Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ZenTiger Traders and Warriors

NotPC presents two choices for us to consider: The evil warrior class and the peace creating trader class. Warriors bad, Traders good. Then he acknowledges that warriors are revered (for all the wrong reasons) and traders ignored (until there's a good sale on). That has an element of injustice to it, when we should be thanking traders for exchanging goods for money.

I agree with half his argument. Trade is good for peace. A trading culture does bring massive benefits, but setting up a battle between good trader and evil warrior is a losing proposition to me. Here's why:

The comparison is selective.

The "trader culture" could also be limited to discussing greedy monopolists that merely pretend to offer a fair bargain, in the same way NotPC presents warriors as plunderers.

Instead, I suggest it is the "trader culture" versus the "plunderer culture" and then this would include all forms of plunder - armed robbery and economic aggression, monopolistic practices and various forms of extortion that can be as devastating.

The warrior culture is respected and revered because it is founded on the concept of sacrifice and risking of ones lives for higher values - the protection of family, of communities and of the weak. A willingness to die in the defence of others is something worthy of respect and gratitude.

The traders appear simply jealous that their noble sacrifice of offering 10% discount isn't treated with the same gravitas as the man who risked his life, and lost comrades defending all that he held dear.

I'll repeat this again - the warriors are not the enemy. Indeed, NotPC goes on to say that traders produced their own warrior class for protecting freedom. What convoluted thinking is this, to say warriors are only good when controlled by traders? It's a needless contradiction, because warriors are not the enemy here.

There are traders, warriors and plunderers. It's the plunderer that is the enemy of the trader, and eternal foe of the warrior.

Plunder takes many forms, and must be fought. Equally, trade must be backed with a willingness to enforce the rule of law (which is actually enforced by warriors), and only then a just marketplace can be protected from plunderers.

Given that ANZAC day has just past, NotPC might wish to reflect on the aspect of the warrior class this article has managed to disrespect.

For Sale: Three Horses for a Sword

6 comment(s):

KG said...

Good post, and a needed clarification.
It reminded me of this essay:

On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs - Dave Grossman

MK said...

Well said Zen. To be clear, such stupidity doesn't even need a rebuttal or counter argument.

Ciaron said...

MK, I beg to differ. There's plenty of opinionated commies running this line over @ M&M. I think they need rebuttal and counter argument with extreme prejudice

ZenTiger said...

That's disturbing Ciaron, I'll have to have a look when I get more time.

I suspect NotPC's argument has a hidden subtly he didn't get around to explaining, and it would explain why he has painted the warrior class as an enemy of trade, rather than plunderers enemies of peaceful communities.

(And a community contains many different types after the simplistic grouping we started with: warriors, craftsmen, traders, brokers, farmers, artisans, etc.)

NotPC said warriors were revered for their brutal thuggery. I countered with ANZAC day. Why ignore the heroic aspect? Because the trader mantra of appealing to ones self interest, which still benefits the community is a reason to promote selfishness as a virtue.

Compare the act of self sacrifice of one's life for a family, a community, or just the ideal of freedom with the thought that self interest is the pinnacle of human endeavour we should aspire to.

It's a hard sell unless you can first demean the thought of self sacrifice, and whittle it away and treat it with contempt or simply ignore it.

By making it a competition between competing ideas, self-sacrifice versus self-interest, one has to lose, so warriors become the enemy.

I happen to think both ideas can co-exist. There needn't be a "battle unto the death", ironically proposed by the peace loving trader, attempting to attack the peace protecting warrior.

Focus on destroying the plunderer, the person who has the sole moral criteria of narrow self-interest, with no empathy, or understanding of the destructive forces that unleashes, and every thing will fall into place. A trader possessing both self-interest and moral maturity understands and appreciates that it is in their self interest to look beyond themselves.

Ciaron said...

It's a hard sell unless you can first demean the thought of self sacrifice, and whittle it away and treat it with contempt or simply ignore it.

that's exactly whats "goin' down"

KG said...


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