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What's good for one isn't necessarily good for another.

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05 March 2015

Global Conflict Discussion (Part 9): Wars on [X, Y, & Z]

9.) Wars on [X,Y, and Z]: Pointlessness of waging war against abstract concepts.

Starting a "war on bullying" is as riduculous as every other "war against [enter abstract concept here]" has proven to be over time. Stop the waste of money, time, and resources on misnomered advertising campaigns.

Below are the Merriam-Webster definitions for some words used in discussing the Wars on [X, Y, & Z]. Read them, then we'll pick up where we left off.

(from Merriam-Webster online 2014)
Full Definition of WAR
1 a (1) : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations
(2) : a period of such armed conflict
(3): state of war
b : the art or science of warfare
(1) obsolete : weapons and equipment for war (2) archaic : soldiers armed and equipped for war
2 a : a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism
b : a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end
c : variance, odds

(from Merriam-Webster online 2014)
Full Definition of POVERTY
1 a : the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions b : renunciation as a member of a religious order of the right as an individual to own property
2 : scarcity, dearth
3 a : debility due to malnutrition
b : lack of fertility

(from Merriam-Webster online 2014)
Full Definition of DRUG
1 : a obsolete : a substance used in dyeing or chemical operations
b : a substance used as a medication or in the preparation of medication
c : according to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act:    (1) a substance recognized in an official pharmacopoeia or formulary
(2) a substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
(3) a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body
(4) a substance intended for use as a component of a medicine but not a device or a component, part, or accessory of a device
2 : a commodity that is not salable or for which there is no demand — used in the phrase drug on the market
3 : something and often an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness

(from Merriam-Webster online 2014)
Full Definition of TERRORISM
: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

(from Merriam-Webster online 2014)
Definition of BULLY
1 a : archaic : sweetheart
b : a fine chap
2 a : a blustering browbeating person, especially : one habitually cruel to others who are weaker
b :pimp
3 : a hired ruffian

Now that we've got some common definitions to work from, let us examine these misnomered Wars
...on Bullying
...on Poverty
...on Drugs
...on Terrorism

The War on Bullying, etc.
Definition 2a under BULLY is the common meaning of the word "bully" used during anti-bullying dialogues, campaigns, etc. The last part of the definition is: "one habitually cruel to others who are weaker." This is important, we will come back to it. According to the definition of war there are three basic ingredients: 1. a declaration of war, 2. multiple sides, and 3. armed hostility. So, part of being at war with something is to pick (declare) a side, get armed, then fight for the chosen side.

Today's attempts to reduce bullying include announcing opposition to bullying by declaring war on bullies everywhere. In essence, this declaration says: I choose to fight bullies, to "make war"against those who are "habitually cruel to others who are weaker." Wait, the answer to bullying is going to war? In that, the answer to poverty, drugs, and terrorism becomes war. But, that can't be right because we know that war displaces (makes homeless, impoverished), increases drug use (among citizens and soldiers), and incites terror (in the populace). How do we rectify the inherent misnomer in making war against abstract concepts? How about we start with limiting the theater of war to actual wars and not metaphoric wars?

How many misnomered wars against [...] can you name?

Pax et Poema.

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