Saturday, July 20, 2019

Government and Politics - Americas Addiction to War Essays -- Argumen

The United States is addicted to war. In the same way that the drug addict seeks a euphoria from heroin, America seeks the thrill of war and victory. Though there are dire consequences, and certain destruction, the thrill of the high is a prize to be won, no matter the cost. The euphoria of victory and the addiction to war are comparatively recent for the United States. America was a reluctant and late participant in World War One, and before that, wars were fought for the conquest of the continent, or for hemispheric objectives. The notable exception was the Civil War, which was terribly destructive, and which took place entirely on American soil (the only one; the Indian wars were about the conquest of land belonging to others). More American combatants lost their lives in the Civil War than in any other involving Americans. The United States of America was founded by people with a distrust of a large standing army, a distrust that lingered into the twentieth century. As economically powerful as the United States was by the beginning of the twentieth century, it was not a country with a huge military. Viewed as it was then, it was easy enough to defend the country, with friendly neighbours to the north and south, and great oceans between the US and the rest of the world. As the situation in Europe and Asia tended to become more dangerous in the 1930s, there was still very strong sentiment in the United States against getting involved in wars on other continents. The country was very reluctant to enter the First World War, and the hope was that it wouldn’t be sending anyone to war abroad again. Besides, the Civil War and its horrors were still part of living memory. The coming of World War Two, and the possibility of Amer... movement today is higher; especially amongst the younger elements of the movement, there is a greater realisation of the connections between war, capitalism, and globalisation. That consciousness can be found at ground level, too. It does not manifest itself only at the level of abstraction and theory. I am reminded of the Liberation Theologians’ principle of 'praxis-reflection-praxis', and the advantage of this 'orthopraxis' over 'orthodoxy' and 'practice'. I am also hopeful because, disconnected as it seems, SUV-loving Americans do seem to have in the back of their minds that oil is both finite and bad for the environment. Moreover, as the US moves reluctantly away from the oil economy, it may not have as many of the economic rationales described above to wage war, and war may even be kicked as an addiction. These are hopeful signs, and I am always one to hope.

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