I have a terrible habit, developed over many years, from defending myself, my management and staff, and my companies, and out of pure necessity, of changing from argument to defense against litigation. In other words, from working with friends, allies, and customers, to fighting against enemies.

Any politician, negotiator, or litigator develops this talent (and must), and many if not all lawyers must develop a lighter version of it.

And that is to create a defensive frame (narrative) and speak and act within the defensive frame, such that all evidence that you leave behind in word and deed corresponds to the narrative.

This is not truthful. It’s lying. But it’s lying in the context of war. Once you have decided you are no longer cooperating, nor no longer negotiation, but actively engaged in self defense by a hostile party with malincentives, there is no question of crime, ethics, morality or evil with one’s opponents. We are just at war.

And courts are quite stupid really, and they follow the evidence (results of framing) and develop their frame (network of decidability) from that evidence. So in almost all cases politicians, negotiators, and litigators develop and leave evidence correspondent and consistent with the frame.

I view this behavior on my part as (a) a result of my rather difficult childhood as defending myself from an abusive alcoholic father, (b) my obsessive study of weapons, warfare, and history from the second grade onward, (d) my early career work almost exclusively with a (((certain))) demographic (e) my membership in the “Wall Street” generation of Yuppies, and the litigation that resulted from my risk taking, and (f) My prosecution of members of said (((demographic))) by the Justice Department, (g) the later career constant defense of the company from frivolous lawsuits with progressive origins (h) self defense in divorce.

In this sense I have a very martial (international) bias to my ethics and morality (pessimistic). Whereas the average person as a more familial and civic ethics and morality (optimistic).

International law, and in particular, war, has no test other than reciprocity. It’s the family (female) and male (civic) ethics and morality of those who have had few resources, few responsibilities, and few risks of devastating outcome or exceptional reward that can afford to mistakenly extend the economics ethics and morality of the family and community of competition to the international arena of conflict, where the difference is not simply one of lost or gained opportunity, but one of lost or gained severity.

For this reason, paternalism is necessary until such a point that all, or at least most men, are one again trained in the art of war, so that they understand the difference between the economics, ethics and morality of the family, the polity, and those against whom we war.

Advertisements