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03-08-11, 03:17 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, 06:48 AM #2
Authority is not real authority unless it is backed by power, of a very real kind, or else authority is meaningless.
People basically obey because they have to, they are not instinctively obedient, in fact, most folks hate authority but realize they have to submit to it becuase of the greater good wrought.
But this post is unusual. Can you tell us your reason for opening up this discussion?
And this question really goes beyond Marines. It is a part of the human condition.
It's a philosophical question.
Authority is that which one must obey----or else.
Without the "or else" it is meaningless, as it has no power to back itself up.
There are a lot of things more powerful than the threat of violence, e.g. witness people's willingness to sacrifice their lives for a cause, a noble cause, something they believe in. That, in many cases throughout history, has transcended the human desire to preserve one's own life at any cost.
So people have submitted to death rather than dishonor. Millions of times in history.
But what is your reason for raising a philosophical question in this particular area of the forum?
Normally, the mere asking of any question implies an agenda of some kind, whether bad or good.
But I see you have 38 posts in three years and your interests on your profile are "boobs", so maybe that is all I need to know.
There is an ultimate authority, but discussion of it on this forum is not the place.
Remember, our forefathers died in order to never mention religion in any public place. Oh wait, that is the modern misconception of it, not the historical reality.
03-08-11, 07:47 AM #3
I like boobs.
03-08-11, 07:51 AM #4
Everyone does, but not as a the main interest. Or maybe we do? I guess I do....
03-08-11, 07:53 AM #5
Let me be clear; I like boobs because it epitomizes my battalion slogan "Get Some."
03-08-11, 08:55 AM #6
03-08-11, 09:06 AM #7
Good question. But "why" is an even better one.
03-08-11, 09:11 AM #8
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, 09:22 AM #9
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.
03-08-11, 09:31 AM #10
On a related note, it's clear to me that people in general have a lot more anger than in the past 30 or 40 years, and I think this is related to what we're talking about.
But believe me when I say that you don't want to hear my reasons for thinking that. LOL. Has to do with the way the Me Generation was raised, instant gratification etc but this is the subject of a whole other thread, or even a whole other forum, if there would be room for a complete debate on this.
I don't feel like I'm wandering down paths here, because the original post was so general and rather odd, anyway.
I also happen to think that our society is obsessed with violence. E.g. movies, conversation, crime, music lyrics, and on and on ad infinitum. Pretty sad state of affairs when we profess to hate violence yet pay money to see it.
All related to the topic of violence, so we are still on topic.
03-08-11, 09:33 AM #11
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, 09:36 AM #12
I thought you were serious, LOL, sorry.....
03-08-11, 09:47 AM #13
03-08-11, 09:48 AM #14
That was well done, it had me fooled, I was saying OH NO, another one??????
03-08-11, 05:46 PM #15
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.
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