One thing I must admit is that I don’t really have any ‘view’ on war; I guess my default view is a Just War approach; I don’t think pacifism works out, or a so-called ‘Realism’ (cf. Niebuhr) about war. A good deontologist will admit that murder is wrong; but killing is a different act. A good deotologist; for example, may not intend murder, but foresees the termination of life (Double Effect). Another species of deontologist, may not commit murder, but allow it (Doctine of Doing and Allowing).
Anyhoo, I want to think about the recent news about Prince Harry’s deployment in Afghanistan. I think its an amazing thing for a patron of nation to engage in the dirty act of warfare. I remember my old Jesuit masters teaching me Machiavelli; and let me tell you, if you want to rule well, read The Prince!
One of the things that come about in The Prince is that you, as a leader, should be seen and respected by your subordinates. To be seen, is to be present among their number, to be respected, is to be reputed by them. A leader should only push his troop at most in the way he pushes himself. A leader is not respectable if they are simply indulgent in their gluttonous diet and lust of concubines; a leader excercises the kind of reserve, dedication and discipline that he prescribes his own people, he may even push himself more!
I say its a brilliant move for Harry to have been at war in Afghanistan! Why? Because it shows that the Monarchy are just as willing to put their own at risk, just as their subjects may do so. You shouldn’t make those who are under your responsibility push themselves, or be challenged, in a way that which you yourself are not willing to do.
I was born to serve a good ruler, yet I have found no one who fits the bill in my experience. Another thing I wanted to say was that it is the media’s fault for breaking the agreement to blank out this revelation…bastards!
Here’s to hope,
Destre (and Sinistre)