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A common and natural result of an undue respect for the law is, that you may see a file of soldiers ... marching in admirable... Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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A common and natural result of an undue respect for the law is, that you may see a file of soldiers ... marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Professor
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 12:33:25 AM

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A common and natural result of an undue respect for the law is, that you may see a file of soldiers ... marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences.

Does it sound familiar? It is very similar to a quote by Gaius Julius Caesar. The Roman general, statesman, and notable author. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. “Beware the zealous leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a fervor, for this is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights (under the law)of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by hatred, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader, and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am, Caesar.”

We must have checks and balances before storming off to war as a human, as a nation and as humanity.

"You reveal your character by what you do with what you have."
CheVegas ☁️ ✈ ☁️
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 1:14:27 AM

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Isn it this type of thinking that inspired Milton Friedman of the "Chicago School" to develop the volunteer military idea for the Nixon administration? Save a little cash, and do away with those pesky anti-war protests by thoughtful/skeptical/scared/rational citizens?

P.S., Henry Kissinger is a war criminal.
gradyone
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 1:47:51 AM

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War is criminal, and all of us are complicit with its existence.


Viva Geronimo
MTC
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 2:10:29 AM
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The quotation is from Thoreau's essay, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience:

The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation on conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents on injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for the law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? Visit the Navy Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts--a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniment, though it may be,

(http://www.literaturepage.com/read/civildisobedience-2.html)

In the PRC we have the opposite problem; an undue disrespect for the law.


Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 2:25:18 AM
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What's more dangerous in its consequences: an undue respect of law or an undue disrespect of law?
PS Is there an undue respect for woman?
Miriam...
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 8:19:45 AM

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I think gradyone's comment makes more sense.
ithink140
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 8:56:24 AM

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Grady opined: War is criminal, and all of us are complicit with its existence.

Not so. My father was a conscientious objector and went to prison for his stand. I too was ready to do the same, but they stopped conscription three months before my call up was due.


'Life is too short to be eaten up by hate.'
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 3:17:58 PM

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Daemon wrote:
A common and natural result of an undue respect for the law is, that you may see a file of soldiers ... marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


Surely that cannot be said of ALL soldiers. And perhaps it could not have been applied to any of the soldiers of the American Continental Army in 1776 who marched off to war. Was that war criminal? Were both sides to blame?

I remember, therefore I am.
gradyone
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 5:07:51 PM

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Einstein pointed out that to make the world a better place for everyone, we must change our thinking
to include everyone. Not so much to think as one organism, but to recognize every individual as
being a fully constituted member of one people. In that regard if we want to eliminate war from
the human experience, each individual must take responsibility for preventing war from occurring
and recurring and recurring. Discovering the means to prevent war or poverty or starvation requires
the same diligent single-mindedness that went into curing smallpox or yellow fever or polio.

We continue to change and refine our thinking about agents of infection or disease, making
large strides to reduce global mortality rates and ease suffering. And the prohibition against
war is taking hold: Despite the loss of life in recent years in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt,
Chad, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan, the number of individuals killed or wounded by warfare
is at an historic low. The argument should not be whether previous wars were right or wrong.
The change in our thinking defines war itself as wrong, criminally wrong.

We have reached a time in our growth as one people to possess the means to intervene, if we choose to,
in the first instances of war to defend victims and dispatch perpetrators, but we still have a long way
to go to reach agreement on how to govern those means of intervention. Many political sides still ask
who is to decide with no intention of hearing any answer other than their own. With 7.2 billion people
now depending on each other and this dynamic planet to survive, the future looms large on the horizon.
I'm optimistic we are making progress to groom a not so distant future generation that will know how to
work together to the benefit of everyone and everything. May we keep on coming together.


Viva Geronimo
jcbarros
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 5:08:25 PM

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If my soldiers were to begin to think, no one would remain in the ranks. (Frederick The Great of Prussia).
Miriam...
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 9:59:13 PM

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"War is criminal, and all of us are complicit with its existence."

To ithink, in particular:

I believe gradyone was referring not to individuals or individual actions, but to our humanity--to the condition of being human. And because this human condition, intrinsic to us all, we all are implicated as accomplices to war. For without this condition, war would not and could not exist.

Surely there are saints among us, but it requires a quantum leap in our thinking for all of humanity to metamorphous and change the nature of our beings, as gradyone in a later post writes, when:

"The change in our thinking defines war itself as wrong, criminally wrong."
Absurdicuss
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 10:45:29 PM

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Ardent and active distrust, vigorous resistance to and scrutiny of governments every proposal in the form of virulent outcries and demands for strict accountability would be a good start.

People when left to their own devices will live peaceably until a government rises up and sets them against one another.

If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.
Thomas Jefferson


"Now" is the eternal present.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Monday, December 30, 2013 2:57:43 AM

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Abs writes - "People when left to their own devices will live peaceably until a government rises up and sets them against one another".

Maybe so, but remember that governments are made up of people, and, left to their own devices choose to Divide and Rule.


I remember, therefore I am.
CheVegas ☁️ ✈ ☁️
Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 7:07:16 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
Surely that cannot be said of ALL soldiers. And perhaps it could not have been applied to any of the soldiers of the American Continental Army in 1776 who marched off to war. Was that war criminal? Were both sides to blame?


Good point, and an excellent example. Like it or not, it is sometimes necessary.
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