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  1. Necessary Evils and the World Playing Field

    #711012014-03-10 00:47:18hellstorm901 said:

    This thread is touching on a subject that I put to @Kirn during one of our recent battles on the site over certain ongoing issues. I proposed that on the world stage today there are countries, factions and people who serve the role of being a Necessary Evil to everyone else.

    What is a Necessary Evil? Well in the context it will be used here it is "something mainly a country or group that must exist in order for all others to function or to prevent a dangerous event from unfolding."

    Lets look at the world of international politics today. People would say that the world is a mess and honestly that would not be far from the truth. Wars, conflicts, rhetoric and so on is rife globally with X accusing Y of Z and Y accusing X of Z. This is nothing new as rarely will everyone on the planet get along but what is interesting is where we find that in terms of "Evil" and who is to blame for when things go wrong are the usual players. We know that in times of crisis people will unite to a common goal but I propose that people also will unite against a common enemy and in doing so throw out all their inner rivalries and disputes in face of this common foe. There always exists many common factions for people of all types to unite behind which for the immediate time being makes all people involved forget they cannot stand each other in order to realise they cannot stand something else.

    • Christianity verse Islam

    • Allies verse Axis

    • West verse East

    • Israel verse the Arab world

    • The United States verse just about much of the world

    So what makes these things Necessary Evils? Well lets pick one of them which more recently is showing itself to be true. Lets pick Israel and the Arab world. It's no secret that the Arab world has not go on that well with Israel and vice versa but whereas Israel is a singular entity on their front we find the Arab faction to be composed of many different countries each of which have their own ideologies of the same belief which cannot stand the other, Sunni and Shia, yet asking the governments of countries in the Arab world as to what thing they hate the most many if not most will unanimously state "Israel." We find they have forgotten their rivalries with other neighbouring countries in order to face this "greater" and common foe and thus we have created a sort of "Ceasefire" between these people. Now the reason I am using this as an example is because recently this is showing itself as what happens when the Necessary Evil is removed from the matter and the united faction is left to its own devices.

    With the outbreak of Civil War in Syria the Arabs have found themselves in the situation where they cannot blame the event on their usual common foe because it is their own faction initiating fighting and as such we see a breakdown of the Arab faction along the previous Sunni - Shia lines with countries supporting either Assad or denouncing him. This has shown that without the presence of a Necessary Evil two factions which previously had formed into one unified faction now have remembered they cannot tolerate one another and are fighting due to pre-existing rivalries. I would believe that in this matter entirely without the existence of Israel the Sunni - Shia powder keg would have lit long ago and open fighting to have broken out long ago with one faction emerging victorious, however, in a full circle turn they would then without a new common foe the victorious faction would break down into yet more fighting along some other line likely national lines.

    Necessary Evils in this context are not always just about an "us or them" stance on a matter, they may in fact also be where the existence of something perceived as evil ultimately serves the purpose of safeguarding something else. For this lets look at North and South Korea. Both countries technically are still at war with the North regularly vowing destruction on the South and of course on paper the North could very much achieve this as they nearly did in the 1950 Korean War. So why haven't they tried to make their wish a reality? Well that is because of the United States or the "evil" being there to ensure that this cannot happen, by the US being the country it is today it ensures that for all the saber rattling the North may carry out they are still worried that should they attack the South they will only guarantee the destruction of their own people. No one of course wants the presence of American warships sailing around Asia and many people on Japans Okinawa have voiced opposition to American troops based there yet regardless we have shown that a Necessary Evil existing has prevented a new major conflict and will do so long as it continues to exist.

    Another Necessary Evil in the world are Nuclear Weapons. A hard fact for some to face is that Nuclear weapons despite being instruments that could bring the Armageddon on us, have actually been the most crucial in preventing a Third World War. President Eisenhower said "We must have peace through superior firepower. If we have enough missiles, they won't dare attack us." What he was stating was the literal interpretation of M.A.D theory, Mutual Assured Destruction, this is a theory that Nuclear weapons guarantee world peace by reminding opposing sides that should one attack with Nuclear weapons then the other will respond in kind leading to both sides destruction. This was what was accredited with keeping the Cold War from getting hot and the reason why we are still alive today. Here we have shown again that a Necessary Evil has prevented conflict from breaking out and will potentially do so until a way to avert M.A.D has been found.

    What we find is that in the world today there are things we will be told to perceive as being our common "Evil" yet without these things serving as glue holding together the large factions of the world then the faction will fall back on the next common thing such as religion, former allegiances or ethnic divides, however, as not everyone within the faction may share these then they will turn on one another seeing the different sub-faction as being the new common foe.

    As such we need Necessary Evils in order to enjoy any form of relative Peace in the world today.

  2. #711602014-03-11 11:06:17Kirn said:

    Alright, since noone is posting here, I might as well write something here. Now, I though a bit about what you wrote here, and I guess I will debate some points.

    First of all, I'll put up here my definition of 'necessary evil' as I see it based on what you wrote. The definition will be 'something, that is seen as bad, but used as a reason to unite people'. Actually, would have been easier to restrict it to just people, but you went and mention even nukes there, so I will have to make a broader definition. Yes, it's not exactly the same as yours, but that's how I see it.

    Now, there are certainly many examples for that. Even US itself, and I don't mean now. Back in the day the evil for colonies was the homeland, which they fought against, and that made them into a proper country that we all now have to suffer from. And you can get a lot of such examples, and, thinking logically, back in the early stages of humanity, people actually created proper structured society because they were threatened by other people. So they banded together, they defended against outside enemies, they made laws to protect themselves from inside violence. Obviously, with us being deeply flawed, up to this day we don't really have a good solid working system. But the fact is that we based our society because of such 'evils'.

    However, I do not agree that this is something that we truly need. Or something that really works.

    Take nukes for example. We got them. So we don't have WW3. But are the wars the thing of the past? Fuck no. We just moved to a cold war where major powers clashed with each other supporting smaller countries that had no nukes. Also, it seems the nukes don't really prevent terrorist attacks (which became the new 'evil' pretty fast too). So, with nukes I would argue that they don't really prevent or support anything, they just change the way the game is played.

    However, fuck that. The are things lesser than nukes that are used for purposes of uniting people. I kinda think about US again and the 'war on drugs' slogan. Now, I know it's a pretty much political slogan first of all, and that US prisons are pretty much overflowed now, and all that. But I wonder, do slogans like that unite people? Fight against not something outside, but something on the inside that is more complex than an enemy overseas?

    The reason I ask is because I want to use my country here as an example - because it's a great example these days, you know. And my example is that we did not have those 'evils'. At all. Follow me please.
    Historically this country always was under some other countries - partly or fully. That tend to bring a lot of hate, there was a lot of 'evils' around, there was constant struggle of sorts - military, political, social. Then, suddenly, USSR broke and Ukraine became totally independent. And, with the 'civilized' ways of the world now, that independence was guaranteed by all sorts or documents recognized by a shitton of countries. You have to remember that it's something that never happened before - the state where you are guaranteed not to be attacked by... well, anyone.
    Still, the thought didn't really sink in for a while. The country had hard time first, inflation, all sorts of troubles, high crime rate... Them came the period... pretty much since a bit after we started having hrivnas and up to 2004, which would be, I think, about 7-8 years, where we kinda had it alright.
    By alright I mean that we never had any wars. Never had any enemies. Terrorist didn't bother with our country. Our politicians were too busy dealing with each other to even try to influence people with anything even resembling a big uniting cause. Thanks to our location and access to sea, we became big in trading. And, being a big enough country, we felt overall stability. Sure, things were not good as in some countries or progressive or whatever. But we developed, we never had any real problems, and we were reasonably content.

    Now we are to bring a hammer to this nice picture, because in 2004-2005 events of Orange Revolution people were given 'evils' to fear and fight against. Which quite easily separated the country in two. And, funny enough, those two 'evils' were the same major powers that always had sights on this country historically - Russia and whatever European country was closest atm. Well, by then Europe became a Union, so we can now count it as a single entity for our purposes. Now, that revolution pretty much split the country in two, with family members arguing to no end with each other.
    Forward a bit. We not had hammer brought to us a second time. And, humorously enough, it's pretty much the same reason, same revolution, same split. Difference? About 10 times more fucking violent. Quite honestly I am not sure if we will survive this as a country, and I know that if we do, there will be a third strike in the future which will finish us and we will go the merry path of Korea. All that because we were presented and pushed to a set of 'evils'. 'Evils' we quite happily did without.

    So, the point I would like to make is - yes, I fully recognize the concept of necessary evil. And I agree that it works in some cases. However, I strongly disagree with the notion that it is something we actually require to sustain whatever it is we want to keep sustaining. Which means, I accept those evils, but I really don't think they are that necessary.