Leafing through the Metro newspaper last week, I came across the following quote, attributed to one Martin Kurlansky in promotion of his new book:
The big problem faced by the military—and they won’t thank me for saying this—is that it’s not in human nature to kill other people.
Oh really, Martin?
Can you explain the following events by any chance?
– The Conquest of the Americas
– The Holocaust (like you didn’t see that one coming!)
– My Lai
And before you say that most of the above wouldn’t have happened without some militaristic prodding, who exactly make up the military? What species do the soldiers, the fucking generals call their own, hmm?
It always starts with someone, that urge, that desire to kill; whether it be the general who envys and hates the look of them-there Jews/Armenians/Viets/Muslims/Africans/Natives/Westerners/Iraqis; the trenchcoat-clad kid who gets sick of the way those fucking jocks push him around; or the frustrated employee who gets fed-up of being the boss’ whipping boy.
And the only “someones” I know in living, breathing, perspiring life? Human beings, all.
“War forces [humans] to do things against their instinct,” Kurlansky continues.
But who plans, organizes, drafts and kick-starts wars, Martin? Who proudly marches onto the battlefields, bayonets sharpened, looking to draw blood from the hide of the enemy?
Against human instinct? Hyeah! If war, the clashing of swords, the spilling of blood and the rest of it truly ran against a man’s instinct, that fucker wouldn’t even think about touching – nae, manufacturing a blade, an AK, a tank, a fucking nuclear arsenal!
As it stands however….well…..
The reason why Kurlansky, despite allegedly employing non-violence to positive effect in his own life, will most likely fail like other social utopians before him? He dreams up a normative nature for the whole human species, conveniently ignoring or rationalizing away the members and behaviours of the species which don’t fit neatly into his ideal.
Communism. Monotheism. Racialism. Objectivism.
Peer into their gaping maws you will spy their fatal flaws.
No, I don’t think non-violence (in certain instances) rates as a bad idea. What I do object to however Kurlansky’s attempts to idealize the nature of his fellow men to an absurd, self-delusional degree…
….not unlike the degrees taken by various demagogues who, throughout history, mobilized the masses toward acts of murder in the name of some flowery flight of fancy…..
i agree. just because something is against better knowledge most of the time doesn’t automatically mean that it’s against our natures. knee-jerk liberal “visionaries” have a way of confusing the two concepts on a huge level.
does he think that hilter said, “okay everyone, today we’re going to go out and cause mass starvation, suffering, and genocide,” no. of course not. he said nice things about belonging to a group that will support you, paving a better way for the (true) human race, and creating a good future for the community. like you said, it’s the same thing EVERYONE who wants power talks about, whether it be MLK jr. or george bush.
whether or not some one thinks it is morally advisable to kill, they will still do so if they think that out weighs some sort of worse outcome.
it’s against human nature to BE KILLED, and so yes, sometimes it serves us all a little better as members of a community not to tear each other to shreds. but obviously (i can’t believe we even have to point this out) if families(aka our genetic storehouses) or ourselves are threatened, then it is certainly within our nature to kill.
this is so fucking obvious that i can’t believe we even have to point it out. Kurlansky is a fucking idiot.