The Sword and the Cross: Reflections on Command and Conscience

ABC-CLIO, 1992 - 186 páginas
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The Sword and the Cross is a study of the relationships that exist between politics and ethics. Its intention is to point out that moral convictions conceived and implemented without political wisdom can be bankrupt and that geopolitical strategy formulated and effected without ethical character can be disastrous. Toner contends that politics and ethics are different sides of the same coin. Therefore commanders (that is, leaders in politics and government, in diplomacy, and in the military) must develop both strategic sense and ethical intuition. A study of the relationship between the sacred and the profane, this book promotes an understanding of the ways in which power and purpose can--and must--be complementary.

This study concludes that violence and conflict are part of human existence and that full and final redemption from our struggles is the gift of grace--and not of human artifice. At the same time, we have the burden (and the glory) of doing all we can to achieve our own safety and happiness, which requires political and military prudence. The reconciliation of faith or conscience with power or command is the task of leaders who are informed by civic virtue. In turn, civic virtue is the product of wise education rooted in serious study of what ought to be as well as of what is; but ethically impoverished modern education too rarely asks questions about visions of the Good. Because these conclusions are rooted in a controversial religious and philosophical tradition, they will generally challenge the accepted views in the field.

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Just reading the first page gives one a powerful insight to the challenge of waging war but facing immoral consequences of such action. Prime Minister Churchill's dilemma of whether to share the knowledge gained from code-breaking team without tipping the Germans has to beone of the most damning moments. 

Páginas seleccionadas


1 Introduction
2 The Etiology of War
War and Politics
4 On the Just War Tradition
5 Command and Conscience
6 The Political Christ of the Synoptic Gospels
7 On Pacifism
8 The Sword and the Cross
Selected Bibliography
Derechos de autor

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Pasajes populares

Página 34 - The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
Página 42 - I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it." I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
Página xii - Now can we adjudge to summary and shameful death a fellowcreature innocent before God, and whom we feel to be so? — Does that state it aright? You sign sad assent. Well, I, too, feel that, the full force of that. It is Nature. But do these buttons that we wear attest that our allegiance is to Nature? No, to the King.
Página 75 - With malice toward none : with charity for all : with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in : to bind up the nation's wounds : to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphan : — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.
Página 54 - But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
Página 58 - Bounded by themselves, and unregardful In what state God's other works may be, In their own tasks all their powers pouring, These attain the mighty life you see.
Página 50 - In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it.
Página 169 - I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Página 45 - That different nations ought, in time of peace, to do one another all the good they can, and, in time of war, as little harm as possible, without prejudice to their own real interests.
Página 55 - If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed ; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

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Acerca del autor (1992)

JAMES H. TONER is Associate Professor of Political Science at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, where he teaches international politics and political philosophy. A graduate of the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he served on active duty as an Army officer from 1968-1972. He is the author of The American Military Ethic: A Meditation (Praeger, 1992) and has contributed articles and reviews to a number of scholarly and defense-related journals. Known as a superior classroom teacher, Toner has also served as Visiting Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the United States Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama.

Información bibliográfica