While I was commenting on Don’t Be Afraid. We Are At War. (artaxes.wordpress.com), I had what struck me as a relatively original thought. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has gotten this idea before, but I have never heard anybody put it quite this way.
What happens during a war? We use wars to resolve our differences. Our most grievous differences involve settling differences over right and wrong. These are matters of the soul, not the courtroom. These are metaphysical differences, not a search for the facts of a matter.
Our wars are about differences are over what constitutes a crime. What is determined in a courtroom is whether a crime was committed and who is guilty of the act.
Consider that good and evil represent differing ideologies. In the Christian world view, it is good to love God and obey His commands. However, Satan differs with God. His ideology is based upon the worship of self. In particular, Satan would replace God and would have all Creation worship him. That, of course, was the sin of Adam and Eve.https://artaxes.wordpress.com/2022/09/06/dont-be-afraid-we-are-at-war/#comment-623
Some will say that many wars are just a matter of theft and enslavement. Did ancient Rome, for example, want anything except other people’s land and wealth? Didn’t Rome just want more people to enslave? Yet, when we say that we forget something important. The people of Rome understood that the people they conquered were people too. The people Rome conquered were generally every bit as capable and commendable as the people of Rome. Therefore, robbing, enslaving and killing them felt wrong because it is wrong. Nevertheless, Rome did not want to give up its empire, its wealth, and its slaves. So, the people of Rome had to justify their conquests. They had to come up with a rationale for engaging in conquest and crucifying rebels.
With that in mind, consider this question and answer.
Did Rome attempt to justify its conquests?
Context of question: In college, a history professor said they did not — maybe (not sure if I recall correctly) that ideas like that are modern and Rome wanted the slaves and treasure and so they just went ahead.
Yes, they did. They argued that their conquests bring benefits of peace, civilization and prosperity to the conquered lands. This point of view was expressed not only by native Roman writers (like Cicero) but also by some writers from the conquered nations (Polybius, for example).
In the case of Greece, they certainly did not bring civilization to Greece, just the opposite happened. But they brought peace. The whole history of ancient Greece is the history of continuous cruel warfare between the city-states. And all attempts to stop it and unite the Greek states before the Roman conquest failed. Writers of that time perfectly understood that “Greek freedom is essentially the freedom to make war on each other”, I don’t remember which (Greek) writer said that.
The same argument was used by some British empire builders (The “burden of white man” as Kipling called it). Some modern scientists agree with this argument, for example:
Ian Morris, War! What is it good for?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots, 2014.https://history.stackexchange.com/questions/33842/did-rome-attempt-to-justify-its-conquests
Some like to think of our ancestors as complete savages who had no qualms about raping and pillaging their neighbors, but there is little reason to think that our ancestors were much different from us. Consider this observation by the Apostle Paul.
We know in our hearts how our Lord God wants us to behave, but we don’t always behave as well as we should, but many do try. Because the Romans had had a republic and strived to justify their conduct, they did something different from most of the conquerors of the past. They spread the Roman system of justice, a relatively good system of justice, to the peoples they conquered. Roman justice was hardly perfect, but by the standards of the time it was fair. Hence most of the people Roman conquered were not in constant state of rebellion.
So, how does this relate to Don’t Be Afraid. We Are At War. (artaxes.wordpress.com)? artaxes doesn’t agree with my commentary on his post. Here is the crux of it.
“A set of doctrines or beliefs that are shared by the members of a social group or that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.”
What you describe are no typical ideologies which almost always come with a moral justification (aka being good).
You couldn’t give a convincing argument why mentioning the devil is more important than identifying the ideology of the people who are causing harm worldwide. Neither did I hear any refutation of my evidence or my reasoning. The only argument I’ve heard so far is essentially: I don’t like it.
So be it.
Perhaps I’m wrong but this is my impression: You seem to shy away from stuff like WEF because that sounds too conspiratorial and one doesn’t want to be called a conspiracy theorist these days.
The irony is that while conspiracies are by definition done in secret, there’s nothing conspiratorial about the WEF, the Great Reset or Build Back Better. It’s in your face and totally in the open. Hell, they even bragg about it.from https://artaxes.wordpress.com/2022/09/06/dont-be-afraid-we-are-at-war/#comment-627
The odd thing about artaxes comments is that I don’t have a problem with identifying the specific ideology and strategies of our out of control ruling class any more than I would trying to understand what makes Communists or Nazis so dangerous. To defeat an enemy, it helps to understand how he thinks.
Understanding the enemy, however, is not enough. To win a war, we also have to understand why we are fighting, what it is that gives us the resolve to fight.
Here is the fundamental issue in our conflict with our current government.
Our leaders have become too full of themselves. Instead of being content to keep the peace and let their fellow citizens run their own lives, they would impose their noxious values upon the rest of us. It is our opposition to those values and our willingness to uphold our own values that motivates us to stand against them. Afterall, they are our leaders. Like it or not, they have great power over us. Yet because they demand that we believe that what is evil is good and what is good is evil we have no choice except to oppose them.
Without violence? I hope so, but self-defense is an inherent human right.
- Why Conquer? (education.nationalgeographic.org)
- Cicero on Justice, Empire, and the Exceptional Republic (classicsofstrategy.com)
- Polybius and Roman Imperialism (bmcr.brynmawr.edu)
- “Loom Of History” (archive.org): pg 164 contains the following in reference to the Hellenistic kings:
If the kings deprived them of their cherished freedom to make war on one another, they also protected them from other cities and from barbarians.