Pragmatism vs Idealism

Q this is not directed at you, just your point on Pragmatism is one that I have thought about in relation to war and have always redressed in light of each conflict and come out in favour of the idealism of pacifism, as the politicians have come out the other way. You’re correct pacifism can’t be applied without thought to each conflict. The current one is a good example.

Idealists view the world in terms of how it could be changed for the better.

Pragmatists see the world in terms of what works best or most efficiently which will in turn produce a better world.

Both have equally rational basis the idealist however think that human concepts and intellect alone represent reality, whereas Pragmatists reject that view and are characterized by the insistence on consequences, utility and practicality as vital components of truth.

So in relation to the war in the Middle east, I do concede to a degree of pragmatism. There is no way both sides are going to lay down arms and the reason for that is as Q states “You can’t establish a lasting peace with someone who doesn’t want peace.”

So this on again off again conflict may have to continue until the Arab world accepts Israel. they may never accept Israel’s’ creation but they may over time accept its right to continue.

In the mean time I support the idea of having the UN step between the warring parties to prevent Israel from beating Lebanon to a bloody pulp, and Hezbollah from randomly murdering Israeli civilians.

Israel is definitely in the right but as an idealist I think the ideal state of peace will eventually be accomplished but the pragmatist in me says it will take a long time so put a fence between the two parties before they kill each other. Regardless of which party is at fault.

WWI is an example of what might happen here, if the two parties fight it out until some one wins. (If anyone really wins a war)

In WWI (AKA the war to end all wars) the parties involved, fought it out until one side won (admittedly the just side), but the winners were not content with just winning someone had to pay. The animosity spawned a system that abused the other party. With this system and global depression the next war was inevitable, because many believed that Germany had been ill treated after the war.

I don’t think that Israeli’s or Arabs are ready for the war to end all wars. The inevitable next war will follow and it will be worse, because Lebanon will look like the poor beaten Arab nation and the vast Arab world will be behind it.

It might be idealism to think that this will be the last Arab Israel war, and that is the frightening part.


2 thoughts on “Pragmatism vs Idealism

  1. Bill, as a pramatist, I am quite comfortable with the UN “coming between the parties”.

    As an idealist, however, I don’t expect that to happen very soon – they haven’t even been able to schedule any meetings or book any nearby hotel reservations, yet, for crying out loud.

    Pragmatically, however, I expect them to eventually try to implement the “Nasser protocol” in the earliest possible month that they can swing it – and then two years afterwards try to do the same with the next episode of ME insanity.

    But as an idealist, I hope I’m wrong, and just being too pessimistic.

    Cheers, guys.

    PS: Actually, my preference would be for NATO to handle it for the UN – but faint hope for that occuring! It would be nice to see the French, Turks and Germans, et al, doing something cooperative and constructive on the international stage, again.

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