Front Page Titles (by Subject) Just Wars vs. No Wars - Literature of Liberty, Winter 1980, vol. 3, No. 4
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Just Wars vs. No Wars - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Winter 1980, vol. 3, No. 4 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Just Wars vs. No Wars
“Just Wars: Doctrines And Institutions.” Political Science Quarterly 95 no.1(Spring 1980):83–96.
Prevention of war is not the only goal to which organizations are directed. Some organizations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations “have served as instruments for the implementation of the doctrine of just war.”
War has been viewed as either always justified, never justified, or sometimes justified. The pacifist, often religious, has taken the view that war, like murder, is never justified. Pacifism, thus destroys the possibility of deterrences. It was Christianity that first sought to systematically explore the idea of a just war as opposed to an unjust one. The rise of state sovereignty, however, implied that war was simply a right of the states, but governments still sought to legitimate their position among the people.
Much of international law developed as a means of establishing rules of welfare that would keep it within some rational bounds, and confirming the notion of neutrality. Both the League of Nations and the United Nations meant a return to a revised just war doctrine. These organizations—just as the Pope did earlier—would decide the justice of the case. Collective security divided military actions into three categories (prohibited, permitted, or prescribed) but has not functioned very well in practice.
Revisionists sought to distinguish between self-defense war as just, and aggression as unjust. In an age of anxiety with potential for massive destruction, “the preservation of peace took precedence over the promotion of justice, which had to be achieved by nonviolent methods or not at all.”
Since 1960, however, the world has increasingly returned to the idea of a just war. Aggression is justified in support of what the majority deems a good cause. We do not seem aware of the extent to which we have accepted war as a legitimate means to achieve approved objectives.
This can be observed in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314 of 1974. Although it proclaimed the old Wilsonian view that no aggression was justified, it also allowed colonialism and racism as grounds for war. Thus, in the Third World much effort is expended to legitimize such actions as just wars. Ideological justification has thereby been intensified. “We are back to the position that it is legitimate for states to resort to war as in instrument of policy, if that policy is just. We should have an interesting time in the years that lie ahead, formulating a global consensus on the meaning of justice.”