Militarism
in The ethics of war
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The common understanding of militarism as 'the application to international relations of fascist assumptions' needs to be resisted. The militarist nature of fascism is indisputable; but militarism, more broadly but still coherently defined, can be seen to embrace much more than the fascist tradition. Militarism is rife in the modern world, where its pervasive and multiform presence constantly threatens the moral regulation of war. Ruthlessness is reinforced by the ethic of hardness that is common to all forms of militarism and that supplants the ethic of compassion that is so essential to the moral conduct of war. Across the religious and ideological divide the ethical power of war, its generation of a new man and a new order, are constantly celebrated. In militarist thinking 'violence' is an elastic concept, and its elasticity lowers the threshold of counterviolence and enlarges the group against which it can be directed.

The ethics of war

Second edition

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