Friday, September 23, 2005

Why the War Was Wrong, Part Four: Or,

I'm afraid this isn't a new post at all. I've just dragged all the relevant comments in the 'what are the common core axioms of the "anti-war" party?' thread up here...

Jenny said: So it … made me wonder what the basic tenets of those who disagree with the war are, and how universally would they apply them?

And then I said:
I hassled Androo for years to try to get him to explain what the basic tenets leading him to disagree with the war were, without success... that was also why I read the book! I suspect the common denominator is pessimism about human nature, particularly the nature of the United State government: if you have the habit of thinking that the United States is incompetent and/or wicked, you will tend to oppose anything they propose.

And then Marco said:
There is also the gut feel, and the partisan rules of thumb, which most people I know put more faith into than calculated logic. Basically, the gut feel of people opposed to the war was quite clearly that things would turn out better for the world with the general ideas that the europeans had in mind, i.e., continuing sanctions, empty threats etc. Also the belief that peaceful activism against war brings us closer to an ideal of "World peace" which is a widely held wish, however unlikely to result.

And then Andrew quoted me saying:
"I hassled Androo for years to try to get him to explain what the basic tenets leading him to disagree with the war were, without success..."

And said: You did not.

At which Marco said:
Ok, "We" hassled you, and we still haven't given up.

Then I said:
As I recall there was a metaphor about letting a friend walk into traffic for his own good, which I never understood, and then a retreat into sullen silence. Perhaps we have not 'hassled you for years' except in the laconic Australian way, see below, but we have on numerous occasions- both whenever you have appeared in our corners of the web, or when we wander over to yours to make nuisances of ourselves- prodded you to tell us what you think and why. This is because we want to know, not because we want to score political points.

Anecdote illustrating laconic Australian style of argument: Two drifters wander for years together along the dusty roads of outback Queensland (Editor's note: In a completely non-homo-erotic way.). One day they pass a dead animal on the side of the road. An hour after they pass by, one says to the other: 'Dead horse.' After another hour, the second one says: 'Weren't a horse, was an ox.' No more is said, but the next morning the second drifter awakes to find that the first has taken off before dawn, leaving a note: 'Gone. Sick of all the arguing.'

This bit of Marcosblog is all about us hassling Androo to tell us his assumptions.

1 comment:

Marco said...

Reasons for peace activism are self-evident for the activist - yet very troublesome to explain. The secret with activism is to make sure the foot soldier doesn't have to think about the pros and cons at all, and can just concentrate on being active and then going back to their other interests and job when it has blown over.