Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Change and War

Natalie Collins is repeating the talking point that war is the result of religion.

There are aspects of religion that can increase the likelihood of war; However, I have never bought into the argument that there is a single cause of war. Much less that religion is that common cause.

In my last post I repeated my distaste for change campaigns.

The desire to affect change has been a cause in a large number of wars in the modern era.

Folks in the The French Revolution (and Reign of Terror) thought their efforts would bring about a new age of reason.

The Communist Revolutions were often instigated by fiercely anti-religious people who felt that they could scientifically engineer a perfect society. The Marxist formula is a simple thing where one starts a social movement that agitates for change, The party rises to power in the the turmoil created by the agitation.

One could argue that Marx raised science to a religion; thus all wars are still the result of religion. But, in doing so, they undermine their claim that scientists could engineer a perfect society. The scientists would simply take on the role of God.

One can explain the current series of Mideatern wars in the Hegelian dialectical manner.

Notably, George Bush the first did not overthrow Iraq after the Gulf war as he rejected nation building. George Bush the second listened to a group called neocons who believed that overthrowing Hussein and re-engineering the Iraq as a democracy would be a short cut to change.

I guess I should also point out that the 9/11 attackers thought that their attack would bring about change.

Religion plays a part in wars. Science and philosophical theories play parts in wars. Sometimes well intentioned peacekeeping efforts end up leading to wars. In almost all wars, you will find some people thinking that the war will lead to a positive change.

I was sad to see Ms. Collins repeating the religion=war talking point. The cause of war is always complex. The prevention of war is also complex. For that matter, a misdiagnosis of the cause of previous wars can end up being a cause for the next war.

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