Modern Theories of Political Violence
Final Paper #2
Walzer and Clausewitz on Nuclear Warfare
Nuclear warfare has not only drastically changed the way that war is fought and violence is carried out, but it has changed how the public views war policy. As Walzer condemns unnecessary violence and argues for only justifiable war, Clausewitz views war as so dangerous and unforgiving that it becomes necessary to commit to and accept violence and engagement in war. After much thought and reflection on the ideas of nuclear warfare and each theorists ideas, I believe that Walzer’s ideas of morality and the justification of war are much more relevant and prevalent today. In Just and Unjust Wars, Walzer seeks to explain the concept of morality and its use in defining what is necessary in regards to war. Walzer argues that when the just causes, such as the right to life and liberty, both very inherent in society, are breached, a state can justify aggression against those who are responsible. In regards to an age of nuclear warfare, Walzer understands the states decide and choose options that are in favor of their state and their people. When determining nuclear policy, Walzer explains, “political leaders can hardly help but choose the utilitarian side of the dilemma. That is what they are there for. They must opt for the collective survival and override those rights that have suddenly loomed as obstacles to survival,” (326). However, Walzer argues that while the state does not necessarily always act in just ways, it is comprised at the core of individuals who are willed and compelled to act morally. He goes on to theorize nuclear deterrence ideas, explaining that states would prevent nuclear action through deterrence. In considering the use of opposing nuclear weapons, Walzer argues, ““both sides are so terrified that no further terrorism is necessary,” (270). Deterrence guarantees that there will be no violation of rights as well as no morally indiscriminate actions...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document