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Why I am a Militarist

Unless you are a very fortunate, small paradise of a nation such as Andorra or Liechtenstein, it is the nation's armed forces that ensure its duration for decades if not centuries. That is because, should you not have a big enough or a competent enough military, then your country is likely to be in danger either from the inside or outside of its borders. Even if you live in a stable region, having a powerful military shall ensure that such status quo will resume. Therefore, it is imperative that every country that wishes for the safety of both itself and its citizens, needs to allocate a significant enough portion of its budget to the military.

A military, however, does not need to have a pompous budget in order to fulfill its functionality. You don't need, for example, to have an army stronger and more advanced than that of the United States in order to protect yourself from regional threats; that is of course unless you're being invaded by them, which means something has to be done.

It is important to find a balance between having a strong enough military to deter aggression and not spending so much on the military that it comes at the expense of other important needs, such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Rationally, every nation has the right to protect itself. Regardless of this premise, some nations, such as Israel, may believe that counter-attacks are also legitimate forms of self-defense. Whether this is true or not is up for debate. The premise itself, nonetheless, is true even for tyrannical North Korea, as the suffering of its populace does not necessarily legitimize invasion and attempted liberation. Why? Because they have the right to protect themselves as well, no matter how righteous such invasion is. Furthermore, a successful liberation attempt might even make things worse, should the next local government be incompetent.

I believe one of the reasons why there aren't many wars in the world today is due to how expensive they are. It's more than just keeping the peace, but it also could be the abysmal financial cost of wars, while trade is far more preferable to sacrificing your army and its many expensive war machines in battle.

John Lennon has said something interesting in one of his songs: "Imagine there are no countries; that's an easy thing to do". Is it, really? Dismembering the militaries of all nations would quickly lead to anarchy, unless some kind of a security force is to be strong enough to preserve the safety of all nation-less humans. The only such alternative I can think of are superheroes, which of course are too fictional to become a reality. Such people might save much money as they require less maintenance than an artillery division, but still, it is too impossible to have a single hero or heroine eliminate an entire terrorist organization. If that was only possible..

As long as there is a desire in one or more people to rebel by breaking the law or threatening the lives of someone, there will always be a need for security that is directed against other people. Should there be a total death to the desire to confront someone to the point of threat, John Lennon's vision will remain highly impractical.

And for that, people need to know that they may be punished, either by imprisonment or by execution, in order to keep people in line. This is why guns are needed -- to serve as a counter-threat against those who might consider defying the law and the safety of the nation, both from external and internal spaces.

You can say, therefore, that there is a certain "good" in weaponry, even if they kill others. Not all uses are for the greater good, but when they are, they can prevent much suffering that otherwise would have occurred.

Because of all these reasons, you can say that I am a militarist and not a pacifist. I can understand the desire for peace in pacifism, but without counter-offense there will be no peace—and it is all the fault of those who are themselves too unwilling to be peaceful and lawful.

Rebellion, when the odds are greatly against you, will only cause "collective punishment" to those who did nothing wrong, in addition to you, through suppression and tighter regulations of safety. If you live in a democracy, the answer is there, through the attempt to reform. If you live in an absolute monarchy or dictatorship—hide in the dark and strike when it's right, because you have far limited resources.

This article, by the way, was written when another, small-time conflict occurred between Israel and the Hamas organization.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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