Forever War: Domestic Applications

In the preceding blog, I redefined “forever war”. The conventional idea is that a forever war is a quagmire from which exit is long-delayed or thought to be not feasible. The new definition states that a forever war is “a state’s policy of making war until some distant and rather unattainable goal is achieved”. States wage forever wars.

The utility of the new definition is shown by applying it to domestic cases, and not only foreign policy cases; and to non-military cases and not only military cases. However, they replace military force with domestic forces of police, courts, sanctions, seizures, fines and prisons.

The most obvious domestic forever wars are the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs and the War on Inequality. Kennedy, Nixon and Obama declared these three wars, respectively. They are state-instigated and state-conducted. History buffs will find precursors that add to their age (length). The War on Inequality has become more and more virulent lately.

These three wars are all characterized by being long wars because their goals are unattainable. They will only disappear if it pays the state to end them or exchange them for some other end.

There are other wars being conducted that are more or less forever wars: War on Privacy, War on Hate and War on Guns. These are all forever wars because they all can be conducted by and more and more draconian and lengthier means as it becomes more and more difficult to attain the unattainable goals of eliminating privacy, hate and guns.


12:25 pm on July 8, 2019