[extropy-chat] Rational force?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Dec 11 04:33:52 UTC 2006

Mike writes

> [Thomas wrote]
> > Lee Corbin wrote:
> > 
> > > I may not choose to dispute that the Bush/neocon position is what
> > > you'd call evil.  But I would suggest that it may be expedient, and
> > > that failing to take a strong stand against enemies is, in the long
> > > run, suicide.
> > 
> > Lee:  If we're so smart, why must we revert to brutality in dealing  
> > with brutes? -- Thomas
> Perhaps because brutes fail to be swayed by marketing?

Right, Mike, but your "brutes" not swayed by either marketing or *any*
other civilized expedient. Woe be unto him who tries negotiating in any
civilized fashion with them.

The Geneva Convention, for example, was expressedly designed to
rely upon the civilized conventions of modern advanced nations. It's
the ultimate in foolhardiness for highly civilized nations to abide by it
when the brutes are cutting people's heads off in the most painful,
barbaric, and horrific manner that they can devise.

This has always been a fatal flaw in the Western psyche and in Western
traditions. Barbaric mobsters were able to take over many neighborhoods
in Chicago and New York in the 1920s and 30s simply because the
civilized law-abiding people of Illinois and New York State could not
understand that the circumstances were no longer as the American founders

San Francisco, on the other hand, behaved much more appropriately in
1850 when lawless and uncivilized men subborned the legal process, 
bribing officials, judges, juries and so on in a manner to be reenacted by
Al Capone and his ilk.  But the people of San Francisco would have none
of it, and mounted the finest vigilante effort I know of. They arose en masse,
rounded up the perpetrators, gave them quick but fair trials with no appeal,
and hung most of them forthwith. And civilization was restored.

The "brutes" had to be hanged or shot, you understand. And if Thomas thinks
that this is "brutal", then let him cheer as society crumbles in south central Los
Angeles and other places---all quite legally.  Let the gangs rule:  many
people, probably including Thomas, prefer gangs like those of Al Capone
or the Cribs to be in control, to the "brutal" repression of such that is
necessary by civlized men.

All that seems to matter to some people is that their own government play
by all the niceties, no matter what ultimate loathsome consequences obtain, 
and that their own hands remain lily-white. 

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.


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