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Old 10-11-2016, 01:31 AM
 
90 posts, read 65,947 times
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It's from John Stuart Mill:

Quote:
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:54 AM
 
2,412 posts, read 1,304,011 times
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Yes, I agree with what you quoted. We should never 'want' to go to war, but, if war is inevitable, if not going to war will enslave us, we should fight, and fight to win as quickly as possible.


This is true not only of physical wars however, but of emotional ones, of philosophical and political wars, wars that are started by those who wish to control all of humanity and of wars within ourselves as well as with others. We should also however ensure that the tools and methodologies we use in war are the tools that are most appropriate to (and effective for) the kind of war being fought - and not let that war go beyond those boundaries if possible. And we should always limit the war to the achievement of the initial goal - to bring back rationality and stability, to stop the reasons for that war in its tracks, to reset so that we can go forward again with some understanding and consensus on where we are going and why.


Life is not always harmonious. We do not live in utopia. People and nations of people differ. Some people are possibly inherently evil. Some ideas are inherently evil. The real issue here though is that as humans our judgement is often flawed - we need to better recognize when to go to war and when not to.


Do not look for war or be party to invoking wars, but, war may be necessary at times despite all good efforts to avoid it - so when that happens, fight and fight to win. If we don't do that, there is no point in going to war at all.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 5,072,668 times
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How many "wars" did John Stuart Mill participate in that threatened his personal safety? Probably none.

It's one thing to be passionate, and if anything immediately threatened me and my family I would fight, but anyone can have flighty idealistic views at anytime especially when nothing is on the line.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Land of the Great Bears
3,424 posts, read 1,860,642 times
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The context was the impending Civil war in the US.

It would be nice to think that his notion is slightly outdated-that there is always an alternative to war, except in the case when your nation is attacked.

I don't agree. War is the ugliest thing of all.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:36 AM
 
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War is two children unable to negotiate or stand down when they are entirely wrong.

Nothing is so egregious as justifying the slaughter of many for the two children who have nothing to lose.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:57 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
3,826 posts, read 1,632,428 times
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Default He was otherwise destined

Quote:
Originally Posted by harhar View Post
How many "wars" did John Stuart Mill participate in that threatened his personal safety? Probably none.

It's one thing to be passionate, and if anything immediately threatened me and my family I would fight, but anyone can have flighty idealistic views at anytime especially when nothing is on the line.
"Blind Cleric

"The context was the impending Civil war in the US."


Mill wasn't in the front lines, TMK. But he was an interesting person: See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stuart_Mill

"John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873) was an English philosopher, political economist and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century."[5] Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control.[6]

...

"John Stuart Mill was born on Rodney Street in the Pentonville area of London, the eldest son of the Scottish philosopher, historian and economist James Mill, and Harriet Burrow. John Stuart was educated by his father, with the advice and assistance of Jeremy Bentham and Francis Place. He was given an extremely rigorous upbringing, and was deliberately shielded from association with children his own age other than his siblings. His father, a follower of Bentham and an adherent of associationism, had as his explicit aim to create a genius intellect that would carry on the cause of utilitarianism and its implementation after he and Bentham had died.[8]

"Mill was a notably precocious child. He describes his education in his autobiography. At the age of three he was taught Greek.[9] By the age of eight, he had read Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis,[9] and the whole of Herodotus,[9] and was acquainted with Lucian, Diogenes Laërtius, Isocrates and six dialogues of Plato.[9] He had also read a great deal of history in English and had been taught arithmetic, physics and astronomy.

"At the age of eight, Mill began studying Latin, the works of Euclid, and algebra, and was appointed schoolmaster to the younger children of the family. His main reading was still history, but he went through all the commonly taught Latin and Greek authors and by the age of ten could read Plato and Demosthenes with ease. His father also thought that it was important for Mill to study and compose poetry. One of Mill's earliest poetry compositions was a continuation of the Iliad. In his spare time, he also enjoyed reading about natural sciences and popular novels, such as Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe.

...

"Mill's career as a colonial administrator at the British East India Company spanned from when he was 17 years old in 1823 until 1858, when the Company was abolished in favor of direct rule by the British crown over India.[15] In 1836, he was promoted to the Company's Political Department, where he was responsible for correspondence pertaining to the Company's relations with the princely states, and in 1856, was finally promoted to the position of Examiner of Indian Correspondence. In On Liberty, A Few Words on Non-Intervention, and other works, Mill defended British imperialism by arguing that a fundamental distinction existed between civilized and barbarous peoples.[16] Mill viewed countries such as India and China as having once been progressive, but that were now stagnant and barbarous, thus legitimizing British rule as benevolent despotism, "provided the end is [the barbarians'] improvement."[17] When the crown proposed to take direct control over the colonies in India, he was tasked with defending Company rule, penning Memorandum on the Improvements in the Administration of India during the Last Thirty Years among other petitions.[18]"

(My emphasis - more @ the URL)

We're lucky that Mill's head didn't explode. He absorbed masses of language, literature, math.

By Feb. 1862, when Mill wrote the quote in the OP, the Civil War had already run for almost a year, the battle of Bull Run had shown that it would be a long war.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 5,072,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southwest88 View Post
"Blind Cleric

"The context was the impending Civil war in the US."


Mill wasn't in the front lines, TMK. But he was an interesting person: See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stuart_Mill

"John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873) was an English philosopher, political economist and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century."[5] Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control.[6]

...

"John Stuart Mill was born on Rodney Street in the Pentonville area of London, the eldest son of the Scottish philosopher, historian and economist James Mill, and Harriet Burrow. John Stuart was educated by his father, with the advice and assistance of Jeremy Bentham and Francis Place. He was given an extremely rigorous upbringing, and was deliberately shielded from association with children his own age other than his siblings. His father, a follower of Bentham and an adherent of associationism, had as his explicit aim to create a genius intellect that would carry on the cause of utilitarianism and its implementation after he and Bentham had died.[8]

"Mill was a notably precocious child. He describes his education in his autobiography. At the age of three he was taught Greek.[9] By the age of eight, he had read Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis,[9] and the whole of Herodotus,[9] and was acquainted with Lucian, Diogenes Laërtius, Isocrates and six dialogues of Plato.[9] He had also read a great deal of history in English and had been taught arithmetic, physics and astronomy.

"At the age of eight, Mill began studying Latin, the works of Euclid, and algebra, and was appointed schoolmaster to the younger children of the family. His main reading was still history, but he went through all the commonly taught Latin and Greek authors and by the age of ten could read Plato and Demosthenes with ease. His father also thought that it was important for Mill to study and compose poetry. One of Mill's earliest poetry compositions was a continuation of the Iliad. In his spare time, he also enjoyed reading about natural sciences and popular novels, such as Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe.

...

"Mill's career as a colonial administrator at the British East India Company spanned from when he was 17 years old in 1823 until 1858, when the Company was abolished in favor of direct rule by the British crown over India.[15] In 1836, he was promoted to the Company's Political Department, where he was responsible for correspondence pertaining to the Company's relations with the princely states, and in 1856, was finally promoted to the position of Examiner of Indian Correspondence. In On Liberty, A Few Words on Non-Intervention, and other works, Mill defended British imperialism by arguing that a fundamental distinction existed between civilized and barbarous peoples.[16] Mill viewed countries such as India and China as having once been progressive, but that were now stagnant and barbarous, thus legitimizing British rule as benevolent despotism, "provided the end is [the barbarians'] improvement."[17] When the crown proposed to take direct control over the colonies in India, he was tasked with defending Company rule, penning Memorandum on the Improvements in the Administration of India during the Last Thirty Years among other petitions.[18]"

(My emphasis - more @ the URL)

We're lucky that Mill's head didn't explode. He absorbed masses of language, literature, math.

By Feb. 1862, when Mill wrote the quote in the OP, the Civil War had already run for almost a year, the battle of Bull Run had shown that it would be a long war.
Interesting guy sure, but probably too smart for his own good. Ironic or naive to look upon certain war as not the worst of humanity when casting "barbarians" as the other willing to fight for their own land. Wars and battles that could have definitely been avoided.

To the imperialist and colony, Mill is suggesting that if the colonist doesn't fight back they are more worthless than if they were to fight. Definitely an anachronism though it's one I don't think is defensible.

It's a position of privilege in many respects. That isn't to say other thoughts of his aren't good, but rather this quote just doesn't work in his time/context of imperialism.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:15 PM
 
1,730 posts, read 1,062,292 times
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those who think there is glory in war....have never been in combat
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:04 PM
 
10,412 posts, read 15,355,251 times
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Mill defended British imperialism

by justifying war with


War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

Forget it, folks. It's a masters trumpet cloaked into degrees and "knowledge".
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:46 PM
 
Location: not normal, IL
776 posts, read 388,671 times
Reputation: 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruspalinski View Post
It's from John Stuart Mill:
There are some sick comments on here. This only reaffirms my belief that people don't care or like history. Yes, I would totally agree to this quote, but...you do have to remember...
"Wars begin when you will, but they do not end when you please."*–*Niccolò Machiavelli
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