[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology: Emotions in animals

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 11:40:44 -0500 (EST)
Message-id: <53411.>
On Wed, January 4, 2012 10:29, John F. Sowa said:
> On 1/4/2012 12:40 AM, doug foxvog wrote:    (01)

>> The attackers of Ft. Sumter must have perceived the attack to be
>> in their short-term self interest.    (02)

> It most definitely was in their self interest.    (03)

I referred to the attack on Ft. Sumter, not to secession.  Secession was
in the self interest of the Southern power brokers, to maintain control
of the institution of slavery (which was not under immediate threat)
and economic benefits therefrom (which were somewhat threatened) -- as
you point out below.    (04)

The majority of the Southern states had already seceded before the attack
on Ft. Sumter.  No war had started.  If this situation could be maintained,
it would definitely have been in the interest of the Southern elite.  A
lack of war would have been in the interest of almost everyone in the
South.    (05)

The attack on Ft. Sumpter changed the situation between a disagreement
between two governments (a long established one and one that claimed to
have seceded) to a military conflict.  This was definitely NOT in the long
term interest of the side that did not have a large manufacturing base
that could produce weapons of war nor relations with other nations that
could support it.    (06)

At the time of the attack, the US had withdrawn some of its forts and
troops from the southern states (including one of the two harbor forts in
Charleston).  The people of Charleston had blocked supplies to Ft. Sumter
by land, hoping that that the troops would also be withdrawn from that
fort.  But the US was sending a ship to reprovision the fort (presumably
including ammunition and possibly additional cannon).    (07)

The successful attack on the small fort before it was resupplied
eliminated a local irritant, but set in motion much larger events to
the great detriment of the cause which the attackers supported.    (08)

In general terms, when there is a strong disagreement between two parties,
they can interact at a number of different levels.  The interaction can
continue at a given level semi-stably for an indefinite period.  But if
one side escalates, the other is liable to escalate as well until some
new balance of interaction is reached.    (09)

The resort to local violence in a situation where the attacker has
overwhelming force may seem tempting, as it will almost certainly
result increased local advantage.  But that destabilizes the much
larger situation such that it is not reasonable to assume that the
there will be no wider effect.    (010)

There was a similar situation in the early 1990s, in which the three
small Baltic republics seceded from the USSR, although several Soviet
military bases remained in the republics.  Estonia demanded that the
USSR remove its troops & base, but the USSR refused.  Some people in
Estonia were pushing the new government to attack the small bases,
capture the Soviet troops, and send them home.  I saw this as very
similar to the situation at Ft. Sumter -- secession had happened,
there was tension between the parties, and there was local opposition
to the maintenance of a military base of the country from which the
new country had seceded.  I contacted the new governments in each of
the three republics, and compared their situations to that of the CSA
and Ft. Sumter.  I tried to convince them that it would not be in their
self-interest to try to remove the military bases that they considered
foreign by force.  I don't know if my letters had any effect, but the
three countries let the military bases be, there was no war, and the
countries' secession was eventually accepted by the former ruling
government.    (011)

> The monetary value
> of all the slaves in the South was greater than the assets of all
> the banks and other financial institutions in the entire nation.    (012)

-- doug f    (013)

> ...
> To keep this thread close to ontological issues, I suggest that
> we adopt that question as the guiding principle:  Cui bono?
> That principle can be used to detect unconscious motives, even
> in plants and animals that don't have conscious rationalizations.
> I recommend a recent PBS documentary based on the book "Botany
> of Desire.  A plants-eye view of the world":
>     http://www.pbs.org/thebotanyofdesire/
> It starts with the old observation that bees and flowers co-evolved
> to serve their own self interests over a period of about 160 million
> years.  It then goes on to discuss how plants and people have been
> manipulating each other to serve their self interests.  It focuses
> on four species:  apples, tulips, cannabis, and potatoes.
> John    (014)

doug foxvog    doug@xxxxxxxxxx   http://ProgressiveAustin.org    (015)

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great
initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."
    - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
=============================================================    (016)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J    (017)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>