Visit ArabTopics.com

Baruch Spinoza: Tyrants and war for its own sake

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Baruch Spinoza: Men shouldn’t choose slavery in time of peace for better fortune in war

Baruch Spinoza: Peace is not mere absence of war

Baruch Spinzoa: War corrupts civil society

====

Baruch/Benedictus Spinoza
From Tractatus Theologico-Politicus
Translated by R.H.M. Elwes

There was another very important check on the unbridled license of the captains, in the fact that the army was formed from the whole body of the citizens, between the ages of twenty and sixty, without exception, and that the captains were not able to hire any foreign soldiery. This I say was very important, for it is well known that princes can oppress their peoples with the single aid of the soldiery in their pay…

****

[N]either captains nor army had any reason for preferring war to peace. The army, as we have stated, consisted entirely of citizens, so that affairs were managed by the same persons both in peace and war. The man who was a soldier in the camp was a citizen in the market-place, he who was a leader in the camp was a judge in the law courts, he who was a general in the camp was a ruler in the state. Thus no one could desire war for its own sake…

****

It is remarkable that during all the period, during which the people held the reins of power, there was only one civil war, and that one was completely extinguished, the conquerors taking such pity on the conquered, that they endeavoured in every way to reinstate them in their former dignity and power. But after that the people, little accustomed to kings, changed its first form of government into a monarchy, civil war raged almost continuously; and battles were so fierce as to exceed all others recorded; in one engagement (taxing our faith to the utmost) five hundred thousand Israelites were slaughtered by the men of Judah, and in another the Israelites slew great numbers of the men of Judah (the figures are not given in Scripture), almost razed to the ground the walls of Jerusalem, and sacked the Temple in their unbridled fury. At length, laden with the spoils of their brethren, satiated with blood, they took hostages, and leaving the king in his well-nigh devastated kingdom, laid down their arms, relying on the weakness rather than the good faith of their foes. A few years after, the men of Judah, with recruited strength, again took the field, but were a second time beaten by the Israelites, and slain to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand, two hundred thousand of their wives and children were led into captivity, and a great booty again seized. Worn out with these and similar battles set forth at length in their histories, the Jews at length fell a prey to their enemies.

****

Hence it comes to pass that peoples have often changed their tyrants, but never removed them or changed the monarchical form of government into any other.

The English people furnish us with a terrible example of this fact. They sought how to depose their monarch under the forms of law, but when he had been removed, they were utterly unable to change the form of government, and after much bloodshed only brought it about, that a new monarch should be hailed under a different name (as though it had been a mere question of names); this new monarch could only consolidate his power by completely destroying the royal stock, putting to death the king’s friends, real or supposed, and disturbing with war the peace which might encourage discontent, in order that the populace might be engrossed with novelties and divert its mind from brooding over the slaughter of the king.

****

Simplicity and truth of character are not produced by the constraint of laws, nor by the authority of the state, no one the whole world over can be forced or legislated into a state of blessedness; the means required for such a consummation are faithful and brotherly admonition, sound education, and, above all, free use of the individual judgment.

****

No, the object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty.

****

It is far from possible to impose uniformity of speech, for the more rulers strive to curtail freedom of speech, the [262] more obstinately are they resisted; not indeed by the avaricious, the flatterers, and other numskulls, who think supreme salvation consists in filling their stomachs and gloating over their money-bags, but by those whom good education, sound morality, and virtue have rendered more free. Men, as generally constituted, are most prone to resent the branding as criminal of opinions which they believe to be true, and the proscription as wicked of that which inspires them with piety towards God and man; hence they are ready to forswear the laws and conspire against the authorities, thinking it not shameful but honourable to stir up seditions and perpetuate any sort of crime with this end in view. Such being the constitution of human nature, we see that laws directed against opinions affect the generous-minded rather than the wicked, and are adapted less for coercing criminals than for irritating the upright; so that they cannot be maintained without great peril to the state.

****

He that knows himself to be upright does not fear the death of a criminal, and shrinks from no punishment; his mind is not wrung with remorse for any disgraceful deed: he holds that death in a good cause is no punishment, but an honour, and that death for freedom is glory.

Source: 
Stop Nato

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 50
Grayzone Project 96
Pass Blue 165
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 416
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 2319
FEE 4320
Marine Le Pen 320
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 815
Mohamed Omar 346
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 18
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 98
Vetenskapsradion Historia 147
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 210
Les Crises 2556
Richard Falk 153
Ian Sinclair 98
SpinWatch 58
Counter Currents 8439
Kafila 417
Gail Malone 34
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 94
The Duran 9333
Vanessa Beeley 93
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5514
Paul Craig Roberts 1602
News Junkie Post 58
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 4553
Sir Ken Robinson 20
Stephan Kinsella 89
Liberty Blitzkrieg 840
Sami Bedouin 63
Consortium News 2495
21 Century Wire 3409
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 84
David D. Friedman 149
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1504
Tom Dispatch 491
Levant Report 18
The Saker 4063
The Barnes Review 513
John Friend 438
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 3706
School Sucks Project 1765
Giza Death Star 1816
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 602
GMWatch 2160
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 906
Le 4ème singe 90
Jacob Cohen 206
Agora Vox 14389
Cercle Des Volontaires 430
Panamza 2046
Fairewinds 111
Project Censored 918
Spy Culture 481
Conspiracy Archive 75
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 545
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 784
Independent Science News 74
The Anti Media 6455
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 287
The Mind renewed 439
Natural Society 2607
Yanis Varoufakis 942
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 104
Web of Debt 138
Porkins Policy Review 402
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 586
Libyan War Truth 319
DeadLine Live 1909
Kevin Ryan 62
BSNEWS 2045
Aaron Franz 218
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 140
Peter B Collins 1506
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 10356
Climate Audit 222
Donna Laframboise 415
Judith Curry 1111
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2268
Syria Report 78
Human Rights Investigation 91
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 11359
Laura Wells Solutions 43
Video Rebel's Blog 424
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 19670
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2908
Northerntruthseeker 2291
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4699
AntiWar.com Blog 2956
AntiWar.com Original Content 6706
Corbett Report 2258
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1163
Webster Tarpley Website 1069

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public