29 Comments
Feb 19Liked by Classical Wisdom

I don’t think I can opine on specifics of war or peace, as both could be considered just or unjust in the eye of the soldier and combatant, as they walk across the field. What are their thoughts? What are their experiences? Does peace follow war?

What did Germans think or feel immediately following WWI? What did they feel following WWII? What are their perceptions with a heightened likelihood of WWIII?

Who defines war or peace? I feel that virtue does not seamlessly fit into each definition, and hold it moreso in attempt to understand the minds of the persons in control of the events. Is a wise decision being made? What is my oweness to society? What balance or outcome will result? Am I led by courage or ego?

My grandfather, a WWII veteran, with tears in his eyes said one thing to me as he shared his experiences…”Don’t let war happen” I believe he had the same perspective as Cicero, unjust peace is better than a just war.

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Feb 20·edited Feb 20Liked by Classical Wisdom

Its a really excellent topic thank you.

Its one I think where the answer may depend on particular circumstances.

I just wrote a piece grappling with these issues as they apply to Ukraine and Russia. I feel firmly, at least in this case, that an unjust peace would not be peace at all where Ukraine is forced to cede more of its provinces. An unjust peace often only legitimatizes the violence/domination that would otherwise be contested in war. Every time a city is liberated in Ukraine we hear about mass torture. Ukraine suffered millions of unnecessary deaths under the Kremlin with Stalin’s 5-year plan and associated man-made famine.

Ukraine should reasonably expect to suffer similar atrocity regularly in the future if they remain under the whims of a foreign dictatorship. So, that sort of peace seems worse than war from where I’m sitting.

https://radmod.substack.com/p/flashback-to-2016-the-5-year-mariupol

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Feb 19Liked by Classical Wisdom

War is a three letter word for murder...

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Feb 20Liked by Classical Wisdom

Any of us raised in a family of at least 3 have lived both just and unjust wars (well, battles). Are we capable of avoiding war?

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Feb 20Liked by Classical Wisdom

War-glory,

meaningless, hollow,

the gory remains

of misguided ego.

A perpetual machine

of destruction,

objectification

of anti-life,

a demon’s divination,

of humanity

sequestered in unending,

unreasoned wild emotion.

The foster child of progress,

a bastard’s dream,

unintelligible scream of

futility. rKf

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Feb 20Liked by Classical Wisdom

Can that which is unjust be just? Can that which is just be unjust? Can that which is morally right and fair be morally wrong and unfair? Ethics: "There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so". Life: Whoever has the biggest stick makes it so! War makes peace, peace makes war. Why?

Man is always in the middle.

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Feb 19·edited Feb 19Liked by Classical Wisdom

War as a means for survival of a species or subspecies is probably a rule of nature. The natural law of survival of the fittest mostly depends on a species having natural predators. This helps to wean the weakest from the herd and to pare its population. As humankind is at the top of its food chain, war becomes a substitute for active predators. Hence this thought justifies Cicero’s belief

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Feb 19Liked by Classical Wisdom

Why?

Why, with all that Humans have achieved since we dragged our knuckles across the Savannahs, have we not found a better way to move forward as “brothers & sisters” in our journey than to find reasons to kill each other in some misbegotten notion that someone is better than the other.

If we could identify the chromosome(s) that relentlessly drive us to repeat this destructive and heartbreaking stupidity, we might break this cycle.

Godspeed to those that might deliver this.

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Feb 19·edited Feb 19Liked by Classical Wisdom

Depends the approach one takes and the context to which one applies this lines.

In this very text (no offense, I just use it to build to my point), there is a line "it’s worth noting that modern western societies are significantly less violent than various historical groups" that speaks, I think to a deeper complex intricacy of the contingent human condition and state/nature of the world.

Are our societies truly 'significantly less violent' or are the means of violence merely changed shape? Besides the obvious horrors of today's geopolitical environment (Gaza and Ukraine, to name but a few), many studies also point to a 'silent violence' that has plagued our 'modern' world -- be it economic, racial, gendered or any other form. They speak to an injustice and violence taking place during a time of supposed peace.

In that sense, the very peace that we are so ready/eager to venerate, it might be nothing more than a facade, hiding beneath it forms of injustice.

Of course, I think Cicero comments speak to something else; humans have always found ways to (irrationally) rationalise war; this very text acknowledges so, "they [wars] are also glorified, immortalized and held up as shining beacons of triumph and conquest".

I think that is what Cicero attempts to bring to our attention, least we forget, Romans -- along with many other civilisations, of course -- were all to eager to justify and glorify war, with Virgil's Aeneid being a prime example.

A conversation I would love to have would be the depiction/presentation of war and its place in the cosmos, as exhibited by Homer and Virgil -- in their descriptions of the Shield of Achilles (Iliad, Book XVIII, §478–608) and the Shield of Aeneas (Aeneid, Book VIII, §626–723), respectively.

I think they represent an interesting juxtaposition where one acknowledges the unavoidable existence of war/violence in life, while the latter 'justifies' it -- which I thing is the ideological paradigm that Cicero speaks wants to bring to our attention.

{I should note, that this is a rather surface reading of each text with numerous layers that I cannot explore here... although it was fun to engage with nonetheless}

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Depends on the nature of the peace and the results of the war. Charles L

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founding
Feb 26Liked by Classical Wisdom

Here's a brief explanation of the three types of love reflected in the Greek language:

Eros (ἔρως): This type of love centers around passion, desire, and intense romantic feelings. It's often represented by intense longing and desire for physical connection. This word is the origin of the word "erotic."

Philia (φιλία): This translates to "brotherly love" or deep friendship. This love emphasizes loyalty, mutual respect, companionship, and shared values. While it can be romantic, it focuses on the deeper aspects of connection rather than primarily physical attraction or desire. Philosopher, Philharmonic, Philadelphia, to name a few.

Agape (ἀγάπη): This is considered the highest form of love. It represents a selfless, unconditional, and altruistic love. Agape is often associated with divine love or the love of humanity. It focuses on extending kindness, compassion, and generosity, regardless of circumstances or expectations of anything in return. This is the love that enables us to even love our enemy.

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First off, I haven't experienced war, so I am ignorant of the realities involved. However, I will say that we can no longer measure or judge war and its possible virtues (or legitimacy) on the basis of ancient wisdom; it may well be that there is no longer wisdom deep enough. The reason is that the means of destruction at our disposal—which were at least partly the consequence of the last great war (nuclear weapons, computers, cybernetics, etc.)—far exceed our capacity to control them and understand their consequences. The future will only be worse because we are constantly creating new and more powerful ways of dispatching each other. Only since 1945 has war threatened all life (or at least its intelligent form) on this planet. This is a completely new situation and it's clear that we have not, and perhaps cannot, come to terms with such a profound existential dilemma; I'm afraid we'll go on fighting to the end.

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War is an evil for those subjected to it. However, it seems to be a political instrument of last resort, and it is part of our genetic makeup. Humans make war like squirrels bury nuts. It has been given a false glory in the past, which has been more recently corrected by television and videos showing what it is really like. But even with this reality check, we humans still look for a villain and want to destroy him, and so wars continue. Capitalism also allows rich and protected shareholders to benefit from the sale of arms, and they can use their ill-gotten gains to bribe politicians to support wars and make more money. I don't see an end to this.

What is just or unjust is a matter of opinion. Peace is better than war for those in the line of fire, yes. But human nature drives us to war, and we invent reasons to do it.

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Feb 21Liked by Classical Wisdom

Certainly our evolution has us cooperating more than fighting. Even if that cooperation involves going to war for our countrymen. There is in us a requirement for an Us/Them relationship. We are a group and we stand against them. What unites/binds Us more than our group’s positives is our opposition to Them. It seems inherently human. See Bama-Auburn or our wicked politics. For what positive? Unclear. But the negative? Clear as day.

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