Offensive Warfare: Is It Ever Necessary?

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Mo Tzu was a well-known Chinese writer, philosopher, military strategist, and the founder of Mohism, a school of thought that preached “universal love, or the love of all human beings” (Austin 253). In Against Offensive Warfare, one of three works written by Tzu in opposition to the civil wars taking place in China, he criticized man’s ability to praise offensive warfare and commend it as righteous, while condemning lesser acts of civil crime and violence and denouncing them as unrighteous. He argued that all acts of offensive warfare and aggression against a fellow human being should be considered unrighteous and that no distinction should be made between the two. As a military strategist, Mo Tzu was no stranger to the atrocities of military conflict and adhered to the belief that war should be avoided unless fought in self-defense. Mo Tzu believed that war was sinful and the immeasurable sacrifice both of lives and resources were a waste that would eventually destroy the world (Osborne). War is a horrible and perilous affair that shatters the lives of millions and rips apart the threads that knit our society together. It separates families and divides countries and leaves only death, disease, and destruction in its wake. While war is always terrible and should be avoided at all costs, sometimes war is necessary to restore order and freedom in a lost and broken world. Mo Tzu lived and taught during the tumultuous Period of Warring States (475-221 BCE) in ancient China. He believed people should only do that which benefits themselves or others and that the civil wars that were taking place were a waste of both time and resources. At the time, Mo Tzu’s teachings were very controversial and differed from the popular belief... ... middle of paper ... ...c, and Patty Campbell. War Is…Soldiers, Survivors, and Storytellers Talk About War. Cambridge: Candlewick, 2008. Print. Austin, Michael. Reading the World: Ideas That Matter. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2010. Print. Churchill, Winston. “We Shall Fight On the Beaches.” Ed. Sempa, Francis P. "The Speeches That Helped Save Western Civilization." American Diplomacy 26 May 2009. Academic OneFile. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. "Declaration of Independence." The United States Government Manual. Washington: Office of the Federal Register, 2013. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. Osborne, Evan. "China's First Liberal." Independent Review 16.4 (2012): 533+. Academic OneFile. Web. 4 Apr. 2014. Sherrow, Victoria. The Righteous Gentiles. San Diego: Lucent, 1988. Print. Tzu, Mo. Against Offensive Warfare. Ed. Michael Austin. Reading the World: Ideas that Matter. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2010. 254-255. Print.
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