Hardcore fighters vs moderate majorities
VoxDay wrote up an interesting piece concerning different fighters or humans in a conflict/war, with Christianity being the focus.
I reproduced my comment reply here.
Over the last number of years, from around 2005 perhaps, I’ve found interesting clues that Western modern education doesn’t tend to touch upon.
“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”
This statistical narrative falls in line with the US Revolution, where 3% were the firebrands and active pushers. 33% was Loyalist. 33% was moderate or stuck on the fence looking. 33% was slightly in support. That 1-3% chunk, though, were the ones pushing it, however. They were outliers.
I’ve heard that Japanese colleges teach about the trial of Socrates, studying the accusers and the defendant’s wording. It was all documented too, for us in the modern times, since the Islamic Hordes failed to burn all of it at Alexandria.
I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet in law ought any man use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death, if a man is willing to say or do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs deeper than death. – Socrates before the Athenian death panel
I thought Socrates was being obedient to Law, when taking his sentence and refusing Plato’s and his student’s escape plan. But judging by the long list of words he lectured the Athenians on, Socrates was taking the opposite stance, it seemed. He was contemptuous of the state’s ability to deal death when it comes to forcing people to obey, because he was only obeying his own conscience and ensuring that future generations would know just who did what in those days. Which turned out to be true, people still remember that, and if not the West, then the Japanese.
Some other quotes highlight risk taking vs conservative risk avoidance.
“‘He either fears his fate too much,
Or his dessert is small,
Who fears to put it to the touch,
And win or lose it all.’ – Montrose’s Toast
“Cause pain before you injure. Injure before you maim. Maim before you kill. And if you must kill, make it a clean kill. Squeeze every drop of life from the opponent. Because life is so precious, it cannot be wasted, even in death.”
“Let him cut your skin, and you cut his flesh. Let him cut your flesh, and you cut his bones. Let him cut your bones, and you cut off his life.”
I think from an end retrospective, 30% of frontline fighters being backed up by 70% back end support is workable. Obviously it can be said that people are in war in Iraq while others are shopping at the mall, but in a modern culture that’s somewhat unavoidable. It’s not necessarily bad either, it’s only bad when the 30% gets sent off a cliff, while the 70% vote on whose bipartisan interests it would be best to fund. 2 Wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner. Even in WWII, the people who refused to shoot the enemy or otherwise couldn’t do so with any real accuracy, at least loaded the guns for the shooters that did want to and could shoot the enemy in the face. While that is not necessarily ideal, it is not something to be ashamed of either. Humans have always specialized in a free economy, with war being free in one sense of the term. You’re free to die or win based upon your own contribution and your side’s contributions (or lack of).
This would explain why I often said in 2008 onwards that what people needed to feel was hate or any other strong emotion that motivated them to fight. It appeared to me at the time that many people just didn’t want to confront or fight the Left. They were satisfied with diplomacy or bipartisan deals. The only people the American people were willing to fight were foreign jihadists, and part of that was due to social conformity and propaganda.
I wanted people to be personally motivated in fighting the enemy, which just happened to be closer to us than most people wanted to realize.
While warriors and soldiers can fight an enemy without feeling hate, fear, anger, or love, the same cannot be said for risk averse moderate majorities. And without the moderate majority, we don’t really have an army. We just have a bunch of targets that is going to get sliced off in a pocket and then annihilated. That is often enough to generate an Alamo, an infamous Last Stand, or the Battle of Thermopylae, but that isn’t enough to win a war.