[WikiEN-l] Should we be declaring war on vandals?

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sun Feb 5 01:24:37 UTC 2006

The Cunctator wrote:

>Should any of us declare war on vandals?
>Aren't most vandals people who are just being juvenile, and likely if
>shown how much fun being a productive contributor to Wikipedia is,
>would rather have their edits last, influencing others?
>Shouldn't we distinguish between fighting vandalism and fighting
>vandals? It's not personal -- it's business. Right?
>Isn't declaring war a gross violation of assuming good faith?
>Please tell me why "declaring war" on vandals is a good idea.
The more wars you declare, the greater your chances of losing wars.

War on terror, war on crime, war on poverty, war on drugs, war on 
vandals.  Such an approach as easily encourages what it seeks to 
destroy.  The Vandals were one of the enemies of the Roman Empire; can 
we do as well against them.

In the Nov./Dec.2005  issue of "Adbusters" there is an interesting 
quote. "Why, of course, the people don't want war ... That is 
understood.  But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who 
determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people 
along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a 
parliament or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people 
can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy.  All 
you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the 
pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.  It 
works the same in any country."  Herman Goering had a lot to be 
retrospective about when he said that in 1946.

Some might get literal about the term country, and argue that Wikipedia 
is not a country.  But if we are not a country, what the hell are we 
doing declaring wars.


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