“Fascism contemplates above all the future and the development of mankind merely from the vantage point of political reality and believes neither in the possibility nor the usefulness of eternal peace. It rejects therefore pacifism, which under a pretense of magnanimity hides the renunciation of combat and cowardice. [Author’s note: pacifism hides the renunciation of cowardice, indeed! Mussolini typifies those moral cowards whose life-meaning collapses the moment they stop inflicting pain on someone, anyone]. Only war brings human energies to their highest tension and ennobles those peoples [that] dare to undertake it. All other tests are only substitutes, which never put men before the highest decision, that of the choice between life and death [Russian roulette, Your Predaciousness? Be my guest!]. Therefore every doctrine which starts out from a premeditated revolution for peace is foreign to Fascism.” Mussolini, quoted by Alfred Vagts in A History of Militarism, Greenwich Editions, 1959, p. 437.
Did you replace the term ‘Fascism’ with ‘modern political thought’? A choice we have been forced to accept without any alternative. Do you get the picture now?
Weapon mentality is the operating system that drives the hardware/wetware of weapon technology through the application program (constantly upgraded) of weapon management. This management style takes great pride in the finality of its cruel and arbitrary dictates. It is more interested in its routines and traditions than in the moral consequence of its acts. It would rather maintain the illusion of its perfection than resolve its persistent contradictions.
Weapon mentality and its outcomes are not aberrations or errors. Learners should defy that weapon myth. Greed, psychosis, stupidity and gross criminality (those eternal bugaboos) are mere symptoms of the problem, not its cause. The chainsaw logic of weapon mentality is consistent; its barbarity, fully justified and ‘moral’ within its own frame of reference. Wherever weapon mentality prowls unchallenged, it distorts every facet of life. Paraphrasing Churchill’s quip about German imperialists, weapon managers are either groveling at our feet or lunging for our throats.
Weapon mentality is a parasite lacking creativity, which manifests nothing beyond its compulsion and terror. Incapable of independent productivity, it relies on peace technology for sustenance. Unable to destroy humanity’s innate sense of dignity and grace, it twists those root truths just enough to suit its own purposes.
First off, it crams our constellation of political metaphors with.
As far as weapon mentality is concerned, human compassion is an unnecessary burden. Vicious battle elites find rank, power, comparative wealth and imaginary security by acting as faithful servants of weapon mentality. Anyone who takes a moral stand is co-opted, marginalized and attacked. Promotion is based on willingness to compromise basic principles and inflict the maximum allowable harm. A promising career, and often professional survival, decree that good conscience be abandoned.
The biblical tale in Genesis 22, in which God demands that Abraham sacrifice his son, is a good analogy. Except that, unlike merciful God, weapon mentality sees that this sacrifice gets carried out to its bloody term, by the book.
Parable of the Old Man and the Young
So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchčd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! An angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.
-- Wilfred Owen died in battle in November 1918, a week before the Armistice
Weapon mentality is stoical, discipline enforcing and contagious. It is anti-moral though very moralistic. It operates in direct contravention of peace values. Like a virus, weapon mentality rips into healthy peace management cells to replicate its own kind. Gathering whatever it finds most handy and culling the rest, it crosses with impunity every barrier of empire, race, religion, nationality and ideology. You know, all those notions heroes routinely die for? Weapon mentality treats them like the phantasms they actually are.
Abusing its ascendancy in a Darwinian struggle for the survival of the deadliest, weapon mentality perverts human culture and obstructs every overture of peace. It has done little else throughout history, with our consent. What’s more, weapon mentality remains ‘fixed’ in human history. Dependable peace has never endured for very long. Before today’s global communication networks, no prototype peace technology could spread fast enough through the weapon cults that surrounded it.
Peace technologies weaken under attack, even as their adherents strengthen themselves in suffering and sacrifice. Only a few civilizations made peace their first priority. Without exception, they succumbed to the weapon technologies that surrounded them. They became ‘pre-historic,’ forgotten by one and all.
Since I’m much less of a man than Gandhi, I cannot call myself a pacifist while I serve hard time on this hell-world, among these simpering killer primates. Every nation secretes an inescapable battle elite of vile individuals. It is our repulsive obligation to practice selective violence against them, smother their toxic influence and shelter the children—provided we redistribute wealth and power in peace.
The tendentious designations of Pacifist and Militarist have been explained to death elsewhere. Their rivalry has sounded like mere mouse scratching compared to the legionary foot-tread of common weapon stalwarts.
Similarities between pacifists and militarists are striking. Both enlist small groups of sullen fanatics on the margins of society. Both rely on powerful, charismatic patrons to dispel routine lethargy, shatter petty deadlocks, reroute police scrutiny and advertise widely. Both share moral attitudes that are chronic in modern society and turn acute in high-stress situations—rather like herpes virus in a stressed individual, or the latent TB that may bring me down one day. Both make noisy claims during periods of social turmoil. During these stressful times, one group redecorates our courtrooms and punishment cells with the outcome of its reawakened conscience, while the other inks the latest pages of history with the blood of its next victims. Both rely on mass media to multiply their small numbers and amplify their impossible demands.
Pacifists range from those who would rather starve than let their bodily defenses kill off microorganisms naturally, (as many Jain elders opt to do), to conscientious objectors who may or may not fight for a cause they find just, or cooperate with their nation when it goes to war. This form of reluctant cooperation defines the common mass of weapon stalwarts, whether or not they’re actively killing each other at war.
Finally, many cosmopolitan people – such as I – seek PeaceWorld. More often than not, they support some less coherent, less than feasible alternative. Their wishful thinking tends to go on and on about peaceful nationalism (a patent contradiction) and touchy-feely sentimentalism, rather than the nuts, bolts and binding washers of a pragmatic global peace.
Pacifism serves as a term of law to designate another group of people who impede weapon management in times of war. Along with them come spies, rebels, deserters, draft dodgers, traitors and aliens. These people aren’t considered ‘pacifists’ despite their routine allegiance to cosmopolitan peace.
The term pacifist was coined to create a legal pigeonhole for a few thousand conscientious objectors who protested against World War I on the record and thus the hard way. They earned equal shares of contempt and brutality from Allied and Central Power bureaucrats.
Rarely having been shot at, (that I know of), I suspect that most people who come under hostile fire turn out to be devout pacifists. “There are no warmongers in the foxholes!”
To date, organized pacifists have insulated themselves and their cherished ideals from the mainstream of society. Usually, the weapon media have painted them as decadent, pasty-faced, ‘morally superior’ outsiders and wise guys. Many pacifists have embraced these labels, to the detriment of their cause.
The term Militarist encompasses those who advocate serious military preparedness and/or preemptive aggression. The essence of military preparedness is aggression, since battlefields are the only valid training ground for real armies, and mortal enemies, the only effective instructors. It includes proponents of any weapon state other than our own. Our nationals, of course, are peace loving, anti-militarist and free.
Sure thing, buddy.
Weapon states may remain overtly militaristic, even though they’ve spent decades at peace with everyone but their own minorities. Some of the grossest empires – bloated with war booty, conquered territory, devastating firepower and drone populations of slaves, warriors, warlords, convicts and disenfranchised victims – simply deny their own militarism. That takes care of that!
Militarists often call themselves patriots: “The last refuge of the scoundrel,” per Boswell’s Life of Johnson.
Like most weapon terms, these designations are useless―as clumsy as they are vague.
Pacifists usually seek their shade in center-left politics, while militarists hunt opportunistically from the far right (their usual turf) through the middle ground to the far left—wherever they can pull down the most cash.
As hobbies go, weapons technology is frightfully expensive.
I’d replace those common expressions with the ones that follow, from Learners’ vocabulary.
· Militarists: weapon mentors, weapon sectarians, weapon managers, battle elites, and weapon technicians (depending on their actual job assignment).
· Pacifists, opposition activists, and random, reductive meliorists: weapon dissenters.
· Most people, for the most part peaceful, who would march off to war if asked nicely. And their children, taught to expect war, not a better life in peace and more success at it: common weapon stalwarts (the crushing majority of humanity).
· Useful transformational revolutionaries: Learners.
It all depends on the people in question: whether they know what they’re doing and why. My terms focus on results rather than intent. I hesitate to pigeonhole specific people and institutions based on their political packaging and outlook rather than their results.
People tend to respond flexibly to complex and often paradoxical circumstances, internal as well as external. Many say one thing and do the opposite, then applaud the paradoxical outcome of their behavior. Too many more claim the best intentions, scrutinize their means compulsively and yet accept horrible outcomes as inevitable.
The weapon/peace dialectic endorses two conflicting definitions of anarchy.
In misleading us this way, this self-contradiction matches most of our political metaphors. Two contrary definitions serve to render a term meaningless and therefore useful to weapon mentality. Deeper meanings of truth and peace are poison to it. Weapon political metaphors do not require specific meanings beyond those needed to lie and kill.
For peace mentality, words like justice and liberty have a specific meaning that corresponds to real-time behavior. Either there is justice or there isn't. Simple.
For weapon mentality, mushy words like that are just reassuring noise everyone may parrot mindlessly, about actions which it can transform into their exact opposite whenever most convenient, and still call them the same. There can be injustice and it can be called justice. No problem.
The supreme commands: lie, kill, sacrifice the other, etc., must always be shouted loud enough and understood soon enough by everyone assembled on the national parade ground and the global battlefield. No conflicting expressions need be so accurate or consistent.
The main function of classical philosophy is to render all the other (non-military) terms as amorphous and meaningless as possible, in the most confusing manner possible.
The clarity you might find in Learners, despite its at best middling prose, is forbidden by classical philosophy and chased from its primary texts. Elaborate protocols and wordy formulae are elaborated with the twin goals of neutralizing valid ethics and preventing peace. The facts to be established indisputably by classical philosophy are that the yearly starvation of millions of babies is inevitable, and that world peace is impossible and unwise.
Your grades as a child and the publication of your adult manuscript will depend on the beauty of your prose admitting these revolting principles and the solidity of your logic confirming them.
Reactionaries define anarchy as the following nightmare scenario. Learners calls it chaosism, and its practitioners, chaosists. A chaosist may commit any crime he can get away with, based on his ruthlessness, strength and firepower. During periods of chaosism (reactionary anarchy), no bourgeois may doze off at night, confident that his throat won’t be slit, his property stolen/vandalized, and his family enslaved before he reawakens.
Don’t bother to remind reactionaries that this is exactly what happens to those caught in the path of armies in wartime or to the poor in times of peace. They won’t listen. According to reactionaries, anarchists promote this kind of anarchy. Shooting them like rabid dogs would be salutary.
Anarchists have a different take on anarchy. In their version, every rule of property and class should be discarded in favor of self-discipline and fellow feeling, which would lead to absolute justice and equality. No more poverty, bigotry, inequality, war or vice. In short: the freedom of Neolithic hunter-gatherers. They, in turn, consider property-owners rabid dogs, etc. …
Learners uses the term ‘chaosist’ to describe the whipped-children-turned-into-adults who’d rise and fall like yo-yos during chaosism (chaos for its own sake). Think of the Thirty Years War or Rwanda at its worst. Some individuals might have survived, but no they would recognize. Victims and murderers, survivors and the dead: everyone’s core identity from the past, brutally struck down.
Also included under the designation chaosist are many people unbalanced enough to want to make it happen: people like the Unabomber, Book of Revelation fanatics, those who applaud bloody jihad (holy war on behalf of Islam), and just about anyone else on a really, really bad day.
Learners would reserve the term ‘anarchist’ for iron-willed utopians like Bukharin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy and Gandhi: the most decent men this indecent world has produced.
Anyone who would mob around town dressed up in black, setting garbage dumpsters on fire, smashing plate glass windows and upsetting the cars of innocent bystanders, in obedience to his pimply, teenage, glandular hyperactivity – all in the name of Glorious Anarchy – is obviously an amateur chaosist. Suicide bombers, likewise. Professional chaosists tend to pass their unarmed neighbors under the mortar and the machete, and send young suicide bombers out to die, while they remain safe and smug at home, preaching from their Good Book. If someone comes looking for them seriously armed, they run and hide like cowards.
The Learner Commonwealth will be neither lawlessly brutal nor evangelically lawless. Chaosists will be neutralized and sent along Learner pathways more theatrical, therapeutic and useful; and moral anarchists, held to their highest standards.
LEARNERS: On the Move from WeaponWorld to PeaceWorld