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Dec 08, 1996 09:52 AM
by Art House

Tom Robertson:
>This implies that self-defense is evil, that it is better to let injustice
>prevail rather than to oppose it, and that competition is not beneficial.  I
>see the cycle of war and peace as being based on the same principle as the
>cycle of life and death, life and war being the time for  growth, death and
>peace being the time for rest.  Competition is necessary for growth.  War is
>never motivated by killing, but by the benefits of killing.  All of life
>supports itself by killing.

It is all so easy, isn't it?  Logic, if one is in danger of getting
attacked, one has to defend oneself; to defend oneself, one has to
commit war and violence right back.  This is the primary example of an
inflexible thinking, in leaders and in the masses, that have caused
countless suffering.  Thank goodness that some (however, too few)
individuals have taken the much harder road of using their creative
thinking to assess the situation and to find a different solution.  I
think of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the protesters at
Tianeman (sp?) Square.  To resist by using non-violence takes much more
courage than picking up clubs and guns.  Where does the defending by
violence end?  In most cases, each side is an aggressor and a defender.
In most cases, each side has a valid point that conflicts with the other
side's valid point, and both will not compromise.  Look at the long
battles of Northern and Southern Ireland, North and South Korea, the
Israelis and the Palestinians, the present situation with some African
tribes, and what was North and South Vietnam.  North Vietnamese leaders
declared war and allied with the Communist factions (who were the only
group willing to help them in their cause) because they were tired of
colonialism and was more interested in the unified strong country of
Vietnam, not French Vietnam, not U.S. Vietnam.  War has ruined many
religious, cultural, and beautiful sites in Vietnam.  War has separated,
tortured and killed many families.  My mom recently reunited with her
siblings in North Vietnam that she had not seen since she was 11,
because she happened to be in South Vietnam.  Looking at the photographs
of her among families with smiling bouncing babies, it's hard to believe
that they were enemies.  War may start with a great protection of an
ideal, but it quickly degrades into a vicious "I'm going to kill my
enemy."  I am not stating any answers, because it is all very unclear to
me what the answers are.  However, if more individuals would take the
initiative to think of other solutions besides war, the world would be a
much more peaceful world.  As far as "competition being necessary for
growth", are you talking about competing with oneself, in which one
tries to do better each time, or are you talking about thinking that you
are better or can be better than the other guy?  Sure, the drive to be
better than the other guy have brought us better products, better
athletes, etc.  However, it also brought us the viewpoint that the other
guy is the enemy to be bested.  I would rather think that I can do
better than I did, or I would rather envision an ideal or envision
someone I admired, and shoot toward that ideal.

TTT S=o)

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