The uncomfortable truth about doves and hawks, a truth that doves generally fail to appreciate, is that doves cannot exist without hawks. Hawks cherish and fight for the freedoms and principles that doves enjoy. It is possible to be hawkish and philosophical and to aspire to the principles of peace, love, respect for diversity and co-existence with peaceful but different ideologies.
Doves and hawks employ different methods but seek the same outcome. They occupy the same societal structures and enjoy the same freedoms. Doves tend to believe that these freedoms exist by divine right and do not require defending.
Doves also tend to believe that hawks are mindlessly jingoistic. To counter this is well served by quoting several from Thucydides as follows:
“The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.”
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”
“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.”
“Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war.”
“Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved.”
“History is Philosophy teaching by examples”
One can be hawkish and cherish the values and freedoms that doves enjoy. Generally speaking one cannot be a dove and respect hawks. This thesis is well served by an exchange in the comments sections on a Facebook post that I made recently which re-posted this tweet:
The reaction to this post from a old acquaintance (a dove) of mine was:
“Left to me, I’d rather see my sons or daughters arrive home safely from vacation, rather than in this sad manner. There is no glory to be had in such a flight of fancy. There is no joy in such a homecoming. There is only grief behind this picture. And yet, we rush to paint it as some sacred scene, to be hung on walls, in houses where life and purpose, has lost its true centre. Death, decay, and destruction, is ALL the military mind will ever bring to the table. Time for heads to come out of dark holes. Time for The Light to shine!”
The response to this comment from a friend and colleague of mine (a hawk) was:
“When the job is done for right or wrong this is what happens when they are brought home. It will always be that doves disagree with hawks but the doves can disagree with the hawks in our society because the hawks have to fight to preserve the doves right to disagree.
The doves forget this but the doves always have a selective opinion. I do not disagree with you that military minds are narrow. I do disagree with you that the ultimate sacrifice that some people make is not worthy of a post like this on Memorial Day.
It is easy to cry for freedom and liberty and justice and love and peace but there are very significant groups in this world who want the exact opposite for you and the society that you live in and the military, good and bad, are sent to deal with them on your behalf.
This is the way the world works so that you can speculate about love and peace in your country without fear. I want all of the things that you want. The difference is that I am willing to kill those people who oppose them.
You may find this discomforting but that is the way it is and that is the way it always will be and when it stops so will your freedom.”
Which one are you?