[ExI] Wars Between Democracies (was Re: Finally!)

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Fri May 4 03:33:58 UTC 2012

(Sorry if this is a repost for anyone, it looked like there was an
error the first time I tried to post this...)

On Sat, Apr 21, 2012 at 4:47 PM, Brent Allsop
<brent.allsop at canonizer.com> wrote:
> No democracy has ever gone to war against any other democracy.

I can't say that I understand the point you were trying to make with
this Brent, so I can't say anything about whether this supports your
point or not. And, I'm not trying to start a fight about whatever you
were arguing about in the other thread.

This point about democracies going to war with one another is just a
factual issue... I found a very good synopsis of this issue here:

For me, the most convincing example of a war between democracies that
we all know about was the US civil war. The Confederate States of
America had a constitution that was very close to that of the United
States. You can argue that the CSA was not a democracy due to it's
support of slavery, but you would have to say the same thing about the
USA of the period (beginning of the war) as well. While no democracy
is pure other than perhaps the Iroquois Confederacy, where women and
all children above the age of 7 had an equal vote with men, I think
the USA and CSA both qualify as pretty decent examples of Democracies,
or rather Democratic Republics.

If you define Democracies carefully enough, then there has been only
one in all of history, the Iroquois Confederacy (and they may not
count since they did vote in a standing counsel of women who made some
day to day decisions). Since they never had a civil war, and they
obviously didn't go to war with ancient Greece, the second best
example of a true democracy (but only for men), then you can state
that no democracy has ever gone to war with any other democracy, but
you have to use the true definition of democracy. Calling the US a
democracy is not accurate, as it is a democratic republic... but if we
are sloppy about what we call a democracy, then let's go forward...

Of the wars mentioned, the war between the United States and the
Iroquois confederation is probably the war between the two purest
"democracies" that has ever been waged. With this example alone, I
think we can put this down once and for all.

What I can say with utmost certainty is that no two libertarian
countries have ever gone to war with each other (setting aside the
fact that there never has been a libertarian country). Also, no two
communist countries have ever gone to war with each other (again, what
country ever was truly communist?). No two Mormon Theocratic countries
have ever gone to war with each other (unless you count a particular
volley ball game where some Tongan and Samoan Mormons sent each other
to the hospital). No two Shinto countries have ever gone to war with
each other to my knowledge. Probably no two Jane countries have ever
gone to war. And I'm sure I could come up with a dozen other such
examples... but do they have any real meaning?

So, just for fun, and in the interest of the truth, can we put this
particular trope to bed? Permanently. Thanks.

The form of this sort of argument that I favor is "No two countries,
both of which have a McDonald's, have ever gone to war with each other
since acquiring said McDonald's." Which was brought up by Thomas L.
Friedman in The World Is Flat (First edition p.420)... Now, I can't
say what's happened since the book was written (2005), but I think
it's still true. So mutual assured mercantile destruction (freeish
capitalistic trade) is arguably the greatest force for peace in the
early 21st century by Friedman's argument, not "democracy", per se.


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