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Single Idea 21074

[catalogued under 25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. War]

Full Idea

It must remain possible, even in wartime, to have some sort of trust in the attitude of the enemy, otherwise peace could not be concluded and the hostilities would turn into a war of extermination.

Gist of Idea

Some trust in the enemy is needed during wartime, or peace would be impossible


Immanuel Kant (Perpetual Peace [1795], 1.6)

A Reaction

Consider the 'unconditional surrender' approach to the Nazis in 1944, and the peace of May 1945, made with very different Germans. How do you make peace with an enemy you cannot trust?

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Political Writings', ed/tr. Reiss,Hans [CUP 1996], p.96