The thinking that informs the Menso Guide to War

I am a thinker of all thoughts. There is nothing I believe that no one else agrees with; but my ways of thinking on anything I know anything about are so unusual that it is difficult to find people in daily life who agree with me.

My highest value is justice. Without justice there can be no peace, and without peace it is harder to realise humankind’s potential. Truth, insofar as it can be determined, is important for justice, because without truth everyone can be convinced they are right and do not need to listen.

I am at once an atheist, a humanist and a naturalist. I am an anarchist, because I believe in peace, freedom, justice and prosperity, and I believe the state holds all those things back. I think freedom is a universal value because it is the best way everyone can choose the ways of life they want. It is possible to want to deny others of freedom but it is not possible to want to deny yourself of all freedom.

I am an extreme individualist, a passionate interculturalist and something of a cultural relativist. However, I prefer to eschew traditional political science lenses such as “realism” because I am not trying to explain everything from one angle so much as understand with as much accuracy as possible. I do not belong to any political party, nor will I ever until they completely overhaul the political system. I am a critical thinker, always questioning my beliefs. I see nuance where others do not. I seek the truth and cannot bear avoiding it, even though the truth often does not lead to happiness. I love arguing with people because it is a good way to advance my point of view, but also because I learn others’ views. I am intensely curious, loving seeking out new perspectives and incorporating them into my worldview. I love open minded people and despise the closed minded. All these traits leave me in continual conflict with others. And I love it.

I believe more freedom and more justice are the solutions to most of the world’s security problems. If more of us found inner peace, we would want those things. We can achieve inner peace through meditation, acts of compassion, more patience, a more fulfilling sex life (the religious people don’t tell you about that one), or simply accepting one’s circumstances and not feeling the need for more.

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2 Responses to “The thinking that informs the Menso Guide to War”

  1. Pyotr Izutsu Says:

    Your individualism is in tension with your cultural relativism. On the one hand, you want to assert that there is no human nature, everything is relative to cultures…and yet, in your analysis of political struggles you apply an individualistic ethic as if it were a universal (as opposed to being culturally conditioned).

    Which is it? Is there a universal human nature which underpins your belief in individualism? Or is your appeal to “individualism” in analyzing struggles simply another example of cultural imperialism, of you projecting your culture onto others?

  2. menso Says:

    I have not said there is no human nature for three years. I am an individualist because it is ideal, but I also believe that it is not right for me to say how cultures should change. I believe in individualism because of the terrible damage collectivism causes.

    Nevertheless, you are right that there is tension between those beliefs. I do not want to stake out an advanced ideology and analyse everything through it when I could see things from multiple perspectives.


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