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03-08-11, 04:17 AM #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?
03-08-11, 08:47 AM #2
I like boobs.
03-08-11, 08:53 AM #3
Let me be clear; I like boobs because it epitomizes my battalion slogan "Get Some."
03-08-11, 09:55 AM #4
03-08-11, 10:11 AM #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.
03-08-11, 10:33 AM #6
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
03-08-11, 10:47 AM #7
03-08-11, 06:46 PM #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.
03-08-11, 10:38 PM #9
This topic is giving me a headache...I'm switching over to Chesty's Hooch.
03-08-11, 11:23 PM #10
03-09-11, 12:20 AM #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 ).
03-09-11, 05:51 AM #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.
ps sorry, no spell check.
03-09-11, 08:04 AM #13
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.
03-10-11, 02:24 AM #14
03-10-11, 02:25 AM #15
I Dont Know About All This Philosophy But I Like Boobs To.
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