250 words

Posted by Chris Read | Tue Apr 8th 2003 6:40 a.m.

At the time of the American revolution violence was endemic to most
every aspect of life. Today, however, ship captains no longer insist on
keelhauling to maintain order. Nor do husbands believe in wife beating
as a necessity and as their due.

The "right of the lord" of feudalism is no more. Dueling, flogging,
slavery and blood feuds have declined to near extinction. "Spare the
rod and spoil the child" is no longer taken seriously.

Even with recent efforts at funding and training death squads,
militarizing space, creating ever more sophisticated weapons of mass
destruction, initiating preemptive attacks, resort to unconstitutional
incarceration and surreptitious torture, it is not unrealistic to expect
war to likewise become extinct.

The recent precedented worldwide protests against our war in Iraq
threaten the very institution itself. Unless conservatives act more
effectively than they have in these other areas, a central aspect of the
human drama may be lost to us forever.

By allowing the dialogue to degenerate to uncovering root causes and
conceiving of mutually advantageous solutions, many potential wars have
been thwarted. The valor and virtue inherent in warfare has been
sacrificed to such dubious liberal notions as, "the general welfare" and
"the pursuit of happiness."

Mass violence against our own kind is what sets us apart as a species.
It is what makes us uniquely human. Therefore, it is not overreaching
in the least for responsible conservatives to urge the Bush
administration to prosecute war protesters under relevant provisions of
the Endangered Species Act.
  • ryan griffis | Tue Apr 8th 2003 3 p.m.
    >
    > Nor do husbands believe in wife
    > beating
    > as a necessity and as their due.

    sarcasm not withstanding, i know of many women who are then suffering phantom wounds.
    best,
    ryan
  • Raymond Pottelberg | Tue Apr 8th 2003 3:03 p.m.
    Considering that the majority of the murders in the US are male against male, and more than half of all murders are considered to result from either attempts to save face or social-territorial disputes, I would say that the will to war is alive and well in the American social microcosm AND in the political macrocosm.

    But, yes, considering that you were 300 times more likely to be murdered anywhere in Medieval Europe than you are in the worse neighborhood of current day urban America, perhaps freelance violence is slowly heading toward extinction.

    Consider this: when Europeans entered the forests of N. America between 1600 and 1850 (depending on the location of the frontier), they typically found a super-abundance of common bird species. The air was thick with birds, tree boughs bent under their weight, etc. Today, though many of those common species of wild birds are no longer super-abundant, they are still abundant enough to sustain their species. They are not endangered. Other bird species, requiring more specialized habitat and conditions quickly went from super-abundance to endangerment to extinction.

    Similarly, specialized forms of violence and oppression, such as flogging, dueling, keelhauling, slavery and institutionalized domestic abuse, have moved toward extinction as their specialized conditions of existence have been removed.

    But common types of violence, although no longer super-abundant, are still sustainably abundant. As mentioned above, many of these common types of violence seem share the following aspects -- public, male-on-male, spontaneous, territorial, social, rooted in rituals of 'face' -- in other words, war-like violence.

    Like most species that have shown resilience to environmental stress, common, war-like violence is highly adaptable.

    > At the time of the American revolution violence was endemic to most
    > every aspect of life. Today, however, ship captains no longer insist
    > on
    > keelhauling to maintain order. Nor do husbands believe in wife
    > beating
    > as a necessity and as their due.
    >
    > The "right of the lord" of feudalism is no more. Dueling, flogging,
    > slavery and blood feuds have declined to near extinction. "Spare the
    > rod and spoil the child" is no longer taken seriously.
    >
    > Even with recent efforts at funding and training death squads,
    > militarizing space, creating ever more sophisticated weapons of mass
    > destruction, initiating preemptive attacks, resort to
    > unconstitutional
    > incarceration and surreptitious torture, it is not unrealistic to
    > expect
    > war to likewise become extinct.
    >
    > The recent precedented worldwide protests against our war in Iraq
    > threaten the very institution itself. Unless conservatives act more
    > effectively than they have in these other areas, a central aspect of
    > the
    > human drama may be lost to us forever.
    >
    > By allowing the dialogue to degenerate to uncovering root causes and
    > conceiving of mutually advantageous solutions, many potential wars
    > have
    > been thwarted. The valor and virtue inherent in warfare has been
    > sacrificed to such dubious liberal notions as, "the general welfare"
    > and
    > "the pursuit of happiness."
    >
    > Mass violence against our own kind is what sets us apart as a species.
    >
    > It is what makes us uniquely human. Therefore, it is not
    > overreaching
    > in the least for responsible conservatives to urge the Bush
    > administration to prosecute war protesters under relevant provisions
    > of
    > the Endangered Species Act.
Your Reply