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People's Monopoly of Peace

War veto by popular vote.
  (+3, -6)
(+3, -6)
  [vote for,

Virtually all countries delegate all forceful actions within their borders to a judiciary body of some kind. The police (as they are also called) thereby have a monopoly of violence, and it is a corner stone of civilization that people not be allowed to seek justice for and by themselves.

People are stupid when it comes to choosing violence, but are they when it comes to choosing peace? Suppose there was a "war veto" entry added to the human rights charter, whereby any nation wishing to engage in warfare would have the obligation to first have the hostilities ratified by a three-quarter majority in a popular vote.

Non-complying countries would automatically land on the UN's blacklist and face worldwide condemnation (and possibly retaliation). And all citizens of complying countries which legally engaged in warfare would have to assume full responsibility for their choice to waive their veto, and couldn't say it was all the government's fault.

placid_turmoil, Apr 26 2007

War Is a Racket http://www.ratical....H/warisaracket.html
[spidermother, Jun 15 2014]


       As the buildup to the Iraq invasion somehow managed to convince the vast majority of Americans that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and that his finger was poised over the nuclear button that would annihilate the U.S., achieving high levels of support for any public (most are not) military action has clearly been demonstrated to be a function of propoganda.   

       In addition, the U.N. is (most unfortunately) completely powerless due to its very structure (the permanent members of the Security Council and their veto power).   

       Finally, the *only* legal warfare is self defense (not the peremptory kind the U.S. practices).
nuclear hobo, Apr 26 2007

       <sad but true> "covenants, without the sword, are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all" - Hobbes </sbt>   

       I think any debate on this, even if it doesn't degenerate straight to flame-war, is likely to be over-coloured by people's opinion of the Bush administration and its actions. <takes deep breath, refrains from rant>.   

       In 1939, when Neville Chamberlain did his 'melancholy duty' and declared war on Germany, it is doubtful that he could have secured 75% support. Nevertheless, he did the right thing.   

       Both the nature of the threat and the nature of our leadership have changed radically since then, and it is difficult to imagine any rule which would fit both cases, but that's what rules have to do, and this one doesn't.[-]
pertinax, Apr 27 2007

       I believe this is exactly the purpose for which the United Nations was intended. Unfortunatly large powerful nations do not wish to cede any portion of their will to smaller less powerful nations, and the institution was fettered with structures that give the General Assembly almost no power. Also membership in the UN was made open to nearly all, even those nations too immature to even run their own countries effectively. This has left it all but powerless.
Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 27 2007

       + I'll donate a bun for Peace +
xandram, Apr 27 2007

       //support for any public (most are not) military action has clearly been demonstrated to be a function of propoganda// [nuclear_hobo], after some thought I have to say I agree with you on that point. I am wondering, though, if people would think harder about going to war *if it was in their hands to prevent it*. The weight of that responsibility is not negligible.   

       //the *only* legal warfare is self defense// By legal I simply mean ratified by the UN. I am not suggesting that implies it is morally justified.   

       //I believe this is exactly the purpose for which the United Nations was intended.// The UN was created to grant all countries' citizens the right to veto their government's motion for war by popular vote? I'm not quite sure.
placid_turmoil, Apr 28 2007

       [pertinax], I guess you got me on the Chamberlain example. It also occurred to me that Hitler would undoubtedly have obtained a three-quarter majority.   

       It's a fishy idea.
placid_turmoil, Apr 28 2007

       //I am wondering, though, if people would think harder about going to war *if it was in their hands to prevent it*.//   

       It is in their hands. Soldiers can decline duty in exchange for prison. Citizens can decline taxes in exchange for prison. Students can decline the draft in exch..., wait a minute - there is *no* draft.   

       That's the real lesson of Vietnam: volunteers are much less likely to object to military service than draftees.
nuclear hobo, Apr 28 2007

       //It really isn't up to 18 year old recruits to think through global politics.//   

       I couldn't disagree more strongly. At what age is it appropriate to think about and take responsibility for one's actions?   

       And let's define 'recruit'; is this a volunteer or a draftee?
nuclear hobo, Apr 28 2007

       There is a difference between taking 'responsibility for one's actions' as a youth and 'taking responsibility for running a country'. Let's try not to mix this up any more than we have to.   

       //I suggest defering to experience.//   

       That hasn't worked out so well in the U.S. ...
nuclear hobo, Apr 28 2007

       Lead by example, no matter who you are or your station in life.
nuclear hobo, Apr 28 2007

       "Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limited plebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of all the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying."   

       - Smedley D. Butler, "War Is a Racket", 1935
spidermother, Jun 15 2014

       And here we go again in Iraq. Hold on to your hats, friends, it could get a little dirty.
blissmiss, Jun 15 2014


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