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Frank Doherty enlightens us on whether armed struggle is necessary in Ireland today….

War; what is it good for?! Absolutely Nothing”… but death, destruction and the wrecking of lives. That’s why the default position for everyone should be explicitly anti-war, especially given its historical record as a category of human endeavour.

However human conflict does exist in today’s society both on the individual level and that of the polity or globalised society as witnessed in the drunk fight, the economic conflict between worker and boss, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Troubles in our own country and various other imperialisms around the world. As Plato said, “[…] only the dead who have seen the end of war” and today it rages all over the planet; not just the types involving states and standing armies and territories but all war; taking as our broad definition human conflict, mediated or resolved through use of lethal violence.

So when to advocate violence or, put differently, under which circumstances if any should we break from a principle of nonviolence?


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