On whether the desirability of peace provides sufficient reason to attempt to end all war: I tend to agree with Norm that the moral case for war in at least some instances stands, regardless of whether most wars fit within that category. I was having lunch with a friend and colleague a few months ago who was putting together a course on violence and political theory, who asked me the following question: what's the best single justification for the use of force in humanitarian intervention? The problem is, of course, that any potential justification can be abused, and the use of force itself is a blunt instrument to solve any problem, and force itself creates a lot of problems. And so the answer has to rely, once again, on the tragic vision of politics: we live in a world where some people will use force to attempt to do unjust things, and at least some of the time, the proper (i.e. only sufficient) response is to use violence in return; aware of its problems but willing to employ it anyway.
Labels: political theory