In April the United States went to war with Spain for the stated purpose of liberating Cuba from Spanish control. Several months later, when the war had ended, Cuba had been transformed into an American protectorate, and Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines had become American possessions.
The military feelings are too deeply grounded to abdicate their place among our ideals until better substitutes are offered than the glory and shame that come to nations as well as to individuals from the ups and downs of politics and the vicissitudes of trade.
There is something highly paradoxical in the modern man's relation to war. Ask all our millions, north and south, whether they would vote now were such a thing possible to have our war for the Union expunged from history, and the record of a peaceful transition to the present time substituted for that of its marches and battles, and probably hardly a handful of eccentrics would say yes.
Those ancestors, those efforts, those memories and legends, are the most ideal part of what we now own together, a sacred spiritual possession worth more than all the blood poured out.
Yet ask those same people whether they would be willing, in cold blood, to start another civil war now to gain another similar possession, and not one man or woman would vote for the proposition. In modern eyes, precious though wars may be they must not be waged solely for the sake of the ideal harvest.
Only when forced upon one, is a war now thought permissible. It was not thus in ancient times. The earlier men were hunting men, and to hunt a neighboring tribe, kill the males, loot the village and possess the females, was the most profitable, as well as the most exciting, way of living.
Thus were the more martial tribes selected, and in chiefs and peoples a pure pugnacity and love of glory came to mingle with the more fundamental appetite for plunder.
Modern war is so expensive that we feel trade to be a better avenue to plunder; but modern man inherits all the innate pugnacity and all the love of glory of his ancestors. Showing war's irrationality and horror is of no effect on him.
The horrors make the fascination.
|William James | American psychologist and philosopher | initiativeblog.com||The military feelings are too deeply grounded to abdicate their place among our ideals until better substitutes are offered than the glory and shame that come to nations as well as to individuals from the ups and downs of politics and the vicissitudes of trade.|
|Biographical/historical information||The war against war is going to be no holiday excursion or camping party.|
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War is the strong life; it is life in extremis; war taxes are the only ones men never hesitate to pay, as the budgets of all nations show us. History is a bath of blood. No detail of the wounds they made is spared us, and the Greek mind fed upon the story.
Greek history is a panorama of jingoism and imperialism — war for war's sake, all the citizen's being warriors. It is horrible reading — because of the irrationality of it all — save for the purpose of making "history" — and the history is that of the utter ruin of a civilization in intellectual respects perhaps the highest the earth has ever seen.
Those wars were purely piratical. Pride, gold, women, slaves excitement were their only motives. In the Peloponesian war, for example, the Athenians ask the inhabitants of Melos the island where the "Venus de Milo" was foundhitherto neutral, to own their lordship.
The envoys meet, and hold a debate which Thucydides gives in full, and which, for sweet reasonableness of form, would have satisfied Matthew Arnold. This law was not made by us, and we are not the first to have acted upon it; we did but inherit it, and we know that you and all mankind, if you were as strong as we are, would do as we do.
So much for the gods; we have told you why we expect to stand as high in their good opinion as you. They then colonized the island, sending thither five hundred settlers of their own. Alexander's career was piracy pure and simple, nothing but an orgy of power and plunder, made romantic by the character of the hero.
There was no rational purpose in it, and the moment he died his generals and governors attacked one another."The Spanish-American War in US Media Culture" - essay by James Castonguay in American Quarterly Theodore Roosevelt (1) - PBS Series on the American Presidency Theodore Roosevelt (2) - POTUS site.
William James Studies, a new, open-access journal of articles related to the life, work and influence of William James. Search for William James at initiativeblog.com The Philosophy of William James, from The Radical Academy. Born in New York City on January 11, , William James was the oldest of the five children of Henry James, Sr., and Mary Walsh James.
His oldest brother, Henry James, Jr., the renowned writer of fiction, was followed by two other brothers and a sister. The family frequently moved between.
War is the strong life; it is life in extremis; war taxes are the only ones men never hesitate to pay, as the budgets of all nations show us. History is a bath of blood. The Illiad is one long recital of how Diomedes and Ajax, Sarpedon and Hector killed. The Moral Equivalent of War William James Introduction.
The war against war is going to be no holiday excursion or camping party. The military feelings are too deeply grounded to abdicate their place among our ideals until better substitutes are offered than the glory and shame that come to nations as well as to individuals from the ups and .
At least two approaches to the war against war may be distinguished, the frontal opposition to war or Anti-war movement on the one side and the transcendent, post-war conception of William James' 'Moral Equivalent of war' positing, in the way of the UNESCO, that the only way to end conflicts is to make Humanity busy with more .