Just & Unjust Wars
Program #ZINH007. Recorded in Madison, WI on March 21, 1991.From ancient Athens to 21st century America, the rhetoric is the same. When "the dogs of war" are set loose, there is a cascade of jingoistic platitudes and cliches. We want peace. When we fight a war, it is just. We are good. The enemy is evil. We are victims seeking justice. We are making the world safe for democracy. And if they were honest they'd add, We are making the world safe for lexical and moral hypocrisy. Erasmus, the great 16th century philosopher monk, said of war, "There is nothing more wicked, more disastrous, more widely destructive, more loathsome." He then added that war was useful to a government for it enabled it to extend its power over citizens. Erasmus warned that "Once war has been declared then all the affairs of the State are at the mercy of the appetites of a few."
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