Re: MD Biological - Terrorism?

From: Arlo J. Bensinger (
Date: Fri Dec 10 2004 - 17:32:42 GMT

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    Good morning Platt,

    This one is pre-coffee, so forgive me if I appear groggy.

    On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 08:50:54 +0000, "Platt Holden" wrote:

    Platt (on "officers and soldiers")
    > No. Pirsig obviously makes a distinction between police and soldiers.
    > Police fight internal biological threats to society; the military fights
    > external threats.

    OK. I'll concede this, the police use biological violence to fight internal
    (perceived) threats (biological OR social... OR intellectual??) to our society,
    and the military uses biological violence to fight external (perceived) threats
    (biological OR social) to our society.

    > They are dedicated to destroying our free society, replacing it with a
    > totalitarian society.

    Here you seem to agree that it is a clash of static social values, with the use
    of biological force as a tool (they initiate (supposedly) with it, and we
    respond with it). Yes?

    > Physical violence (murder) threatens the social fabric. Totalitarian
    > societies depend on physical violence, i.e., biological terrorism, to
    > survive.

    OK, again, biological force is a weapon of static social patterns in conflict.
    Or used by the police (either OUR police or THEIR police) to enforce static
    social patterns.

    Do you not feel that our society depends on the implied threat of physical
    violence to survive? If we did not have laws, punishment, and imprisonment,
    wouldn't our society disintegrate? Hell, isn't "capital punishment" an example
    of our society using physical violence to survive? Isn't that the purpose of
    the laws? So I would accept the argument that "totalitarian societies depend on
    a much greater, and more direct use of, physical violence, i.e., biological
    "force", to survive compared to our society. But to imply that our society (or
    ANY society) makes NO USE of physical violence (or the implied threat of
    physical violence) runs counter to the enforcement of any social code. Yes or

    Also, how is the US's historical behavior in Chile (for one specific example),
    NOT a counter example of our society using biological force to ensure the
    survivial of totalitarian social patterns? Does our use of biological force,
    what many in Chile and across the globe see as "terrorism", not count?
    > Do you think all social patterns are morally equal, that a free society > is
    as good as a totalitarian society? I hope not.

    Not at all (I am saddened that you did not know this by now), and I am beginning
    to think that "Flow" (Csikszentmihalyi) is a very interesting (and high
    quality) way to think about comparing static social patterns. Using this as a
    measure, for example, I would argue that totalitarian societies are less moral
    than democracies, not simply because of their economic marketplace structure,
    but because their social patterns leave less opportunity for its citizens to
    engage in "flow" activies.

    But, "flow" aside, here again you seem to agree that this is a clash of static
    social patterns, and that biological force is a weapon being employed (by both
    sides) in this conflict. No?


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