6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

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Zeonista
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6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

Post by Zeonista » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:31 pm

Apparently the novel is being used as a teaching tool at West Point and similar places. The teaching can be distilled into six main points MAHQ fans might understand.

1. What is war good for?
2. Mobility is essential.
3. Fcous and automation.
4. There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people.
5. A war by any other name can still kill you.
6. True professionals control violence.

But don't take my word for it, check out the article at Popular Mechanics.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/militar ... rt-of-war/
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Re: 6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

Post by ShadowCell » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:21 pm

Zeonista wrote:1. What is war good for?
absolutely nothin'?

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Re: 6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

Post by Zeonista » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:03 pm

ShadowCell wrote:
Zeonista wrote:1. What is war good for?
absolutely nothin'?
Well, that question does get addressed in the review, and more directly in the novel itself. Here's a direct quote.

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”

Now, let's put that quote in the context of the OCS lecturer.

“Anyone who clings to the historically untrue—and thoroughly immoral—doctrine that ‘violence never settles anything’ I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.”

There are a couple of other good quotes as well.

“Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.”

“To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster.”

"There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy with an H-Bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence."

These are just some outtakes directly related to war making itself. The bits on politics, materialism, and society in general are just as good. This is why the fans of the novel hate the movie as the shallow thoughtless hack job that it was. I will leave you with this one, appropriate for all mecha anime fans.

“Girls are simply wonderful. Just to stand on a corner and watch them going past is delightful. They don't walk. At least not what we do when we walk. I don't know how to describe it, but it's much more complex and utterly delightful. They don't move just their feet; everything moves and in different directions . . . and all of it graceful.”
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Re: 6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

Post by Amion » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:35 pm

Zeonista wrote:
ShadowCell wrote:
Zeonista wrote:1. What is war good for?
absolutely nothin'?
Well, that question does get addressed in the review, and more directly in the novel itself. Here's a direct quote.

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”

Now, let's put that quote in the context of the OCS lecturer.

“Anyone who clings to the historically untrue—and thoroughly immoral—doctrine that ‘violence never settles anything’ I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.”
And this is why we need to study the causes of war, because most of these examples could really be debated quite easily. Of course, it's exact meaning is conveniently vague such that I could argue completely opposing viewpoints from it alone.
“Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.”
So, the military likes to basically state it disagrees with the Constitution itself, and that it is in fact misguided and human rights don't exist, just the force to do what you want? Of course, why wouldn't they be saying that? :roll:
“To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster.”
And this is why the Second Amendment is a thing, and why I'm so disturbed and horrified by what the military teaches these days.

"There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy with an H-Bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence."
And there it is. So, basically, there's no real liberty, just whatever the government decides and the military has the power to force. And I can't begin to describe how pleased I am that they basically are making my argument for me here. I should be laughing. Guess they'd have an issue with the earlier quote about irresponsible government being an issue, because they just tout irresponsible governing right here, since, well irresponsible governments are arbitrary with little things like "so-called human rights" and whether they should violently force people to do what they want.

Just wow. So instead of teaching from historical and philosophical treasures, such as Sun Tzu, we instead are teaching our soldiers from fantasy and sci-fi novels. Brilliant.

I can't imagine a better, more entertaining indoctrination strategy. Indoc this nature is hardly philosophy, especially when it's murky in its exact interpretation.

Since it's clearly no use to waste my breath, I'll just leave with that good old quote from Thucydides: "the society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Re: 6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

Post by Heretic » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:11 pm

@ Amion: have you read the book? because it isn't the movie.

Science Fiction has always had the power to explore ideas relevant to the world around us. The book is an exploration of philosophy. And is likely being used in that context. The intent is to get the future officers to think. The book is critical examination of military thinking and doctrine. It asks questions, making it the exact opposite of indoctrination. Your reaction is proof of that.

One thing, talking about real life military is potentially close to being political, (not permitted here) so I remind everyone to watch out.

With regards to the US constitution, historically it proves the quote, “Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.”

The constitution started as a declaration and protest against a government that did not recognise the liberties of the people. A unifying ideology that those people fought a war of independence to uphold. Then a civil war to uphold again.

Historically speaking, the oppressed have never been given rights by the oppressors. They had to be fought for, and continuity fought for to uphold them. This does not always mean armed open conflict, but some times blood needs to be shed.

As for your follow up statements Amion, they are all basses on an erroneous assumption that the book is being used to create some kind of totalitarian Military dictatorship, where the opposite it the case. As such there is no need to debate them and doing so would likely make this something political, again not permitted on mecha talk.

As for discrediting the book as "hardly philosophy, especially when it's murky in its exact interpretation." have you read a great deal of philosophy? Philosophy is meant to be murky, to have more then one exact interpretation. the answers are not supposed to be spelled out, the questions are supposed to make you think and find their own answers. "indoctrination" is the opposite of that, encouraging closed mindedness and rejection of new ideas and other interpretations.
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Re: 6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

Post by Kuruni » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:49 am

Don't read the ST book, but read AoW throughly. And it's alway surprise me that peopel often miss one important point of it.

War is costy, and civilians will suffer from it no matter how much of "crushing victory" you get. That's why the book contsantly mention the win without a fight, and if you can't do that, then make sure it's fast and swift. If you can't do that, better not start it at all.
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Re: 6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

Post by Amion » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:06 pm

Heretic wrote:@ Amion: have you read the book? because it isn't the movie.

Science Fiction has always had the power to explore ideas relevant to the world around us. The book is an exploration of philosophy. And is likely being used in that context. The intent is to get the future officers to think. The book is critical examination of military thinking and doctrine. It asks questions, making it the exact opposite of indoctrination. Your reaction is proof of that.

One thing, talking about real life military is potentially close to being political, (not permitted here) so I remind everyone to watch out.

With regards to the US constitution, historically it proves the quote, “Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.”

The constitution started as a declaration and protest against a government that did not recognise the liberties of the people. A unifying ideology that those people fought a war of independence to uphold. Then a civil war to uphold again.

Historically speaking, the oppressed have never been given rights by the oppressors. They had to be fought for, and continuity fought for to uphold them. This does not always mean armed open conflict, but some times blood needs to be shed.

As for your follow up statements Amion, they are all basses on an erroneous assumption that the book is being used to create some kind of totalitarian Military dictatorship, where the opposite it the case. As such there is no need to debate them and doing so would likely make this something political, again not permitted on mecha talk.

As for discrediting the book as "hardly philosophy, especially when it's murky in its exact interpretation." have you read a great deal of philosophy? Philosophy is meant to be murky, to have more then one exact interpretation. the answers are not supposed to be spelled out, the questions are supposed to make you think and find their own answers. "indoctrination" is the opposite of that, encouraging closed mindedness and rejection of new ideas and other interpretations.
I take honest offense, Heretic. This thread is already, as far as I'm concerned, violating trule, which has been lax of late... but that aside, I do not appreciate you warning of muzzling any response I might make and then making your own counter-argument. If you want a debate, that is fine, but please don't tag it to your own argument for free.

As for Starship Troopers, I have no problem with it, but how it is used. As I said, it's points are ambiguous and easily misleading.

Did I mention totalitarian government? If I did I'll delete it. But the thinking proposed, should this be the common thinking, highly disturbs me.

As for debates about the US Constitution, I will refrain from saying more than what I have, only that a debate waits there that would probably never be ended.
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Re: 6 Reasons why Starship Troopers is the new Art of War

Post by Zeonista » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:09 am

Heretic: The cherished idiosyncracies of our beloved Constitution do not always translate to our friends abroad. Please keep this in mind when possible. (I do my best! :)) At any rate, Heinlein did not consider the world of Johnny Rico to be a potential forward projection of the USA ofr any other developed country. Like the unified government of Earth in the Star Trek universe, it was the creation of idealistic men and women in the effort to make order out of chaos. The main difference was the common identity of those people across the world as military veterans, who had a certain view of how things ought to be run. And instead of away teams beaming down to investigate, talk, and maybe shoot...troopers in powered armor being shot down to the surface to shoot first and let things get worked out after victory was accomplished!

Amion: The novel is more akin philosophically to the code of ancient Sparta, projected into the language of the Cold War era and the blossoming of full-length SF literature. Both Athens and Sparta had departed from the usual Greek polis mode of oligarchy or strongman rule; Athens developed its energetic if sometimes chaotic democracy, and Sparta going for a limited representative government staffed by the soldiers who aggressively defended its interests. As far as Sparta was concerned, stability and public order were paramount; the world government of Earth in Heinlein's novel is run with the same basic idea in mind. Much the same central idea was addressed by Jerry Pournelle in his John Falkenberg novels and his stories about the Empire that eventually succeeded the Co-Dominium.

But that is not to say that the instructors at West Point are interested in that pphilosophy, however interesting it might be. The idea is not so much "why make war", since that is the purvue of the State. The idea is "when to make war" and "what makes it the better choice". Sun Tzu would have understood, although he lived in a simpler time when the King would say "take Our army and chastize the enemy" and it would suffice.
"I am fire. I am death. I am Hashmal."

"Discontent is the first step in the progress for a man or a nation." - Oscar Wilde

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