“Fascism contemplates above all the future and the development of mankind merely from the vantage point of political reality and believes neither in the possibility nor the usefulness of eternal peace. It rejects therefore pacifism, which under a pretense of magnanimity hides the renunciation of combat and cowardice. [Author’s note: pacifism hides the renunciation of cowardice, indeed! Mussolini typifies those moral cowards whose life-meaning collapses the moment they stop inflicting pain on someone, anyone]. Only war brings human energies to their highest tension and ennobles those peoples [that] dare to undertake it. All other tests are only substitutes, which never put men before the highest decision, that of the choice between life and death [Russian roulette, Your Predaciousness? Be my guest!]. Therefore every doctrine which starts out from a premeditated revolution for peace is foreign to Fascism.” Mussolini, quoted by Alfred Vagts in A History of Militarism, Greenwich Editions, 1959, p. 437.
Did you make the replacement? Despite its relevance and my many attempts to duplicate it in my head, I found this exercise unwieldy. So let me make it easy for you:
Modern political thought contemplates above all the future and the development of mankind merely from the vantage point of political reality and believes neither in the possibility nor the usefulness of eternal peace. It rejects therefore pacifism, which under a pretense of magnanimity hides the renunciation of combat and cowardice. … Therefore every doctrine that starts out from a premeditated revolution for peace is foreign to modern political thought.
Note the parallel intent of fascism and modern political thought, which are supposed to be at odds with one another. Those interchangeable politics are imposed on us without nuance or valid alternative. Thus are we summoned to “choose” between Clinton and Trump, Le Pen and Macron, standard-bearers of equally unacceptable politics. Pending worse “choices” down the road.
Weapon mentality is the operating system that drives the hardware/wetware of weapon technology through the application program (constantly upgraded) of weapon management. This mentality takes great pride in the finality of its cruel and arbitrary dictates. It is more interested in its routines and traditions than in the moral consequence of its acts. It would rather fantasize its perfection than resolve ceaseless contradictions.
Weapon mentality and its outcomes are neither aberrations nor errors. Learners should defy those weapon myths. Greed, psychosis, stupidity and gross criminality (those eternal bugaboos) are mere symptoms of the problem, not its cause. The chainsaw logic of weapon mentality is consistent; its barbarity, fully justified and “moral” within its own frame of reference. Wherever weapon mentality roams unchallenged, it distorts every facet of life. Paraphrasing Churchill’s quip about German imperialists, weapon managers are either groveling at our feet or lunging for our throats.
Weapon mentality is a parasite without creativity except for compulsion and terror. Incapable of independent productivity, it relies on peace technology for sustenance. Unable to destroy humanity’s innate sense of dignity and grace, it twists root truths just enough to suit its purpose.
First off, it crams our constellation of political metaphors with.
For weapon mentality, human compassion is an unnecessary burden. Vicious battle elites find rank, power, comparative wealth and imaginary security by acting as faithful servants of weapon mentality. Anyone who takes a moral stand is co-opted, marginalized and attacked. Promotion is based on willingness to compromise normal conscience and inflict maximum allowable harm. A promising career and frequently professional survival decree that good conscience be abandoned.
A good analogy is the biblical tale in Genesis 22, in which God demands that Abraham sacrifice his son—except that, unlike merciful God, weapon mentality sees that this sacrifice is carried out by the book to its bloody conclusion.
Weapon mentality is stoical, abusive and contagious. It is anti-moral though very moralistic. It operates in direct contravention of peace values. Like a virus, weapon mentality reaches into healthy peace management cells to replicate its own kind. Gathering whatever it finds useful and culling the rest, it crosses with impunity every barrier of empire, race, religion, nationality and ideology. You know, all those notions our heroes routinely die for? Weapon mentality treats them like the phantasms they actually are.
Abusing its ascendancy in a Darwinian struggle for survival of the deadliest, weapon mentality perverts human culture and obstructs every overture of peace. It has done little else throughout history, with our consent. What’s more, weapon mentality remains “fixed” in human history. Dependable peace has never endured for very long. Prior to today’s global communication networks, no prototype peace technology could spread fast enough through the weapon cults that surrounded it.
Peace technologies weaken under attack, even as their adherents strengthen themselves in suffering and sacrifice. Only a few civilizations made peace their first priority. Without exception, they succumbed to the weapon technologies that surrounded them. They became “pre-historic.”
Since I’m much less of a man than Gandhi, I cannot call myself a pacifist while I serve hard time on this hell-world among these simpering killer primates. Every nation secretes an inescapable battle elite of vile individuals. It is our repulsive obligation to practice selective violence against them, smother their toxic influence and shelter the children—provided we redistribute wealth and power in peace.
The tendentious designations of Pacifist and Militarist have been talked to death elsewhere. Yet their rivalry has had no more effect than skittering mice when compared to the hobnailed tread of legions of common weapon stalwarts.
There are striking similarities between pacifists and warmongers. Both enlist small bands of sullen fanatics on the margins of society. Both rely on powerful, charismatic patrons to dispel routine lethargy, shatter petty deadlocks, deflect police scrutiny and promote themselves widely. Both share moral attitudes that are chronic in modern society and turn acute in high-stress situations—rather like herpes virus in a stressed individual, or the latent TB that may bring me down one day. Both make noisy claims during periods of social turmoil. During these stressful times, one group brightens our courtrooms and punishment cells with its reawakened conscience, while the other inks the pages of history with the blood of its next victims. Both rely on mass media to multiply their small numbers and amplify their impossible demands.
Pacifists range from those who would rather starve to death than let their bodily defenses kill off microorganisms naturally, (as Jain elders often opt to do), to conscientious objectors who may or may not fight for a cause they find just, or cooperate with their nation when it goes to war. This form of half-hearted cooperation defines the common mass of weapon stalwarts, whether or not they choose to murder each other at war this decade.
To sum up, many cosmopolitan individuals – like me – seek PeaceWorld. More often than not, they support some alternative less feasible and less coherent than mine. Their wishful thinking tends to lead them into the fantasy of peaceful nationalism (a patent contradiction) and touchy-feely sentimentalism, rather than incite them to hunt down the nuts, bolts and binding washers required for a pragmatic, global peace.
Pacifism serves as a term of law to designate another group of people who impede weapon management in times of war. Along with them come spies, rebels, deserters, draft dodgers, traitors and aliens. These people aren’t considered “pacifists” despite their routine allegiance to cosmopolitan peace.
The term pacifist was coined as a legal pigeonhole for a few thousand conscientious objectors who protested against World War I on the record and thus the hard way. They earned equal shares of contempt and brutality from Allied and Central Power bureaucrats.
Rarely having been shot at (that I know of), I suspect that most people who come under fire turn out to be devout pacifists. “There are no warmongers in the foxholes!”
To date, organized pacifists and their cherished ideals have insulated themselves from the mainstream of society. More often than not, the weapon media have painted them as decadent, pasty-faced, “morally superior” outsiders and wise guys. Many pacifists have embraced these labels, to the detriment of their cause.
The term Militarist describes those who advocate ruinous military preparation and/or preemptive aggression. Ruinous because it is devoid of profit and prevents more advantageous investment. The essence of military preparedness is aggression since battlefields are the only valid training ground for real armies, and mortal enemies, their only effective instructors. It includes proponents of any weapon state other than our nationalists who are, of course, peace loving, anti-militarist libertarians.
Sure thing, buddy.
Weapon states may remain overtly militaristic, even though they’ve spent decades at peace with everyone but their own minorities. Some of the grossest empires – bloated with war booty, conquered territory, devastating firepower and drone populations of slaves, warriors, warlords, convicts, unemployed and disenfranchised victims – simply deny their own militarism.
Militarists often call themselves patriots: “The last refuge of the scoundrel,” per Boswell’s Life of Johnson.
Like most weapon terms, these designations are useless: as clumsy as they are vague.
Pacifists usually seek their shade in center-left politics, while militarists hunt opportunistically from the far right (their usual turf) through the middle ground to the far left—wherever they can pull down the most cash.
As hobbies go, weapons technology is quite costly.
I’d rather replace these common expressions with ones from the vernacular of Learner, as follows:
· Militarists in general: weapon mentors, weapon sectarians, weapon managers, battle elites, and weapon technicians (depending on the actual job they are assigned).
· Pacifists, opposition activists, and random, reductive meliorists: weapon dissenters.
· The crushing majority of humanity, nameless, for the most part peaceful, who would march off to war if asked nicely. And their children, taught to expect a warrior’s subsistence instead of peace-enhanced success: common weapon stalwarts.
· Usefully transformational revolutionaries: Learners.
Everything depends on the person in question: if they know what they’re doing and why. My terms focus on results rather than intent. I hesitate to pigeonhole specific people and institutions based on their political packaging and outlook rather than their results.
People tend to respond flexibly to complex and often paradoxical circumstances, internal as well as external. Many say one thing and do the opposite, then applaud the paradoxical outcome of their behavior. Too many more claim the best intentions, scrutinize their means compulsively and yet accept as inevitable the horrific consequences of their prejudices.
The weapon/peace dialectic admits two sorts of anarchy.
In misleading us in this way, this self-contradiction matches most of our political metaphors. Two contrary definitions serve to render a term meaningless and therefore more useful to weapon mentality. Deeper meanings of truth and peace are poison to it. Weapon political metaphors do not require specific meanings beyond those needed to lie and kill.
For peace mentality, words like justice and liberty have specific meanings, naturally defined by personal conscience, which correspond to real-time behavior. Either there is justice or there isn't. Simple.
For weapon mentality, mushy words like those are just reassuring noise parroted robotically by people with no conscience, about actions they can reverse whenever they find it convenient, and still call them the same. There can be injustice and they can call it justice. No problem.
The supreme commands: lie, kill, sacrifice the Other we point out to you, etc., those must be shouted loud enough and understood soon enough by everyone assembled on the national parade ground or on the global battlefield. Peacefully contrary expressions need never be so accurate or consistent.
The main function of classical philosophy is to render all the other (non-military) terms as amorphous and meaningless as possible, in the most confusing way possible.
The clarity you might find in Learner, despite its middling prose, is forbidden by classical philosophy and chased from its primary texts. Elaborate protocols and wordy formulae are elaborated with the twin goals of neutralizing valid ethics and preventing peace. The facts to be established without dispute by classical philosophy are that the yearly starvation of millions of babies is inevitable and that world peace is impossible and unwise.
Your infant grade and the publication of your adult manuscript will depend on the beauty of your prose admitting these revolting principles and its solid logic confirming them.
Reactionaries define anarchy as the following nightmare scenario. Learner calls it chaosism, and its practitioners, chaosists. A chaosist may commit any crime his ruthlessness, strength and firepower permit. During periods of chaosism (reactionary anarchy), no bourgeois may doze off at night, confident that his throat won’t be slit, his property stolen/vandalized, and his family enslaved before he reawakens.
Today’s gun nuts are nurturing this future nightmare. Once they and their insane measures have gotten them killed, they will provide an unlimited stock of firearms and ammunition so that passing psychopaths may renew their murderous agenda. As usual, humanity is fire hosing raw gasoline into a red-hot foundry. Global warming, ecocide, runaway overpopulation, nuclear power and weapons: the list of self-inflicted catastrophes is too long, too systematic, too irreparable, and too horrifying to be premeditated.
Don’t bother to remind reactionaries that their nightmare is exactly what happens to those caught in the path of armies in wartime or to the poor in any case. They won’t listen. According to reactionaries, the average anarchist promotes this kind of anarchy. Shooting him like a rabid dog would be a good thing.
Anarchists have a different take on anarchy. In their version, every rule of property and class should be discarded in favor of self-discipline and fellow feeling, which would lead to absolute justice and equality. No more poverty, bigotry, inequality, war or vice. In short: the freedom of Neolithic hunter-gatherers. They, in turn, consider property-owners rabid dogs, etc. …
No-one pays attention to the psychopaths who dominate all of these factions.
Learner makes use of the term “chaosist” to describe the whipped-child-turned-adult who’d rise and fall like yo-yos during chaosism (chaos for its own sake). Think of the Thirty Years War or Rwanda at its worst. Some individuals might have survived, but no-one they would recognize. Victims and murderers alike, the survivors and the dead: their core identity from the past was brutally struck down.
Also included under the designation chaosist are people unbalanced enough to want to make it happen: people like the Unabomber, Book of Revelation fanatics, those who applaud bloody jihad (holy war on behalf of Islam), and just about anyone else having a really bad day.
Learners would reserve the term “anarchist” for iron-willed utopians like Kropotkin, Tolstoy and Gandhi: some of the most decent men this indecent world has forged.
Anyone who runs riot around town dressed all in black, sets garbage dumpsters alight, smashes plate glass windows and upsets the cars of innocent bystanders – all in the name of Glorious Anarchy but actually in obedience to his glandular hyperactivity – is obviously an amateur chaosist. Suicide bombers, likewise. Professional chaosists tend to pass their unarmed neighbors under the mortar fire and the machete and send young suicide bombers out to perish, while they remain smug and snug at home, preaching from their Good Book. If someone conscience-driven comes looking for them seriously armed, they run and hide like cowards and lie about their crimes.
The Learner Commonwealth will be neither lawlessly brutal nor evangelically lawless. Chaosists will be neutralized and sent along Learner paths more theatrical, therapeutic and useful; and moral anarchists, strictly held to their highest standards.