"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Mar 24, 2011

Moral Sums and Inquiries

Is rape an act of love?


No, of course not.

Bombing is not humanitarian intervention. You can pretend all you want that someone, somewhere might be asking for help, but if you apply that underlying logic to any other violent or penetrative violation of life or autonomy, you'll find that it's not only dismal, it's monstrous. If you apply the logic of salvationist intervention to the workplace, the home or any other situation where people enforce their will with violence, or where competing authorities vie for power over labor, belief, resource and loyalties - it fails.

Whose power is secured by the act of intervention? Who actually benefits from the exercise of control in the name of victims and rumored victims?

Do the police, by using their authority to occasionally rescue a person in need, abandon their other, primary functions? Does a jailer unlock all the doors to the prison whenever he intervenes to stop a fight? What about all those fights he does not end, or prevent?

Does the Navy cease to be the mobile, flexible projection platform for the greatest purveyor of violence in all of history, just because sailors and Marines have delivered foodstuffs to hungry people?

Does an abusive husband ease the impact of his violence, on account of his good intentions, or because he also does the laundry?

Does a rapist get a pass because he helped his victim fix her dress?


Anonymous said...


senecal said...

Ah, but in war, bombing can be a humanitarian intervention, as in Hiroshima -- it saved so many lives!