November 10, 2010

Do Conservatives love war?

I don't know. And I am not sure that this guy made his argument, but I must say there is a question to be asked. The responses to Bush and war, added to the drumbeat for Iran make me really wonder.


Smitty said...

I don't know if it's as simple as "all conservatives love war." I predict, for example, the Steve will pop over here, mention his conservatism, and indicate that he is no big fan of war. There are examples all over the place.

That said, I do believe that part of the conservative political platform supports the Clausewitzian notion of war: diplomacy by other means.

It doesn't mean, to me, that conservatives wish to run off to war the moment they are in power. Indeed, as you know, many major American engagements were initiated by Democrats.

War does a bunch of things that support a conservative agenda, beyond the low-hanging fruit of "it gives them the ability to question the patriotism of America's internal critics." Sure, war gives them the ability to shame-into-silence the detractors of their political agenda, but that's a collateral point, not the central point.

War supports the defense industry. Wanna make some money in the market right now? Invest in General Dynamics. War allows for a robust military, a central part of the conservative agenda being a Regan-era initiated "lock" on national security. It also provides them with a sizeable voting block.

It also, under the guise of national security, allows for continuous deployment of troops in places with resources we wish to protect; natural resources as well as strategic resources like key shipping ports or lanes.

War, or better, the implements of it, allow us to extend our empire, which is to say our specific type of government, ideals and economy. Rather than accept other economies and government types, it is preferable to instead just pull a country into our fold by assimilation.

So sure, as a central platform, they may "love" war, but it's based on a philosophy not so much of bloodshed worship as it is what war does for their platform. Unfortunately, less sophisticated conservatives have morphed that into "war is good, troops are gods" worship.

Streak said...

I agree and, before Steve comes a knocking, I am not saying that all conservatives like war. But, in addition to your points, I have found an awful lot of conservatives are more likely to romanticize war than liberals, and see it as a masculine contest.

steves said...

After all those political quizzes, I don't think I can really call myself a conservative. I think I will just refer to myself as a pragmatic contrarian.

I don't agree with the author's conclusion. It is almost like he is missing some steps in his argument. I am not sure what else it needed, but it just seemed to lack evidence.

I agree that there seems to be a banch of conservatism that my not love war, but is certainly comfortable with using it as a means to achieve all sorts of goals.

The 20th Century seems to have plenty of examples of what I would consider non-conservatives supporting war. Obama just gave a speech very supportive of a heavy American presence in Korea and I wouldn't consider him a war lover by any means.

Streak said...

I think the point of this article was not really about being for war or against war. I can certainly say that as a liberal I support the use of military force in some situations. I believe that some situations are not solvable by diplomatic means, and think that history is filled with examples.

But I also think that there are a lot of Teddy Roosevelts out there who not only support the use of war, but glory in it (often from afar, mind you) and romanticize it with all sorts of bullshit. I can tolerate those who go to war soberly, but those who gleefully boast and revel in it--those are the people who scare me.