Re: WAR: appropriate first use (was: If we do get Afghanistan...)

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 02:01:33 MST

On Mon, Nov 26, 2001 at 06:08:43PM -0500, Mike Lorrey wrote:
> Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> >
> > > > So far, democratic nations have never declared war on each other (of
> > > > course, plenty of nations *call* themselves democratic, but we are here
> > > > talking about real democracies).
> >
> > No two countries with a "MacDonald's" franchise have ever gone to
> > war against each other, democracies or otherwise.

I actually think this rule of thumb was broken during the Balkan
> Furthermore, both Japan and Germany were led by governments
> democratically elected by parliamentary systems prior to WWII. Going
> back in time, the British government was democratically elected in 1812
> when it engaged in war with the democratically elected US government.
> Going even further back in time, both Sparta and Athens had their own
> democratic systems when they engaged in the Pelopponesian War, and Rome
> was still a Republic when it took over Greece later on. On the other
> side of the world, Pakistan and India, two democratic nations, have
> fought at least three wars against each other when both were led by
> elected leaders. Then, for instance, Israel, a parliamentary democracy,
> has fought a war against the Jordanian kingdom, a constitutional
> monarchy structured along British lines.

I think several of these examples twist the term democracy; see my other
post about the need for a stricter term. That Germany and Japan had
parlamentary systems doesn't mean they were democratic. And the forms of
democracy of Athens and Sparta were highly different from what we
currently call democracy, and I have a *very* hard time viewing the
spartan system as a democracy - it has been described as a democratic
timocratic monarchical oligarchy, and the democratic part seems to have
been fairly thin.

The 1812 war is more interesting; does anybody have any estimates of the
freedom index of respective nation at the time?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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