“…prevent harm to others”


  1. Conspiratoor

     /  May 21, 2017

    and therein lies a paradox. Depends on perception. When the US goes in and bombs the bejeezus out of the Syrian army, justifying it on the basis of preventing harm to innocents, the Syrians rejoice. To anti US liberal media however it is spun as another example of the great satan’s indiscriminate killing machine

    • It was never going to be easy, was it.

      Preventing harm by harming – sometimes it can be justified, but it makes ideals hard to adhere to.

      • Corky

         /  May 21, 2017

        The catch word is ‘civilised.’ If the whole world was civilised this dictum would be accepted and held true, including the use of force. Sadly most of the world isn’t civilised including sections of our so-called civilised society.

      • The selection and maintenance of the aim is a primary consideration in the legitimate use of military force. As a matter of course your combat power must only be used in that pursuit. If you use force just to kill the opposing forces you risk losing the legitimacy of your cause. Violence must be used for legitimate purpose only otherwise you will breed pathological killers. Sun Tzu has it right when he wrote real victory is when you defeat the enemy by not fighting.

    • MaureenW

       /  May 21, 2017

      Syria was on the list of countries to be taken out by the US back in 2001 so yes it does depend on perception doesn’t it. Part of the Arab Spring uprising – that didn’t turn out to be as easy as the other countries interfered with by the US – oh look, they’ve still got Iran to go. Can’t wait for the “butcher of Iran stories” to start seeping out via the msm.

      “We’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran”

      • Gezza

         /  May 21, 2017

        I just watched all four parts of his interview with Amy Goodman that that quote came from Maureen. Man, did he know what he was talking about or what? Incredibly accurate assessment of what has come about – although obviously back in 2007 nobody foresaw that part of Al Qaeda in Iraq would morph into ISIS.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 21, 2017

    Most power is exercised under the pretence it is going to do good for a sufficient number of voters and those it does harm to don’t matter.

    • Kevin

       /  May 21, 2017

      The greatest happiness for the greatest number. It’s kept National in power for years.

  3. There is a great comic series that we should all have a read of from start to finish. It is quite an eye opener.

    • Corky

       /  May 21, 2017

      Doesn’t apply to me:

      1- I’m a Rightie.
      2- I like to deal in facts.
      3- The Simpsons have already spoofed some of these stories.
      4- Liberals need those homilies more.

  4. I’m a Centre-Leftie, I like to deal in interpretation of facts, which is the only kind of facts there are …

    Any philosopher as prolific and ‘evolving’ as Mill can never be encapsulated in a single quote. Taken as a whole, his overall philosophy is clearly that all human economic [and social] endeavour leads in the direction of what he calls “economic democracy” and what Righties quite incorrectly call ‘socialism’ … [citing Stalin’s Socialist Totalitarianism] …

    Early in his career, “Mill explicitly states that “harms” may include acts of omission as well as acts of commission. Thus, failing to rescue a drowning child counts as a harmful act, as does failing to pay taxes, or failing to appear as a witness in court.

    All such harmful omissions may be regulated, according to Mill. By contrast, it does not count as harming someone if – without force or fraud – the affected individual consents to assume the risk: thus one may permissibly offer unsafe employment to others, provided there is no deception involved”

    Mill “argued in support of what he called a ‘benevolent despotism’ with regard to the colonies. Mill argued that “To suppose that the same international customs, and the same rules of international morality, can obtain between one civilized nation and another, and between civilized nations and barbarians, is a grave error … To characterize any conduct whatever towards a barbarous people as a violation of the law of nations, only shows that he who so speaks has never considered the subject.” In other words: It’s all right to be barbaric dealing with peoples YOU deem to be barbarians.

    Later he altered his views toward a more socialist bent, adding chapters to his ‘Principles of Political Economy’ in defence of a socialist outlook, and defending some socialist causes … he also made the radical proposal that the whole wage system be abolished in favour of a co-operative wage system … However, some of his views on the idea of flat taxation remained, albeit altered in the third edition of the Principles of Political Economy to reflect a concern for differentiating restrictions on “unearned” incomes, which he favoured, and those on “earned” incomes, which he did not favour.

    Mill promoted economic democracy instead of capitalism, in the manner of substituting capitalist businesses with worker cooperatives. He says:

    “The form of association, however, which if mankind continue to improve, must be expected in the end to predominate, is not that which can exist between a capitalist as chief, and work-people without a voice in the management, but the association of the labourers themselves on terms of equality, collectively owning the capital with which they carry on their operations, and working under managers elected and removable by themselves.”


    Hannan might do better to change political allegiances and change parties?


  5. Sorry Corky, but I haven’t seen the Simpsons spoof. Got a link?

    Gezza, General Marcus Clark’s interview. Thanks for the link, and yes I have watched and read about his thoughts. He speaks from the sort of background that I have had, the 4 years of officer training at West Point/RMC Duntroon, Staff and Command Colleges in 3 different countries and active service in a number of countries. His message is standard ideology for military training. But it omits the reality that all professional soldiers are firstly people who have the same desires, ethics and goals as their civilian counterparts, The difference is that they are under discipline, unlike their civilian counterparts, moreover, they are trained to be part of a team that looks after each other in situations where their lives are on the table, and are focussed on the mission. If they take their eyes off that then the price is final for someone is going to be dead.

    What Clark is articulating is that political and military decisions should be made in the light of the extent to which people, whether military or civilian are being exposed to risk of death or wounding so as to achieve political aims or advantage.

    Me? I always wonder why we kill each other so easily, rather than discuss our differences!

    • Blazer

       /  May 21, 2017

      the soldiers ..lament…’I was only following orders’…(from politicians)

    • Corky

       /  May 21, 2017

      No, BJ. No links. They were single episodes over the years. People think of the Simpson as a kids cartoon programme. It’s way more then that. There’s plenty of satire and social commentary.

      This chap overthinks things.

  6. Gezza

     /  May 21, 2017

    Control of land & resources, self determination, to eliminate real or perceived threats, & survival.

  7. Blazer, wrong again! The soldiers lament is “I didn’t know the gun was loaded, and I’ll never do it again!”

  8. Blazer

     /  May 21, 2017

    Goldman Sachs alumni…Obama’s right hand man-Larry Summers…’first do ..no harm’….he neglected the rejoinder…’to the top ruling %’!