Is Violence the Ultimate Authority?
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  1. #1

    Is Violence the Ultimate Authority?

    Something for all Marines: What defines authority for you, why, and how does it manifest? Is violence the ultimate authority? If not, what is? Is anything more powerful than the threat of violence?


  2. #2
    I like boobs.


  3. #3
    Let me be clear; I like boobs because it epitomizes my battalion slogan "Get Some."


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Goss View Post
    Something for all Marines: What defines authority for you, why, and how does it manifest? Is violence the ultimate authority? If not, what is? Is anything more powerful than the threat of violence?
    What the hell are you talking about?


  5. #5
    Because all Marines face extreme violence and we are all war/killing machines? We are ruled by violence and violent tendencies because that is what we do. We are programmed that way. Consequently, we all experience some symptoms of PTSD once we return from deployment. Violence is not the ultimate authority. Ignorance is far more powerful.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave2571 View Post
    Not sure at all that we are ruled by violence.
    But, I've noticed that the kill kill kill aspect of the Marine Corps is emphasized by a lot of young guys.
    In our units in 1963-1967 the word "kill" was never used in conversation the way it is today. We saw ourselves as Marines, whatever use was in store for us, fine, humanitarian missions, combat, whatever, but we did not focus on killing, and this is interesting in our present day and age, to see a lot of attention focused on it.
    Agreed. I was being sarcastic. I am on recruiting duty right now and I get questions like that all the time. They are always from civilians who just don't understand what a Marine really is. I am human just like everyone else. Assumptions about my character based on societal misconceptions regarding my Marine Corps just really **** me off. I love what I do and it is a large part of who I am. I am not dehumanized because of who I am. I am more human because of it. The fact that someone would venture to think otherwise is offensive. I am sure any Marine would agree with me.

    The quote rings true in this case:

    "There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."

    Gen William Thompson, U.S. Army


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave2571 View Post
    I thought you were serious, LOL, sorry.....
    No worries. Sometimes people ask me if I am being sarcastic when I am being serious. Either way, I just wanted to express my inner discontent with the original post.


  8. #8
    Afraziaaaa, whatever discontent you have with my original post is misconceived. I imply nothing with my questions. As a guy who has Marine friends and hopes to himself one day become a Marine, I am not in the habit of obliquely talking **** on Marines. I am interested in what Marines think about the topic of ultimate authority deriving from violence (and if not, then from what provable societal force) because the Corps is a special division of our military where "Every Marine is a rifleman", which implies more attention uniformly spent on the application of violence (theoretical or practical given the MOS) than in other branches--"violence", by the way, doesn't mean "killing"; "violence" is just the manifestation of "force over will". But really the question extends to the military in general, it just so happens that I am a member of this particular forum and I can get just as accurate an answer here without having to activate an account on an Army, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard forum.

    Dave2571, don't mistake my interest in boobs as being an indicator of low intention here. That was--to kill all aspects of its humor by explanation--a whimsical expression of my love for and belief in tangible beauty. Sunsets and prayers come and go, but tits stay the same. A joke. And the implication of God bears no relevance on my personal interests but if you believe you have compelling evidence to propose God as an ultimate authority, then please present your case. But I'm more interested in the original questions: Do you, as trained members of a special military division, consider violence the ultimate authority? If not, then what, and why?

    Even the one who sacrifices themselves nobly is still obeying the laws of violence. To stand in the gap and take that bullet, to dive on that grenade, to offer up oneself to the threat of violence in preservation of another--however noble and exemplary of Love (Pressfield's opposite of Fear)--still falls under the sway of that violence. And, if given time, that person could surmount the force of violence with their own (defense/destruction).

    Dave, you said it yourself: Authority without power is meaningless. This is true. But from where does the power come? What provides the power, the influence, the threat of "do it--or else"? Or else WHAT? is the much better question than insinuating I have some an ulterior motive here. My only agenda is learning the thoughts of those who are schooled in warfare.

    So, WHY must people obey? WHAT are they obeying? If they disobey, what will happen to them? Can they stop it? Why or why not? Who will enforce authority? How will they enforce it? Can it be resisted? What ultimately happens if authority is resisted? Those questions frame the issue more concretely, but I'm interested in alternatives.


  9. #9
    This topic is giving me a headache...I'm switching over to Chesty's Hooch.


  10. #10
    Marine Free Member USNAviator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Goss View Post
    Afraziaaaa, whatever discontent you have with my original post is misconceived. I imply nothing with my questions. As a guy who has Marine friends and hopes to himself one day become a Marine, I am not in the habit of obliquely talking **** on Marines. I am interested in what Marines think about the topic of ultimate authority deriving from violence (and if not, then from what provable societal force) because the Corps is a special division of our military where "Every Marine is a rifleman", which implies more attention uniformly spent on the application of violence (theoretical or practical given the MOS) than in other branches--"violence", by the way, doesn't mean "killing"; "violence" is just the manifestation of "force over will". But really the question extends to the military in general, it just so happens that I am a member of this particular forum and I can get just as accurate an answer here without having to activate an account on an Army, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard forum.

    Dave2571, don't mistake my interest in boobs as being an indicator of low intention here. That was--to kill all aspects of its humor by explanation--a whimsical expression of my love for and belief in tangible beauty. Sunsets and prayers come and go, but tits stay the same. A joke. And the implication of God bears no relevance on my personal interests but if you believe you have compelling evidence to propose God as an ultimate authority, then please present your case. But I'm more interested in the original questions: Do you, as trained members of a special military division, consider violence the ultimate authority? If not, then what, and why?

    Even the one who sacrifices themselves nobly is still obeying the laws of violence. To stand in the gap and take that bullet, to dive on that grenade, to offer up oneself to the threat of violence in preservation of another--however noble and exemplary of Love (Pressfield's opposite of Fear)--still falls under the sway of that violence. And, if given time, that person could surmount the force of violence with their own (defense/destruction).

    Dave, you said it yourself: Authority without power is meaningless. This is true. But from where does the power come? What provides the power, the influence, the threat of "do it--or else"? Or else WHAT? is the much better question than insinuating I have some an ulterior motive here. My only agenda is learning the thoughts of those who are schooled in warfare.

    So, WHY must people obey? WHAT are they obeying? If they disobey, what will happen to them? Can they stop it? Why or why not? Who will enforce authority? How will they enforce it? Can it be resisted? What ultimately happens if authority is resisted? Those questions frame the issue more concretely, but I'm interested in alternatives.

    Jonathan perhaps this treatise would be best addressed at the free and leisure time you'll have at boot camp?

    BTW,, hope all works out for you at MEPS



  11. #11
    If clarification is needed, I'd say the question is in regards to "authority" in general regarding the overall human condition as part of a society--everyday in obedience to society, to the government, to the self, to others, to business, to the prevention of anarchy.

    And yes, of course I have my own biases (or more accurately, "suspicions"), but I try to hold them in open hands, not clenched fists. As in, I know enough to know that I don't KNOW. I'm just interested in what those of an elite military order think about the relation of violence to authority and whether or not any of you believe violence is the ultimate driving force of underlying control in our society as sentient animals. Dig deep through the rules that govern us, the fears that hinder us. What lies at the root of our obedience? And if you don't think violence is the ultimate driving force of underlying control, what is?

    It's a philosophical question, but it's a sociological one too that matters for better understanding ourselves. It has interested me for a while and I was just curious as to what others thought. If there's any way I can clarify more, please let me know. Thank you for the replies thus far (even the snarky ones, USNAViator ).


  12. #12
    The questions you are asking points to the desire for an academic answer or discussion. No one on this forum can speak authoritativly to the "overal human condition" and its application to the state, id, ego, or whatever other barely tangible concept. Diving into the realm of pop-philosophy (like asking the 'root' cause of a topic like obedience or authority) on this forum will not give you the answers you seek. Perhaps a peer-reviewed sholarly journal would be more applicable in answering your questions. The only thing you will find here are experiences of individuals that can apply to them and thoes they interacted with muddled by perception, mood, memory and other variables negating a proper control for this socio-philisophical question. I'm just saying the variables involved in this discussion will not satisfy someone seeking an overall sentiment from the "warrior class" of the U.S. It should be mentioned Marines operate by guidlines of their chain of command, Law of Land Warfare, ROEs, and several other factors as seen fit by the political organs of the U.S. One philosophy suggests obidience and authority are linked as decisions made by both parties. Others would argue this unfair and take into account the circumstances of each situation. I'll end abruptly here as I have a meeting to go to, anyways, best of luck with your inquiries.
    cheers.
    A

    ps sorry, no spell check.


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Goss View Post
    Afraziaaaa, whatever discontent you have with my original post is misconceived. I imply nothing with my questions. As a guy who has Marine friends and hopes to himself one day become a Marine, I am not in the habit of obliquely talking **** on Marines. I am interested in what Marines think about the topic of ultimate authority deriving from violence (and if not, then from what provable societal force) because the Corps is a special division of our military where "Every Marine is a rifleman", which implies more attention uniformly spent on the application of violence (theoretical or practical given the MOS) than in other branches--"violence", by the way, doesn't mean "killing"; "violence" is just the manifestation of "force over will". But really the question extends to the military in general, it just so happens that I am a member of this particular forum and I can get just as accurate an answer here without having to activate an account on an Army, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard forum.
    I don't think I explained myself well. The fact that you assume that all Marines are programmed to exert "force over will" (regardless if you are talking about our own will or any other will) proves my point that you are coming from an ignorant perspective and that you do not understand what a Marine is. So my answer is that the ultimate authority does not derive from violence, but from ignorance. The reason I say this is not because I think that you are generally an ignorant person, but because I see you as being an outsider in relation to the Marine Corps, and outsiders are ignorant. No matter how many friends or people you know who are Marines, you will forever be an outsider and therefore ignorant...at least until you earn the title. Look back to the quote I posted earlier in that thread. There is a reason that an Army General would say that.

    Don't think I am saying that I am superior here because that is not what I am saying. I am ignorant when it comes to many things, however I do think that being a SNCO in the Marine Corps makes me a credible source regarding the mindset of Marines. In my perception, many of "society's" perceptions are based in ignorance. Civilians are a large majority in the global society. Military members are a minority. This is why I say ignorance is a higher authority than violence.

    I hope this helps to answer your question.


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by hussaf View Post
    The only thing you will find here are experiences of individuals that can apply to them and thoes they interacted with muddled by perception, mood, memory and other variables negating a proper control for this socio-philisophical question. I'm just saying the variables involved in this discussion will not satisfy someone seeking an overall sentiment from the "warrior class" of the U.S. It should be mentioned Marines operate by guidlines of their chain of command, Law of Land Warfare, ROEs, and several other factors as seen fit by the political organs of the U.S. One philosophy suggests obidience and authority are linked as decisions made by both parties. Others would argue this unfair and take into account the circumstances of each situation. I'll end abruptly here as I have a meeting to go to, anyways, best of luck with your inquiries.
    cheers.
    A

    ps sorry, no spell check.
    Thank you, Hussaf. That is actually precisely the perspective in which I'm interested! Biases and limited scope perspectives are unavoidable beacuse we're human and finite, so--for my own sake--that doesn't pollute the results at all (though I sincerely thank you for taking it into consideration). I would very much like to know what those of you who have these experiences and perspective think about this topic because, as much as it intrigues me on a personal basis, it intrigues me on a larger basis of what others beyond myself, in a different position in life and with different experiences, think as well.


  15. #15
    I Dont Know About All This Philosophy But I Like Boobs To.


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