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Nach dem Krieg?

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Author(s): Wolfgang Fach / Yana Milev

Journal: Behemoth : a Journal on Civilisation
ISSN 1866-2447

Volume: 03;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2010;
Original page

ABSTRACT
The idea of a „war to end all wars“ is nothing but fiction and swindle. This we had to learn the hard way. Hence experience has given rise to hope for another kind of final turn to the better – a peace to end all wars. It was Immanuel Kant who transformed this vague idea of „eternal peace“ into a coherent concept. According to him, peaceful infinity is possible only in a world of republican states. If people all over the world had a say in the decision to wage war, military encounters would have to disappear for the simple reason that those who opted for war would to bear its costs. Hobbes and Hegel thought differently. According to them, wars have to be reckoned with as long as societies come in the form of states. In states, any number of reasons can serve for governments to attack each other. To put it differently, warmongering is logically contingent on state sovereignty. But what about the victims of this logic, the very men who are supposed not to be tricked into bearing arms? From hindsight we can say they have been a disappointment – war after war, governments have succeeded in fabricating widespread support. Hence Herbert Spencer’s radical idea to reduce state power to a war-disabling minimum could not come as a surprise. No state, no war – this equation has fuelled pacifism ever since. As it turned out, weak states are not only too weak to wage war abroad, but also to secure peace at home. „Failing states“ beget „new wars“. It is Hobbes – in reverse.
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