Socially constructed war LO30009

From: Jan Lelie (
Date: 03/21/03

Replying to LO29998 --

Hallo Gijs, dear artist,

Listening to the comments on the radio, the television and reading your
reply it occurs to me that I have a problem with the systems of
communications. I think my problem is the way i feel forces to accept the
(social) constructions (or realities, or systems of thought, or ways of
reasoning whatever you prefer) offered to me. Or, to become more precise,
the awareness that the (social) constructions (etc) that seem to be
offered offer no choice on my part. I'm getting the message that I'm
offered one way of seeing, feeling, thinking: This way of seeing seemingly
consists of a choice - let's say between right and wrong, good and bad,
war and peace - and at the same time seems to offer only one choice to see
things: right! good!. Some people seem to say to me: the right choice is
"war" and others seem to say the right choice is "peace". But the systems
of thought seem the same to me: offering a choice between two opposing
choices from which i have to choose one.

Illustration. President Bush (and many other leaders) offer a choice
between war and peace in a way that allows no choice of my part: i seem to
have to agree to a war that will lead to peace. Mr. Saddam (and many other
dictators) offer a choice between peace and war that will lead to no
choices either: their way is the peaceless way to peace.
Non-governementals organisations offer the same no-choice in terms of a
peace that will lead to peace. These are all the same systems for
constructing: i'm not offered a true choice. You seem to be to do the
same: when somebody else decides to act agressively, i have no choice but
to assume i'm at war. And it is phrased in a manner that allows no denial
of the choice situation.

I want to propose to investigate different systems for constructing
reality. That is how i look a Vana's question. To see if we can develop
systems of social construction that keep the availability of choice
intact. Perhaps every given situation is such that i have no other, no
real choice - but i would like to come to that conclusion on my own and
would like to offer others the same. Or perhaps there are different things
to choose from, for instance: i can choose peace and feel (or good) bad
about it - or in other ways: i can choose war and feel good about it.

In a recent contribution a Dutch columnist by the pseudonym of Piet Grijs
("Peter Gray", not white, not black) ventured to say that the UN should
not even have considered an attack by any nation on any nation, not for
any reason. Accepting the "logic" of war as a means to solve a problem
between nations - or any problem - , automatically leads to wars nobody
wants. The cover up that is then being made is something like: nobody
wants this war (or this regime), but somebody just will have to do it
(become a dictator). It might perhaps be that the very social
constructions, the very way we create realities, the ways we create our
destinies, our choices limit those choices to "only" good or bad and
therefor lead us to disaster again and again. It's the system, stupid!

Love, peace but better: understanding

Jan Lelie

Gijs Houtzagers wrote:

>Hi Vana,
>Sorry to diappoint you but a war starts at the moment that one party has
>made the decision to undertake an agressive act. You can see this by all
>the preparations that person is undertaking (it is for everybody to see).
>For the sake of "doing it the way we have agreed upon" some phony steps
>are taken that would indicate that the person is still willing to act
>otherwise than by force.
>However this person cannot do otherwise than he intended in the first
>place because the loss of face would be tremendous. Not only for himself
>but also for his country. Aside of that the invested costs by putting over
>200.000 soldiers at the place to be are a factor. So you will be seeing
>the EFFECTS of this already started war within this month (sad to say).


Drs J.C. Lelie (Jan, MSc MBA) facilitator mind@work

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