how to end war

My good friend Brian persuaded me to read Butler’s War is a Racket and this is one book I would recommend highly especially to believers in “good” wars but that’s not what this post is about.

Butler had 3 suggestions to end war.

1. Remove profit from war- on this point, he added the businessmen, presidents, members of congress who profit from war should be paid the same amount the rank and file are paid for risking their lives. He builds on this in a speech where he talks of these profits as blood money and that generations of Americans (this book was addressed to the American public) will keep paying for the deficit caused by war.

2. Require a limited plebiscite of those who are going to do the dying in war if war should be declared

3. Limit military forces to home defense purposes

He writes in the same book

when our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a “war to make the world safe for democracy” and a “war to end all wars”.

Well, 18yrs after, the world has less of a democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Austria live under democracies or monarchies?[..] Our problem is to preserve our own democracy.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

14 thoughts on “how to end war

  1. basenjibrian says:

    He is an amazing polemicist. and he speaks from very direct experience, as he was one of the “Cruise Missile Liberals” of his day.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I sorta somewhat see Clubc’s points, but I am also skeptical that her arguments reflect the nasty reality of most wars. I mean, heck, one reason for the rise of Naziism is the victors in WWI stuck it to Germany so badly it caused economic chaos. (I also think Woodrow Wilson dragging the United states into WWI was one of the greatest crimes in American political history).


    • makagutu says:

      He is good with words, almost musical. It’s like reading that lyric by Nietzsche- The Antichrist.
      I think all wars are vicious and the greatest casualties come from non combatants.


  2. I’m just happy I live in America were we place such little emphasis on war it practically doesn’t exist in our vocabulary. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ron says:

    Simple solution:

    Be it resolved that all those voting for engaging in war shall be required to serve on the front lines of said war until it is over.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While Butler might have been right about the economic impacts of the first World War, I don’t think he appreciated the other things that go into making war happen. Yeah, curtailing profiteering might reduce some conflicts. It wouldn’t stop people from ethnic cleansing, or using armies to bully the civil population, or other things where people would be willing to wage war at a lower cost.

    Attacking potential causes for warfare is like saying criminal statutes deter crime. It might reduce some forms of it, but it won’t get rid of it. And we need to be rid of it as much as possible.


    • makagutu says:

      Ethnic cleansing has its roots in control of resources or power as was seen in Rwanda or in the civil war in Sudan & there is a lot of profiteering by the arms sellers. They sell to both sides in the conflict.


  5. basenjibrian says:

    Sirius: I am betting he understood the other aspects of warmongering, It all boils down to primate poo-flinging, in group versus out group. And ultimately, I would argue, many of the other arguments for war DO come down to competition for resources.

    Also, limit profiteering and you reduce substantially the demand by the Gods of Wall Street (or London, or Shanghai) for more war. Because without the profiteering, the GoWS are more interested in protecting “commerce”. War also destroys business, so… 🙂


    • makagutu says:

      The civil war in Congo basin is about who controls the mines not by the locals but by multinationals and they are supported by mercenaries. Give arms to both sides then mine in peace


  6. Hey guys, just a quick response to both points by Basenji and Mak.

    I get that economic motives drive up demands for war, but the common thread for these wars is having a supply of people willing to do the fighting and dying. In the examples Butler gave, and the ones you all gave, none of these wars would have happened without participation by people who weren’t going to profit from them.

    Profiteers can demand all the war that they want, but if no one’s selling, then no one’s buying, either.


    • basenjibrian says:

      The “people” can always be persuaded to do what The Owners want. Propaganda has been perfected, ideology has been taught in very school, people are eager to believe in “the nation” or “God’s will” or “the tribe”. While I agree with you, to date The Owners have never had a real problem in attracting canon fodder-or buying it.

      In the future, with drones and “bloodless” war and the like, war may become even easier for the Owners. All that high tech is expensive and profitable.


      • makagutu says:

        And it will be for our own good, they will tell us. The whole world will be a battle field maybe it already is and with their stealth bombs, there will be lots of civilian deaths


    • makagutu says:

      As long as war is profitable to some group, we can’t get rid of it. On that point we agree with you.


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