. The problem is that this is utter rubbish (the odoriferous kind) in everyday discussion, much less in discussing war. It was only with the greatest of derision that von Clausewitz was mentioned and then he was shrouded (as in burial shroud) as a philosopher.
Let me be clear, “fairness” and “justice” are completely arbitrary terms. There is no objectivity to them. They are also terms that have been appropriated by the law advocates, mostly to prop up their own brutal alternative to Hobbesism. What is meant by justice is exacting some horrendous, arbitrary, and often excessive penalty for violating some law, which is itself totally arbitrary and made-up. The legal instrumentality is only cosmetically interested in the concerns of the citizenry but assume the mantle of providing them justice and fairness as a means of controlling that citizenry and thus assuring their own continuance.
The basic premise of law is fundamentally biased towards the organization. Back when we were hunter-gatherers in small organizations (25-50 folks,) this bias was balanced by the close human ties inherent to such a network. But in the context of civilization and nation-states, law is unbridled and tyrannical without balance or counter.
On which note, the whole idea of “just” war is itself biased and unbalanced. It is fundamentally based in religionist dogma. The idea of just war was developed when Christianity was becoming the christianist organization, and reflects that process. It also continues – and legitimizes? – the concept of religious freedom as freedom to persecute those who do not belong to your denomination/belief group. This not only puts a premium on organization but fully legitimizes slaughter and tyranny against everyone for merely believing differently.
Consider the justness of roasting Bruno.