- Mar 2016
So they're self-aware that what they're doing is wrong and evil. That doesn't excuse them from actually doing it for years.He should know what he's talking about then.
A bit like Gustav II Adolph:
"War is not a stream, or a river, or a lake – it is a vast ocean of all that is evil."
I'd like to know the context of this quote. As a former soldier, I've never liked philoshophies like that: initiative and independent thinking are required skills, at the very least for NCO's and above.Seen in an army armory
...."whatever is not ordered is forbidden "
It's certainly easier - from a moral perspective - to admire generals that were serving their country and going to war by orders of their government, rather than making the decision to go to war in the first place.Agreed. It's one of the reasons I hold reluctant warriors like Scipio and Wellington in high regard.
In the case of Scipio and Wellington, that wasn't quite the case.It's certainly easier - from a moral perspective - to admire generals that were serving their country and going to war by orders of their government, rather than making the decision to go to war in the first place.
Well, it was also glorious of course.So they're self-aware that what they're doing is wrong and evil. That doesn't excuse them from actually
doing it for years.
Agreed. War and international relations is complicated, and eras are different. Modern western culture definitely is shaped by the ease and softness of our lives; it makes it very difficult to look objectively at different eras without carrying over our tacit assumptions. A ruler acts for his own people, not for the harmony of the world. A skillfully fought war can easily lead to a better peace for one's own people.Well, it was also glorious of course.
We are talking about periods in history where the literally only foreign policy function of the state itself was to make war. You might have no policy at all, and maybe not make war, or have a policy but that then automatically involved warfare.
I don't think anachronistic modern sentiments can quite manage to explain the motivations of historical actors. The modern forms of moralistic approaches to history become really problematic unless coupled with a very considerable interest in the history itself.
Otherwise pat servings or moralising end up explaining nothing at at all. (There's a nice Swedish word to describe these: "moralkakor", lit. "morality cakes". Little nibbles that go down easily but leaves no lasting satisfaction, except everyone feel a bit holier-than-thou for a while.)