So I thought about the Army...

No, I'm not thinking of the service, though it could liven this blog up. I'm thinking philosophically. I was talking the other day with a couple of friends about military might, and something interesting came up. We were talking about military police actions, and how much we hate the way our government is involved in them, and what a mess they have been in the past.

First off, I think it important to state that I think we need to be careful about attributing a will and automatic sovereignty to nations. I have heard several people say things along the lines of "we should not be involved in hampering the will of a sovereign nation" - the difficulty of course being that nations don't have will - people have will, (the plural of will - what an odd thing, that linguistically we don't seem to think of will as plural) but nations do not. Tyrants have will, generals have will, presidents have will, but nations do not. Second, nations, I think, can not be assumed to be automatically sovereign. Just because people (in many cases our grandfathers) said they got to be separate nations doesn't mean they do - and that's a much longer discussion.

All that to say, one of the interesting points we came to in the discussion was that, while, as in the case of the Spanish Civil War we might intervene as private citizens (I highly recommend finding the old Esquire article on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade) to stop a civil rights violation, we are uncomfortable with the army doing it for us. This is interesting to me. I wonder if we would lend support to people going overseas to fight for civil rights in, say, Darfur and how that would be different from hiring an army.

Hard, important stuff.

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