The Morality and 'Politics' of Weapons of War

Thank you! I’m going to take minute and brag on my fellow simulation fans here. I have seen how the fanbase of other gaming genres behave and discuss their hobby, and I firmly believe that because of the complicated nature of racing and flight simulations, it attracts a very cerebral group of people. This community is handily made up of some of the smartest people I have ever known.

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This is a little different than the usual Red versus Blue, Left versus Right political discussion that we tend to avoid, so I thought that I would break it out of the DCS: Syria map discussion and drop it into it’s own thread.

Just remember that these kinds of discussions are beneficial but can cross into the ‘I feel personally offended’ realm pretty quickly, and we don’t want that here. So if you feel a strong urge to react or push a strong viewpoint, I hope that you will take a moment to consider if this is the right place for that.

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Discussions like these are interesting.
And they are also the proof that we can’t ever discuss war without a little politics.

But as @Fridge writes, don’t let other peoples views get to you.
Remember that both sides in a conflict will always see themselves as ’The Good guys’ and the other side as ’The Bad Guys’. And even though you can judge their actions in hindsight, or just from your standpoint, those who you may consider representing the bad guys and what their actions may have been, they had their resons to do what they did. Those reasons may not be valid reasons to you, but they are, or were, for them…

As long as we respect everybodys opinions, we should be fine.

That said, putting my moderators hat on and I know @Fridge and @BeachAV8R are with me on this, we won’t tolerate any glorification of convicted war criminals or their politics.
Not that I ever think any of you guys would do that. I’m just writing it as a warning for others who might feel tempted to join the forum to participate in discussions like this.

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For the record, there is no meat-loaf flavored ice cream because of the 1947 Treaty of Roswell made with the beings from the Orion Belt.

It so happens that it tastes JUST like one of their species thrown in a blender and chilled, so…

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:rofl:

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Yes like all maps, all destruction is triggered by mission makers or players, other wise the cities are undamaged out of the box.

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Ok, I feel a bit guilty as I was kind of just discussing a differing viewpoint with @schurem and didn’t mean to cause this to turn into a “thing” so I apologise for that. I do think its a really interesting issue and I genuinely respect and appreciate other views on this sort of thing and would hate to cause frictions on here.

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No problem @Victork2! I didn’t mean to cause a stir, as I just wanted to recognize that it could devolve pretty quickly. I find it interesting, reading the various viewpoints on the morality and politics of weapons of war and didn’t intended to suggest that anyone was out of line. The discussion interesting.

EDIT: Sometimes I may take a ‘proactive’ approach a little earlier than I should. I just wanted to move the conversation here and away from talk about the map itself.

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Don’t feel guilty. I don’t. We’re being civil and well-spoken about it. Let’s be an example to the rest of the world of how these hot potatoes can be handled without devolving into a screaming match of deeply entrenched partisans. I think we were doing a fine job at that.

Let me veer off-topic some more. I stated before a quote from the (1830s German) thinker Von Clausevitz that “war is the continuation of politics by other means”. Therefore the most peaceful thing to do, the thing furthest removed from making war, is to have a civil, respectful exchange of views where genuine interest and care is taken in differing views.

Please don’t see a difference in opinion as something to say sorry for, or to shy away from. We are all adults here, who can take them at face value and read an argument for what it is, not as a personal attack on their life and limb. We are not making war when discussing politics. We do not have to.

A later German thinker, Carl Schmitt, from the 1930s turned that quote around and took a good incisive look at politics as a continuation of war by other means. Viewed this way, having a polite and respectful political discourse is even more vital to the continuation of a society lest it fall apart into civil war. This is what I alluded to with the phrase “when words fail”.
I love this stuff. Used to do it for a living.

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Not at all @Fridge just wanted to make sure it was known I wasn’t starting an arguement, just a (hopefully) respectful chat between good friends about an interesting facet of our hobby. Politics is a no go area (completely correctly in my view) for mudspike and I really apologise for leading us down that path. But as long as we all stay on the same team, I see no harm in the discussion as long as we stay totally civil and understand the limits

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We were being very civil. I actually agree with your views entirely and can certainly understand them, I was more pointing out my own failings for not considering the wider implications of the machines I love.

All good buddy :+1:

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So far, so good I say.
This topic was likely to come up at some point - and better to be now in the calm then later after some incident sparks a firestorm.

I haven’t much to add, between the various perspectives already offered it seems pretty well covered. I am too of the mind to separate the machine from the operators.

In regards to say, the WWII birds I find it interesting the understand the technology and experience of what the allies fought against as much as what the Germans fought with. So I find myself taking a seat in a Fw190 here and there.

The DCS approach to education in learning a module I think helps keep things “neutral” - these modules are windows to further education for us including the motivations that brought them about.

@Fridge - timing was quite good, this qualifies as another Mudspike Epic-Derail by now anyway!

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What about the ones that weren’t convicted?

Ok, mostly kidding, but that’s a bit of a thing that bothers me occasionally when I think about it.
The axis war criminals were (rightfully) convicted, I wish the allies had done the same with their war criminals.

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Yes. I agree. That discussion however might be too specific (inflammatory) for this forum. Let’s keep it at war is hell on all involved.

I see dispassionateness as a virtue. In that light, I see the detached way most can appreciate all machines of war on their technical and tactical merits as far more laudable than my emotionally tainted view of them.

@Hangar200, wanna lay an egg in this thread? Come on, the water’s warm.

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That sentence should not be interpreted as being exclusive of others and serves more as an example of topics that won’t be tolerated.

I know your reply was tounge-in-cheek, but I totally know what you mean. Atrocities have been made on both sides of many conflicts. Any glorification thereof will be problematic.
But this is a problem as it’s not always clear cut.
Take my fascination with Manfred von Richthofen as an example. A fighterpilot for the side that lost WWI. A master at his trade and heralded as a hero and a living legend. Yet he shot down 80 of his enemies and killed several of them. One could argue that there are no innocent fighterpilots, but the fact remains that he killed a lot of people.
That is something many famous soldiers have in common and we who consider them heroes must be able to discuss this in a civil manner with people who consider them simple killers.

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Yeah I know. All good, I agree with schurem and you that we should not discuss that (and similar things) either, as interesting as such discussions can be, as some of those people are literally both heroes and war criminals.

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Oof sorry guys, I didnt’ mean to turn this into a thing with my comment yesterday- I really, really didn’t. Still, I think there’s a lot of really good points here I wish I’d seen sooner to reply on.

I think a lot of it really does come down to history, who was the victor, and who has the chance to write the story, as one side’s hero can easily be another side’s war criminal.

How many fighting men had any concept of the politics or true morality when fighting - quite frankly educated but ignorant of certain aspects is what you really want in your soldiers - not them questioning everything…well at least until about 20 years after wars when they have learnt something about politics. :upside_down_face:

I dunno about Richthofen but if I was a pilot going North in 68 the politics are irrelevant anyway - my one and only concern is how well the Jet I am in is going to get me in and out of this crap alive!!

This pandering to those trying to cover and change history really gets my goat…to me it is only history especially the politics side. These people also cannot get their other brain cell to realise that things were very different back then…and they themselves would have very likely been jumping up and down shouting Nuke the F’ers in 45!!

That is all I have to say…

As we distance ourselves from events and the things that motivated them, it becomes far easier for us to look upon persons and artifacts dispassionately.

In 1918 to many, Von Richthofen was one of the bad guys. To us, now, he’s a pioneer of tactics and the fighter pilot mindset. To many a hero.

Wounds heal, scar over. Not just the ones on your hand, but those suffered by societies as a whole as well. Over time, the pain dulls and it becomes easier to seperate analysis and emotion.

There’s a beautiful story about Saburo Sakai meeting one of his former opponents as an old man and spending hours reminiscing, bonding and revelling in brotherhood.

In the end, the atrocities cannot but be forgiven. Then they get forgotten. But they shouldn’t. One can and should forgive the average Joe who did what he had to, but one should never forget the Somme, Auschwitz, Nanking and My Lai. For those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

You were my opponent said Sakai, and you did me and my kin great harm, as I did yours, but this is in the past so let’s raise a glass.

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What I’m trying to say is that there are often more than one view of events, even historically.
And especially regarding historical events, we who have only learned about them, distanced by time and perhaps geography, are subjected to the views of those who lived through these events. We only have their accounts to go by.
Who owns the truth?
The history written by the winner rarely contain unbiased views of their opponents actions.

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