When it is OK to strike first.

Max M (maxm@maxmcorp.dk)
Tue, 22 Dec 1998 15:29:54 +0100

Comments a from Mike Lorrey and Dick Gray.

> >"I do not advocate the initiation of force to promote social or
> >political goals."

I do believe it is a fine thing to live ones life after. Furthermore I believe that in most civilized countries it is the way things happens allready. But in real life it is not simple as the statement implies. If somebody comes running at you with a gun it is NOT force. It is an implied threat of the use of force. Stil I would stop him any way possible if given the chance.

>Notice the statement reads "to promote social or political goals". This
>doesn't in any way preclude defense of self or others from threat of

But it is ok to use force for personal goals then? Either you use initial force or you don't. A war fought in another country can easily be thought of as a way to remove an implied threat. A war that might otherwise would have been fought in your own backyard.

Or how would you define social goals?

>As the evidence shows, carrying concealed weapons has a significant
>effect on the population as a whole, while openly carrying weapons deters
>from the individual carrying. You don't need to initiate force to have an

Carrying a weapon is an implied threat. If not, how else could you see a mugger/carjacker ... as a threat when they havn't touched you yet? I don't see much difference in the threat of using force and actually using it. Se my example above of the gun carrying mugger.

Organised crime probably benefits far more from the threat of violence than from actually violence. Carrying a concealed weapon is an implied threat, or else it would not have a deterent effect.

>As 50 years experience showed, Mutual Assured Destruction did a fine job of
>blinking the potential agressors.

Well the jury is stil out on that one. Most of the bombs, or at least enough, are still around and can be put to "good" use yet.

>> I can think of so many exceptions to this rule that it is hard to take
>> seriously. It is a good ideal though, and one that I think many of us
live by
>> whenever we can.

>Please come up with some more concrete examples of why this would not work.
>two you cited are obviously inadequate.

The problem is defining "force". Is it only actual force or does it include the threat of force? If it includes only the actual use of force we would have to wait to defence ourself until we are actually attacked. This is clearly not yours or mine idea of intelligent behaviour.

If on the other hand it also includes the threat of force we will be on the same slippery ground as real life politics are now.

  1. If you firmly believe that someone is going to hurt you or your loved ones you will stop them. But maybe you are wrong. Then you have initiated force.
  2. When you are trying to stop another country from attacking your country you are initiating force against innocent civilians. This can be an evil nessecity.
  3. When you are in a police force and trying to solve a crime. You sometime has to intiate force to bring in a suspect while solving the crime. The suspect might be innocent, if so, then the police force is initiating the force on behalf of you. And I do believe some kind of police force is nessecary.
  4. Somebody kills somebody you love by negligence. You want them punished. Can you do this without initiating force? The culprit didn't do anything, thus no intiation of force, but what he didn't do killed somebody.
  5. somebody in a group of known violent offenders (Mobsters, Bikers ...) walks into your store and tells you that you live in a dangerous neighbourghood and they would love to protect you for a fee. You refuse. Your shop catches fire and your wife dies in the flames. The police investigations shows that it was a fire that somebody had set deliberately, but they cannot show who did it.

Somebody you know about has initiated violence but you cannot proove that it was them. How are your feelings about revenge here? is it an intialisation or is it a retributal?

The phrase: "I do not advocate the initiation of force to promote social or political goals." is an absolute. I don't support many theories of absolutes. It's usually impractical rethorics and farfecthed ideals.

Real life happens in a grey zone where you can only strive to do your best. and in that situation the above sentence is a good ideal to strive for when possible.

Max M Rasmussen