History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Tuesday, May 04, 2004

    What is Victory?

    At This site, the author, who goes by the moniker LJ, states that he feels that

    [U]ltimately everything will work out in the end.

    I responded by stating that I feel it is necessary for us to remain optimistic until the end, for "defeat" will be sour indeed. I suppose that defeat may be the wrong word, in that we will survive and the Islamists won't, but it is not the best outcome. Turning the Islamic/Arab world into the surface of the moon is not an outcome that will rest easy on the West's soul. In fact, the damage done may well be permanent. It is my sincere hope that we can avoid seeing Wretchard's Second Conjecture demonstrated to be true. It would make me sleep much easier at night to know that I avoided being forced to kill millions in order to secure myself and others from harm, whether from the fury of the atom or the existential rage of the virus. I dare say that I would very much like to win. But this leads to a question, as yet answered in full: What is Victory?

    How will the West know that it has won? What metrics can we use to discern that we have at long last won the war against the Darkness? Will it be when protestors stop marching in the streets shouting "Death to America?" Or will it merely be when they stop trying to attack us? Or would that only include organized attacks, and not random violence, so much akin to shooting sprees in the United States? Should we aim for something concrete, such as the elimination of all possible organized armed groups that represent a threat to the West? Instead, should we aim for something more abstract, such as: "When they stop hating us." Of course, how do you measure something as abstract as hatred?

    There are many metrics, which do we use as an indicator? I am unsure right now. I think that I will ask around the blogosphere to see what others think. I have some ideas of my own that need to be fleshed out. More soon, hopefully.

    Update: Some responses are already in, and some others should be in by tomorrow. I hope to finish my thoughts by tomorrow.

    Update #2: I am still waiting for a few responses, in the interim I will be working on my own thoughts. I will post the responses, and my response, in a new thread later.

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