the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

If this condition is to be met, no nation could ever defend itself properly.  History shows that rolling over with little resistance–generally, though not always–will garner mercy and goodwill from the aggressor.  However, defense and war against the aggressor means violence which intensifies and escalates the longer the conflicted is protracted.  Rules of engagement get ignored, “human rights” become less important to each side, and the body count keeps rising.

War is hell.  Anytime a people decide to go to war they decide to multiply violence and death–that’s the only effective way to fight a war.  There is no such thing as a nice war, a pleasant war.  War is no time for picnics.  War is gruesome and bloody and produces evils and disorders even greater than the real prospective evil imposed by an aggressor.

No war is worth fighting if a nation is unwilling to escalate conflict to the point of inflicting destruction, pain, and death greater than what could possibly be inflicted upon itself.  That’s why this doctrine fails–in theory and, more importantly, in practice.

This is the purpose of war.


In the news recently:

Dutch sailor Laura Dekker may not return home to the Netherlands after completing her voyage around the globe. Dekker, 16, wrote on her blog that she is on course to finish her journey Saturday, becoming the youngest person to accomplish the feat solo, but bad experiences with the Dutch government could keep her from returning to her mother country.

“The Dutch government was not kind to me,” Dekker writes. “I think that the nightmares will follow me for the rest of my life.”

Dekker was 14 when she announced her intentions to sail around the world, and the government was not pleased. She writes in her blog that Youth Care and other government organizations dragged her through six court cases and asked a judge to take her away from her father.

“Over a period of 11 months, I was constantly afraid that Youth Care would lock me up. Also during this period, there were intimidating interviews with Youth Care workers. It was all a frightening and traumatic experience. So often these terrible memories come to me. I can’t ignore them. It is painful. Now, after sailing around the world, with difficult port approaches, storms, dangerous reefs, and the full responsibility of keeping myself and Guppy safe, I feel that the nightmares the Dutch government organizations put me through, were totally unfair.”

The most discouraging part of the story is that we are being told to constantly to be safe, to be careful.  Riskiness is literally outlawed by governments around the world. Even risk only to oneself.

Outlawing risky behaviors is stupid or harmful, depending on how you look at it.  It’s stupid because those who are willing to take risks will still take the risk even with after outlawing it–making the risk-taking illegal just increases the risk and the subsequent adrenaline rush.  It’s harmful because it erodes initiative and conditions people to eschew living for death.  As Tolstoy wrote, “Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.

When you feel like you are pressured to live the “most simple and most ordinary life,” when you know you behave as you do because you are scared, when you know you are a rat in a race and not a human on a beautiful earth, you should know that your life is “most terrible”–that you are dead and not alive.