Thursday, April 20, 2006

Historical Wisdom RE: War

I have often touted the maxim, "Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it!" However, history is not just facts (eg Names, dates, places) but is also the lessons that people have left to us as our legacy---If we will attend to those words.

As to War, I offer the following two examples and lessons.

From Vegetius, a fourth century Roman:
"Qui desiderat pacem, paeparet bellum.
"Let him who desires peace prepare for war."

And, from the USA's own and respected philosopher, John Stuart Mill:
"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."

The first quote is most certainly in the Roman style: Short, compact and expecting the reader
to understand history and humanity.

The second also relies on the understanding of unwritten concepts, all too neglected in this degenerate age, of "duty", "honor" and "the common good".

The problem with most "liberals" (ie Most journalists, most professors and too many others) is that they do not understand or learn from history and most certainly do not understand humanity and the concepts upon with Mr. Mill based his statement.

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