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"The true enemy: human tribalism"

.... It is axiomatic that those who fight have to hate....We had to hate first and foremost,....
This quote is attributed to Menachem Begin but the source is immaterial. It is the sentiment that I find noteworthy. It goes back to the discussion of "On Killing". 

It also brings to my mind my comments about the lessons learnt on the Playing Fields of Eton (tm) being those of being able to fight hard and be able to accept the rulings of the idiot wearing the ref's jersey and accept the outcome.  That essentially demands that you enjoy the fight but are not emotionally bound up in the result.  And that seems to be a fair description of how much of the world saw the Stoic Victorian Brit - or the Heartless Victorian Brit.

It also is a reasonable description of the "Professional Soldier"/"Volunteer Soldier(Modern Idiom)"/"Mercenary".  Those very same heartless individuals that were responsible for building and holding empires/states.  Those very same individuals that were and are hated by "Freedom Lovers Everywhere (tm)".

Menachem's observation has roots in the Napoleonic National Levies of World War I and II and has echoes in all the Liberation Armies.  (Edit: Actually the roots are older still now I think about it - Jan Sobieski's Relief of Vienna; the Reconquistas and the Crusades; the Islamic invasions.  All previous tribal warfare culminating in the Roman wars....) It was also elemental in the various Anglo Civil wars including the American Revolution and the War of Secession.  One of the greatest "sins" of King George was the introduction of the Hessian-Hanoverian "mercenaries" into the fight.  We'll leave aside for the moment that George also reigned in Hanover and Hesse and actually came from Hanover but the colonists, many of the Pre-Etonian Scots, seemed to feel that you should only be involved in a fight if you had an emotional stake in the outcome. 

I can see that "National/Tribal Survival" is an emotional issue.  It can stir hatreds.  But what does it say about the state of affairs when to find fighters to defend the Nation/Tribe you first of all have to Teach them to hate.  That is a genie that is awfully hard to get back in the bottle.

By contrast, as noted, Britain has relied on "The Professional Soldier" for most of the last 300 years - only diverting into the levie and race hatred during WW1 and 2 - both of them ruinous exercises.

Interestingly, by contrast and as demonstrated by Arthur Herman in his history of the Royal Navy, for centuries it relied on ships built by the crown and commanded by a professional corps of officers but crewed by sailors "taken up from trade".  The sailors were professional sailors, career men, but their profession was sailing ships, not killing on command and not dying in place.  That was the job for the Marines.  It had to wait for the Victorian steam Navy with its engineered killing systems for the notion of the sea-going Artillerist to take hold.  Up until that time the RN presumably found itself in the same position as Menachem Begin and the US conscript army.

Sorry for the ramble and lack of conclusions......but that observation, in connection with tribalism, seemed to be at the heart of the discussion about the world's ills and how Britain in particular had, for a brief time, managed to surmount some of them.

Edit: Is the "Professional Soldier" merely the member of another tribe, discrete from those that have to hate in order to kill?  Is that what makes him/her so terrifying and so necessary?
Kirkhill said:
Dare, any chance you could go back and modify that by hitting ENTER from time to time?

A line break from time to time would help.
Sorry, I don't seem to be able to edit it that I can see. Maybe someone else can do it?