First, let us define our terms of reference:
Ideal is what is regarded as the perfect outcome “ends”, in the pursuit of the good “agatho”.
Real is what is of essence “ousiwdes”, “epi tis ousias”.
Pragmatical is that which is of essence in its nominal sense, “epi twn pragmatwn”, nominally.
In Politics and Foreign affairs, what is really ideal and what is pragmatically ideal? Can a policy or an attitude be ideal in both real and pragmatical terms? But what separates the essence from the form? The nominal from the real?
The real contains more constraints, less degrees of freedom. The nominal; in the society and era we live in the is the image governed by and offered to the media. The one based on our appetites. It takes many forms, either pro or anti to a specific cause, but always it is irrelevant to affecting the outcome of the event. It just reports.
The real is what is actually playing behind the scenes.
One example, to clear things up. Let us take Americas war on Iraq as an example. Pragmatically/Nominally the ideal outcome would be for the Iraqis to form a stable government, based on democracy and “laissez-faire” principles, in order to join the developing nations of the Planet. This is what is pragmatically ideal for the American foreign policy office.
But is it really ideal for the American office?
First of all, if Iraq, succeeds in doing all that America is asking, a) Crack down terrorism and fanaticism. b) Become stable and democratic, then there wouldn’t be any reason for American troops to be in the area. Which is a good thing, both for the troops, and their societies back home. And it is pragmatically ideal for the American office as well.
But if we look one step further outside of Iraq, we will see that America is building up a circle around Iran. The encirclement rule is mentioned as “Rule number one” in every single military strategy handbook.But if Iraq, become democratic, and the troops go home, the circle will lose a part of its radius.Which according to any military hand-book, if something like that happens it would be devastating, especially for the ground forces.
So Pragmatically, the American Foreign Policy Office, wants a stable and democratic Iraq.
But do they Really want it?
This simple paradigm aims to define the difference between nominal/pragmatical and real.
Now let us see how the phrase “the ends justify the means” can fit with our example.
As we illustrated, pragmatically, America, used ugly means, war tactics in order to justify its noble ends, the Freedom of the Iraqi People. In our daily literature, we should appraise America, for taking on such a hard, and costly task for the sake of Iraqi freedom and lest not forget for Gods sake as well.
But really, America, we should ask ourselves, is that the ends they pursuit? Or is it the strategic oil resources, and military encirclement of the anti-American Nation aka Iran?
If these are the real ends? Are the means Justified? Again we have 2 pictures one is the pragmatical and the other the real. Pragmatically, they are not justified, because the public opinion as portrayed by the media does not approve such ends, a precipitating Third World War. Pragmatically such ends are not justified neither by the American Office, and hence their denial.
But are these the real ends? To attack Iran and precipitate a Third-World War? Ofc not, the pragmatical ends they say, is to pressure Iran to abide, with the same rules, that they reject. But heck, Iran cannot be trusted and must abide, while America, the pillar of Goodness, does not need to abide, because it can be trusted after all. But hey, lets not move away from the subject. Pragmatically, we need to make Iran a nuclear-free country, and Iraq, a terrorism-free country. Both pretty good ends, if you ask a 7 year old pure child. So the means, pragmatically are justified. But are they really? A Democratic Iraq, as we saw, will not help America to pursue its “wet dreams” on conquering the world, because it would put an end to to their hard-earned presence in the Middle-East. And a nuclear-free Iran, means that they will have to turn technology back in time, and increase the CO2 emissions, that opened the huge hole in the Ozone layer. Both not good. Neither pragmatically, nor really.
We are left with one and only ends, which is Americas urge to achieve the full potential of its military strength. A pragmatically unjustified ends according to Global Attitudes and Trends.
But a really justified one, if we take into account the Golden Rules of Economics. a) Resources are Scarce. b) Available Resources are destined to achieve equilibrium by pursuing their full potential.
So, do their means justify their ends? Is their policy, pragmatically ideal? Is it really ideal?
Is aiming to achieve your full-potential, a noble-enough cause to justify your ugly means, in this case; War?
Opinions are nonuniform here as well. How much does a life cost? How about 2 lives? Is there a discount if i buy a dozen?
Another Time we can discuss that as well.
Cheerios for reading.
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