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Friday, April 15, 2011

Pacifism is maladaptive

Kind of a long story here. There was a post on Ex-Army's blog HERE, where he used the phrase, "It's hard to imagine pacifism being adaptive." That quickly led to the bumper sticker. When I sent the idea out to a European site, it immediately got attacked for somehow being pro-war. Well, it's not. "Adaptive" is an anthropological/evolutionary term describing genes or behaviors that promote survival and reproduction. "Maladaptive," of course, applies to genes and behaviors that interfere with survival and reproduction. I guess the problem is that some people see pacifism as the opposite of war. Well, that's not the case. War and peace are opposites. Peace is promoted, not by refusal to fight, but, on the contrary, by the willingness and capacity to fight in self-defense. Think of Switzerland. Countries that seriously espouse pacifism are either asking to be invaded or, implicitly, counting on countries that are willing to fight to protect them. Pacifism does not mean an inclination towards peace — most of the human race is predisposed towards peace — but simply an unwillingness to defend oneself, usually for some religious or philosophical reason. I can't argue with religious reasons, because they're based on faith rather than logic. but I can argue that a philosophical pacifist is either being extremely illogical and self-destructive, or is just pretending. Pretending can be just showing off, or it can be a tactic, relying on his refusal to fight to shame those who would aggress against him into leaving him alone. That's the idea behind civil disobedience, and sometime it works, as a tactic. But only as a tactic used against decent people. It doesn't work against barbaric people.

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