Lateral Thinking Puzzle

When war comes up in conversations, it tends to polarize people. Only two options seem to be available: you’re for it or against it. I don’t fit either one/I fit both.

The problems with war…in every situation. I tend to raise the point that in basically every situation, war has been to fight some sort of violence. The problem with that is that violence feeds violence. Violent people want precisely what war is giving them. More specifcally, you can’t fight a war on terror by causing terror. Comments such as these tend to throw me into the anti-war group.

Clearly, the nonviolent side isn’t correct either. A million nonviolent people will be killed by a single violent one. Of course, nonviolence has worked in the past, and in fact it wasn’t a form of non-action as many people try to say. The problem is that first times have changed. The nonviolence of Ghandi and King Jr. clearly won’t work against things like nuclear or biological weapons. The other part that made those nonviolent actions effective, in my opinion, is that it relied on the fact that the people hitting the nonviolent protestors did not actually want to hurt them. They were under orders and doing their job. The nonviolence brought out a feeling of immorality in the violent side. I don’t think that this is the case in our current situation. Suicide bombers kill innocent people, and this is the point of the action. A huge group of nonviolent protestors will just make their job easier.

So the two sides of the argument don’t work. Both have had some form of success in the past, and people tend to polarize toward one or the other, but I think our times have changed enough that pursuing either one is completely hopeless.

I now propose a lateral thinking puzzle: What type of solution at least has some sort of potential to work?


One thought on “Lateral Thinking Puzzle

  1. Wow, this is a bit depressing. I wonder how the concept of “just war” fits in here. Assuming such a thing exists (I guess the classic example is the campaign against the Nazis, though if you start thinking it through [e.g. West has knowledge of atrocities against Jews but makes little effort to slow the progress of the death camps] it starts to fall apart a bit)…is just war an example of nonviolent violence? Or violence as last resort? Is that the “third way”?

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