• FreeEmotion
    773
    Any reason it can't be both? It's not so unusual, in my experience, for a society or community to reflect the personal attitude of its members.Vera Mont

    Yes, it can be both.

    I want to discuss the idea of control here, though. Given either the moral obligation or the voluntary act, why are ordinary citizens so powerless to prevent mass suffering or other people?

    The conflicts raging around the world are a case in point. Did any of you vote for these wars?
    I was shocked to realize that the total number of civilians dead in Syria is over 500,000. That is half a million people. No - one is morally obligated to start and fuel conflicts.

    10 Conflicts to Watch in 2023
    1. Ukraine
    2. Armenia and Azerbaijan
    3. Iran
    4. Yemen
    5. Ethiopia
    6. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes
    7. The Sahel
    8. Haiti
    9. Pakistan
    10. Taiwan
    Crisis Group

    So they manufacture consent. The WMD fiasco, for example was widely opposed. While ordinary citizens live and work for the well being of their families and themselves, what are those in control doing? Is there no antidote?

    It sometimes seems that people have a better chance of removing Stalin from power, and he is dead.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2023/3/19/photos-millions-protested-against-invasion-of-iraq
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    But despite grief, sorrow and disbelief, some Israeli organisations and individuals continue to speak out against Israel’s massive military operation in Gaza. They advocate for contextualising the violence they are now experiencing, emphasising that not all in Gaza are guilty or supportive of the violence.

    B’tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation, tweeted on October, 13: “No. A million people in northern Gaza are not guilty. They have nowhere else to go. This is not what fighting Hamas looks like. This is revenge. And innocent people are being hurt.”

    https://theconversation.com/israel-hamas-war-will-the-murder-of-peace-activists-mean-the-end-of-the-peace-movement-215973

    The peace movement - the powerless
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Given either the moral obligation or the voluntary act, why are ordinary citizens so powerless to prevent mass suffering or other people?FreeEmotion

    Several reasons.
    They are actually powerless. Decisions about foreign affairs are made in secret at the highest levels of government - no referendum, no public discussion, often not even a debate in the house of representatives.
    They are ignorant. Issues of "National Security" are never aired in the public broadcasting media. Information, such as it is, is released in dribs and drabs at the discretion of the relevant government organs and officials.
    They are partisan. Told that they themselves may be in danger, any issue becomes a matter of us vs them - them being, presumedly, the designated other. They'll approve whatever action the leadership deems appropriate to protect them from than nebulous other. And if that danger is demonstrated by a violent attack, they not merely approve but actively and enthusiastically support countermeasures by their government. Even if those measures infringe on their own civil rights.
    They are misdirected and trained to respond to misdirection. The organs of propaganda give plausible (more or less) explanations for the troubles of other people (poor life choices, lack of moral fibre, laziness, irresponsibility) and far more abstruse ones for the troubles of other countries: why shit-holes like Haiti fail is too complicated to follow, but it's all their own fault.
    Vindictiveness. People are quite easy to rile up against any person, group or entity that has harmed or slighted them in some way or damaged their self-image. They may not know or care what actions on the part of their government and its agents may have precipitated a blow against their nation or its citizens, what caused the other to lash out, but they care very much about the injury or insult itself.
    Self-interest. If it costs themselves any risk, loss or inconvenience, they simply prefer not to know.

    They may be generous and kind to someone whose suffering they understand, but the big issues in the world are just too much work to unravel.
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    They are misdirected and trained to respond to misdirection. The organs of propaganda give plausible (more or less) explanations for the troubles of other people (poor life choices, lack of moral fibre, laziness, irresponsibility) and far more abstruse ones for the troubles of other countries: why shit-holes like Haiti fail is too complicated to follow, but it's all their own fault.Vera Mont

    I object to describe a country like you describe Haiti.

    I think that governments represent their people in the sense that they care for their own well being more than any causes overseas, for example the wars that are currently ongoing, or global warming for that matter. When something shocks the moral conscience of people then maybe people think. The Pandemic for example, and the wars that are going on. Maybe that is the way it has to be. People respond to violence one way or another, either to prevent it or continue the cycle.

    The question of agency is an interesting one: I would think that course of a nation is determined by a series of historical accidents, rather than the will of personalities. This makes it more difficult to blame nations or leaders. Of course attempts can be made to change the course of history but these are hit and miss. Protests, elections, what happens? Transnational actors?

    See this:

    Increasingly international, transnational and non-governmental actors play an important role in advancing public policies on behalf of democratic citizens—that is, acting as representatives for those citizens. Such actors “speak for,” “act for” and can even “stand for” individuals within a nation-state. It is no longer desirable to limit one’s understanding of political representation to elected officials within the nation-state. After all, increasingly state “contract out” important responsibilities to non-state actors, e.g. environmental regulation. As a result, elected officials do not necessarily possess “the capacity to act,” the capacity that Pitkin uses to identify who is a representative. So, as the powers of nation-state have been disseminated to international and transnational actors, elected representatives are not necessarily the agents who determine how policies are implemented
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    I object to describe a country like you describe Haiti.FreeEmotion

    It was a reference to a comment by then-president DJT. There were a couple of other sardonic references in my post, and you're quite right to object to all of them, if you didn't understand my intent.

    So, as the powers of nation-state have been disseminated to international and transnational actors, elected representatives are not necessarily the agents who determine how policies are implemented

    So, like, nobody's in control, except possibly megacorporations. Does not bide well.
  • LuckyR
    443

    Yes, the rationalization that the materially deprived (globally) are such is their own fault due to personal flaws is easy to understand psychologically as it serves both the purpose of making the wealthy feel superior and absolved from needing to address the issue.

    Really described in detail in Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    We stayed at a tourist resort just over the weekend. People eating and drinking and having a good time, despite, or maybe because of the suffering that is going on in the world.

    I do not hold anything against them, charity must be voluntary, not under compulsion. Some day they might decide to do more but maybe they may be doing enough already. Who knows?

    What about the rest of us, whose day and night is haunted by the reprehensible wars and famines, the sufferings that are currently going on, what can we do? Is raising awareness enough?

    At the reception of the hotel we stayed in, I saw a box with a picture of a child - it was a box for contributions for a day out at a resort for children from 'child care centre'

    The box was not even half full.

    What does it cost?

    Update: So between 50% and 65% donate money, worldwide

    https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2022-publications/caf-world-giving-index-2022
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    We - and I mean this loosely - about immediate family - can go through an entire holiday eating, drinking, visiting resorts and watching dolphins, without one word, one word, mind you, about the starving people of the world. Give lip service at least. Think about them. At least Elon Musk tried, and he says 'its not the money - there are wars...'.

    I seem to be the only one thinking about this.
    FreeEmotion

    Luke 18:11
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    Luke 18:11Ciceronianus

    It is an unlikely argument that Pacifists start wars and get millions killed. Of course, everyone must be Pacificist, it does not make sense to fill a cage with lions and sheep and expect them to get on.

    I have a more appropriate verse: Romans 11: 1-4. I was wrong, there must be at least 7,000 we need some sort of asymmetric response then.

    Why We Fight. Interesting ideas: If it is true that people make mistakes, then we can be assured that some wars are mistakes. Which ones?

    Dylan Matthews
    You list five explanations for war, which are all explanations of how bargaining breaks down and why people can’t reach agreements peaceably. Could you walk through those five?

    Chris Blattman
    I call them:

    Unchecked leaders
    Intangible incentives
    Misperceptions
    Uncertainty, and
    Commitment problems
    — VOX

    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2022/4/28/23041726/chris-blattman-why-we-fight-war-peace

    This is one view. Let's look at countries that have not been involved in a war since 1945

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars:_1945%E2%80%931989

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars:_1990%E2%80%932002

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars:_2003%E2%80%93present
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    It is an unlikely argument that Pacifists start wars and get millions killed.FreeEmotion

    Why? Many who openly state they hate violence are quite quick to inspire violence in others by way of their self-righteous nonsense. A world full of pacifists would be a miserable world lacking in drive, ambition and emotion.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    A world full of pacifists would be a miserable world lacking in drive, ambition and emotion.I like sushi

    Do you mean that violence is the only appropriate response to all stimuli?
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    Yes. We should all just beat each other into a pulp … what do you think I meant :D
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    We should all just beat each other into a pulpI like sushi

    Well, that would solve the human problem.
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    Why? Many who openly state they hate violence are quite quick to inspire violence in others by way of their self-righteous nonsense. A world full of pacifists would be a miserable world lacking in drive, ambition and emotion.I like sushi

    Pacificists starting violence is an absurd self contradiction of pacifism.

    I knew it: there are those who support war, violent resistance, I have come across these people in real life, not any particular war also, but war is progress.

    I am shocked by the continuing ongoing wars, ignored by the news media, that are causing untold human suffering.

    Enjoy your war-torn world while it lasts.

    And thank you that nuclear war has been avoided so far by accident as well as design.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    Are you a pacifist? You sure as hell do not sound like one ;)
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    Let me put it like this …

    If I tell you to shut up and you ignore me then I break legs and threaten to break the legs of everyone you know a love you would do what. If you resist I just up the stakes and threaten murder.

    War and Violence are necessary to dispose of unwanted and hostile threats. It is not really that complicated. That is my point. The pacifist will sit idle in the midst of rape and murder trying to talk the perpetrator down instead of taking them out.

    It is unjustifiable to adhere to pacifism in all circumstances. It is laughable that someone even thought I wanted non-stop violence and war. It is clear to all violence and war should be viewed as last resorts, it is not so clear that pacifism can be equally as destructive if adhered to rigorously.
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    The pacifist will sit idle in the midst of rape and murder trying to talk the perpetrator down instead of taking them out.I like sushi

    This is incorrect in that it assumes that laws will not be enforced. I am not calling for defunding the police. I am not calling for letting the perpetrators go unpunished.

    How about this equally violent argument? Since Hamas terrorists comitted 'rape and murder' then why not:

    Execute all Hamas fighter in captivity.

    Embark on a campaign to 'kill every last Hamas fighter' take no prisoners

    Somehow this course of action has very few supporters, and it is due to some hidden motives which I can only guess at. In any case the IDF 'killed 1,400 Hamas fighters' so an eye for an eye I think the number of eyes closed here is equal. What do you think? Or are there other considerations that I need to hear?

    t is clear to all violence and war should be viewed as last resorts, it is not so clear that pacifism can be equally as destructive if adhered to rigorously.I like sushi

    We need to distinguish between wars of aggression (Nazis) and wars of defense (Israel 1948). So I am not sure what you mean by last resort. As an argument, if Hitler got struck in the head and became a pacifist, there would be no WW2. Of course someone would have taken his place, ad infinitum, until you get to the people who were supporting his goals.

    Who were they, and why? Were they Pacifist?

    There is a lecture of pacifism here: it contains information.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?434330-4/anti-war-movements-world-war-present

    We are all learning here. You have encouraged me to read up more on Pacifism and what it actually means. I could be mistaken.
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    I, for one, resolve myself to thinking about the poor and starving with every meal I have.

    I have to really think about what actions will be the most effective.

    The glass box with a few bank notes in it, at a luxury resort tells me I should give. The question is how much.
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    I, for one, resolve myself to thinking about the poor and starving with every meal I have.

    I have to really think about what actions will be the most effective.

    The glass box with a few bank notes in it, at a luxury resort tells me I should give. The question is how much.
  • I like sushi
    4.4k
    So I am not sure what you mean by last resort.FreeEmotion

    Subjective. My point is that committing a violent act against someone (striking first) is not what a pacifist would do. Some people cannot be negotiated with (and say so). Such positions can require someone to act violently as a preventative measure.

    I do not believe in some one rule fits all. Pacifism has its limitations but sounds fluffier than it can be if taken too far.
  • FreeEmotion
    773
    Yes well looking at some lectures on pacifism. Various types.

    Pacifism covers a spectrum of views, including the belief that international disputes can and should be peacefully resolved, calls for the abolition of the institutions of the military and war, opposition to any organization of society through governmental force (anarchist or libertarian pacifism), rejection of the use of physical violence to obtain political, economic or social goals, the obliteration of force, and opposition to violence under any circumstance, even defence of self and others. Historians of pacifism Peter Brock and Thomas Paul Socknat define pacifism "in the sense generally accepted in English-speaking areas" as "an unconditional rejection of all forms of warfare".[4] Philosopher Jenny Teichman defines the main form of pacifism as "anti-warism", the rejection of all forms of warfare.[5] Teichman's beliefs have been summarized by Brian Orend as "... A pacifist rejects war and believes there are no moral grounds which can justify resorting to war. War, for the pacifist, is always wrong." In a sense the philosophy is based on the idea that the ends do not justify the means.[6] The word pacific denotes conciliatory.[7]Wikipedia - Pacifism

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacifism

    I fear some wars are caused out of lack of intelligence or poor diplomacy. That is the concern.

    The video on Pacifism I was watching will not show up in the desktop browser search. Why?

    I had to get it from my view history.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk1YhjSxmAE&t=779s
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