Warmongers

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Warmongers puzzle me. A warmonger is: "One who advocates or attempts to stir up war." What motivates these people?

I suppose that in some primitive hunter-gatherer societies, a warmonger could be seeking to expand food producing territory or to gain ritual tribal status or to enact revenge on a neighboring society; Homer describes these motives well, although his societies were of a higher order of sophistication than, say, the archaic Inuit Eskimos, about whom we don’t hear of such behavior. One might say that warmongering arises where one society has something that another society wants to steal by force, as the Hyksos wanted to steal the wealth of Egypt, although there is the personal component of acquiring raw power over the lives of people that may attract some individuals to war. Greed and power, then, are most likely the prime motives of the warmonger in historical times.

But what about today? Why would already rich and powerful Americans want to put both their money and their prestige at risk to promote war? Sure, the state can extort a million dollars from the taxpayers and use it to build a Patriot missile for the express purpose of blowing it up and destroying somebody else’s life and property and I suppose that some part of that million goes into a warmonger’s pocket. Is war, then, simply another way to transfer wealth from the taxpayer to the rich by force and fraud?

I should stop here and ask, how did the rich warmongers get rich in the first place? Unfortunately, I don’t know. It’s reported that the revolving door between the public sector and the private sector pumps millions of tax dollars into well-known pockets, proving that people who make the laws know how to evade them. But what about the wealthy warmongers who don’t have their fingers in the public till? Did they get rich by force and fraud as well?

I wonder. When a man puts up a half-a-million dollars to fund an organization explicitly created to criminalize American freedom of speech, I wonder what’s in it for him? To sell the idea of another world war to a disillusioned American people requires silencing opposition in general and Lew Rockwell in particular, that much is obvious, but where is the real return to this man’s investment? Does he merely want to direct the firing squad or run the gulag for American dissident writers?

That doesn’t make sense to me. What does make sense is a far larger ambition, like the ambition of Alexander, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, to enslave the whole of mankind under one ruler in a One World State. Would the wealthy warmonger desire that kind of power for himself? Or would he prefer to be the power behind the power? Not the King, but the King-Maker?

I wish I knew the answer. Warmongers puzzle me.

Robert Klassen [send him mail] is a medical technician and writer. Here’s his web site.

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