War is the highest form of abuse a government can inflict on the governed since violence is only justifiable as an act of self-defence and even then only as a preventative measure rather than a pre-emptive action.
War is an attempt of one leader, or anyone else in a position of political influence or authority or power, to impose their will through coercion, pure and simple. But in order to enlist people’s enthusiasm – a necessity in fighting a war – the leader cannot simply say “this is what I want” and must resort to the simplistic mean of presenting the situation as an ‘either – or’ one: “we either destroy them or they’ll annihilate us”. Once a person crosses that line – the recognition of an ability to manipulate public opinion – the temptation to use its inherent simplicity in internal matters of state is overwhelming. This, in turn, creates the tendency to deal with socio-political issues not by confronting them but through PR campaigns which, needless to say, results in issues festering unobstructed into boiling points. In short, the downslope into instability is unavoidable. The introduction of propaganda as a mean cannot, in reality, be attributed to war, but because of the levels of sacrifice requested it requires an unprecedented and unparalleled levels of involvement that other situations of will-imposition do not in the person whose will is being imposed and hence its impact –the internal change it instigates – is bound to have more overall internal influence.
War is the ultimate breakup of communication, a feature that is perceived by humans to be of their most distinctive features. Regardless of how successful war-propaganda is, this blow to human’s self-image can never be fully hidden or fully controlled. It is, in other words, un-mitigable affront to our sense of self as a species, the result of which is not only devastating but unpredictable, further adding currents of instability and volatility to the social context.
While it is within the human purview to create its own future, we were not given the gift of its prediction. We can influence the future but not foresee it. Pre-emption is such an attempt. That is, it creates the future but doesn’t predict it, and given the destructive nature of war – first and foremost the immediate devastation to human life and body as well as the social repercussions – it should never be a choice, which pre-emption always is.