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Simple Logic

April 7th, 2008 | by Steve O |

  1. 14 Responses to “Simple Logic”

  2. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 7, 2008 | Reply

    Assuming this is a polemic against some actual human being who is touting war as good for the economy, who do you suppose this is a polemic against, anyway? Or — you don’t suppose it’s possible — could this be one of those straw-men that I’ve read about? Or perhaps the correct term would be red herring.

    Yes, I guess there is a certain simplicity to the logic. It’s just that it’s directed at no actual position that any human being of whom I am aware is actually advancing in defense of war. Shouldn’t that be a part of the logic of a polemic, simple or not? I mean, who, exactly, is arguing: “The economy is taking a down-turn; hey, I know, let’s go to war!”

    This reminds me of the silly “Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity”. Sure, it sounds logical, except that, sometimes the only acceptable alternative is dropping of bombs to ultimately achieve peace — because, you see, unlike virginity, peace is something that comes and goes. Take, for examples of what I consider to be valid instances of bombing for peace, WWII or the 1991 war to evict Saddam from Kuwait. The only other alternative was allowing a deranged dictator to freely gobble up less powerful countries around him by military force. In other words, the peace in both cases had already been broken and no amount of abstinence would repair the virginity of the victims. One could only punish the rapist, gain justice for the victim and allow the victim to try to get on with life the best way possible by restoring the victim to former autonomy.

    The point of the pictured aphorism appears to be that both statements are true in that war can be good for at least certain segments of the economy and cannibalism does provide nutrition but that the author of the placards considers both to be equally immoral. It’s hard to disagree. Both war and cannibalism, except for the most extreme situations, should be considered immoral, should be last resort solutions to dire problems — bombing should be reserved for situations where just peace can be preserved in no other way and cannibalism should be reserved for situations where there is no other means of preserving one’s life than to eat parts of humans who have died in the hopes of surviving long enough to be rescued. So I would agree with the pictured aphorism, although not absolutely, since I can imagine situations where both bombing and cannibalism would be morally permissible, but in some real sense.

  3. By Dusty on Apr 7, 2008 | Reply

    Why..My favorite POLEMIC!:

    Bombing for Peace is like fucking for Virginity.

    Oh, and Craig, what’s with the five dollar words today? Polemic, aphorism-using them several times in the same paragraph no less.

  4. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 7, 2008 | Reply

    Hey…I spent years of my life gettin’ ejumakated. I gotta show off occasionally, otherwise, who would know? :-D

  5. By Chris Radulich on Apr 8, 2008 | Reply

    Are Wars Good for the Economy? - The Myth
    One of the more enduring myths in Western society is that wars are somehow good for the economy.

    This morning on NBC’s Today Show, President Bush denied that the there’s any link between the faltering U.S. economy and $10 billion a month being spent on the Iraq war. In fact, according to Bush, the war is actually helping the economy:

    CURRY: You don’t agree with that? It has nothing do with the economy, the war — spending on the war?

    BUSH: I don’t think so. I think actually the spending in the war might help with jobs…because we’re buying equipment, and people are working. I think this economy is down because we built too many houses and the economy’s adjusting.

  6. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 8, 2008 | Reply

    Well, I did say war could be (not was) good for certain segments of the economy (not for the economy as a whole) so I don’t think I’ve fallen into the broken window fallacy (one I’ve actually read about in the self-directed, informal phase of my ejumakation on the subject of economics).

  7. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 8, 2008 | Reply

    Although the guy makes a great, conservative point: “Increasing taxes reduces consumer spending, which does not help the economy improve at all.” No kidding!

  8. By christopher Radulich on Apr 8, 2008 | Reply

    It was in response to this

    Assuming this is a polemic against some actual human being who is touting war as good for the economy, who do you suppose this is a polemic against, anyway? Or — you don’t suppose it’s possible — could this be one of those straw-men that I’ve read about? Or perhaps the correct term would be red herring.

    Yes, I guess there is a certain simplicity to the logic. It’s just that it’s directed at no actual position that any human being of whom I am aware is actually advancing in defense of war

  9. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 8, 2008 | Reply

    Okay. Gotcha. I retract the “strawman”, “red-herring” part of my comment.

  10. By Jersey McJones on Apr 8, 2008 | Reply

    Craig, let’s just talk economics here. Now, “war” in your context is a Keynesian economic policy. It is a public investment with targeted returns. Of course, it is funny when conservatives argue the Keynesian benefits of war, but it is also incorrect. The returns are rarely worth the expeditures. In all our wars, for example, only WWII was profitable in this context and only because we financed the return of the very competitors who now out-compete us in many sectors.

    Wars for cheap labor over the long term usually don’t work out well either. No colonial empire has ever remained intact more than a couple hundred years. There has to be some more overall cost/benefit to consider than just a few winners and a bunch of losers. The “cannibalism” reference is more than just some emotional appeal to morality - war cannibalizes the society and economy. Like free trade from cheap labor countries we bully around, in the end war cannibalizes our lives, treasure, priorities, relations, culture - you name it. It is not Keynesian at all, really. It’s just stupid. Whether war is profitable or not shouldn’t ever be the measure of it’s justness. But f you want to argue the economics, I would suggest beefing up. The numbers aren’t good.

    JMJ

  11. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 9, 2008 | Reply

    Jersey,

    As I said, I haven’t argued that war benefits the economy but that it may benefit certain segments. That’s all. I mean, even some punk shattering windows is good for the glazier. So I have no intention, let alone desire, to argue that war is good for the economy.

    So then, if you want to argue anything with me, I would suggest beefing up your reading and comprehension skills. Your abilities in this regard aren’t good.

  12. By Jersey McJones on Apr 9, 2008 | Reply

    Craig, my ruffled feathered friend, my point was that with the “moral” metaphor of cannibalism is also economic. Even if you were to factor the benefits of those who’ve gained from the war, and from most wars, the overarching economic drain is eventually felt by all. In other words, even the most greedy, souless profiteers of war suffer for its costs. Those who give only for love of their country usually suffer only more and have less to gain.

    I can read, Craig. I just don’t get hung up very much.

    JMJ

  13. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 9, 2008 | Reply

    Uh, yeh, whatever dude!

  14. By Jersey McJones on Apr 9, 2008 | Reply

    Class dismissed (apparently). Can you at least acknowledge the entendre(s)? Jeezez effin… And what, am I a “dude” now? Try me. See how much of a “dude” I am. “Uh, yeh, whatever dude!” is ‘pretty sorry man’ even by “dude” standards.

    “The point of the pictured aphorism appears to be that both statements are true in that war can be good for at least certain segments of the economy and cannibalism does provide nutrition but that the author of the placards considers both to be equally immoral.”

    You said this. So then I said, “The “cannibalism” reference is more than just some emotional appeal to morality - war cannibalizes the society and economy.” Can you address that point rather than demeaning me? Its not very Christian of you to do otherwise, Craig. And nowhere have you addressed these further arguments.

    JMJ

  15. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 9, 2008 | Reply

    Jersey,

    I don’t know what you think I mean by “dude” but I use it as the equivalent of “guy”. No derogation or demeaning intended.

    I’m not sure to what entendre(s) you refer that you want me to acknowledge. Cannibalism is as good a metaphor for war as any, I suppose, if that’s what you’re talking about. I took it literally rather than metaphorically and commented on that basis.

    Since I nowhere implied that war was good for the economy, since, in fact, I denied it explicitly, I saw little point in defending something I’d never asserted in the first place and denied in the second place. My “whatever” was merely to dismiss your argument with me as a faux argument. We do not disagree on the points that you raised so I declined to get into a fight over our agreement.

    If there’s something unchristian about declining to fight with someone with whom one agrees, I fail to see it.

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