Jackson, R. Walden University 2016
Hugo Grotitus (1583-1645) hailed as early international law pioneer (Toavs, D., n.d. ) may be better referred to as an opportunist that resurfaced some classical thinking from earlier periods of Judaic teachings which were the result of reformations taking place in Europe during 16 and 17th century (Jones, 2013 pg. 340,345). He was exploring common problems of the day such as separations of church and state, the use of power, and ethics. In particular he took up issues explored centuries earlier by the ancient Romans and Greeks and even further back if we include archeological evidences on topics like free will, social order and use of authority and power. However he distorted principles to make them fit a narrow view of the use of violence and was instrumental in continuing traditions of dehumanization in a period where travel by sea was becoming more refined and population needs more apparent as Europeans set out in campaigns to a)spread the word of Christianity b)further populate and have dominion over the earth and sea which were directly tied to various Judaic teachings and printing of the Holy bible which came rapidly onboard during this man’s life or simply to escape the persecutions taking place in Europe in hopes of finding opportunity in the new world (Zinn, H. 2003).
In times before our more modern principals of science were arguably more widely in use, where rules of evidence scant, ideological fever and poetic justice left informed judgment vulnerable to popular irrationalism where constructs were often supported merely by the loudest or most forceful herds. Haskel (2012) in my view incorrectly asserts Hugo assists the evolution from theological to a secular frame of thinking. Based on the reviews of the pattern of thinking expressed by this man who’s family was invested in the East Indies Company (Haskell, J. 2012 ) known for its slave trade and exploitation and interests abroad, it is suggested here that perhaps Hugo’s work was more an effort to rationalize the violent conquests necessary to grow business and legitimize acts, which were strongly contested in many areas for the global society which bore witness to the various global tragedies taking place in the indies (Native South /North America) Africa, and elsewhere at the time.
Law originated as a tool of social organization and the expression of justice. Trends suggest control and for the benefit of the noble classes resulted in the extended arm of power since the beginning of western history in particular. The idea of accountability is naïve because competing interests, including self interests of as Maslow observed, hierarchy of interests, and compounding variables influence human behavior to a far greater degree than rationalized ethical motivators on personalities in my opinion and experience. The manipulative nature of people as Jones eludes to is evident in the work of Hugo and the constructs he erected and perhaps further set up which aided a self-preservation western cultural movement which was growing and on the march since well before Christ. Today the U.S. remains a non-party to international criminal courts for example (2003) for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it is viewed as an insufficient arena to enforce accountability for laws which apply to global affairs. Thus, the real success of international law, past some basic trade agreements is questionable although it offers an important alternative to war if fairly managed to the degree it attracts international cooperation and enforcement.
With an abundance of knowledge on punishment proving to be ineffective at behavior modification (Maag, J. 1999) and the long-term injury of war (both for the perpetrator and the victims) and the experience of the reality that violence based war is more often absent fairness and obedience. Human error in relation to obedience is particularly troubling despite intended regulations and processes (Kurokawa, K. 2012), and brings the relevance of the need to guard against unintended harm. The more recent progressive steps launched by pioneers of Natural Law includes the formation of Bioethics and behavioral sciences. For some, calculating winning war has shifted to recognize the limitations the earlier idealized supreme instruments of destruction such as Nuclear power and the lucrative asset controls which growing populations and economies play against one another to maintain sustainable positions on the competitive and mutually reliant yet contested (Potter, V. 1971) stage. While the early structures law and limits of the usefulness is clear, agreements, if honored do provide contexts for the resolution or avoidance of conflicts and a basic forum for deliberations upon which greater understanding may emerge where mutual interests rests. Deconstructing the models which reinforce and produce dehumanization, reducing the production and use of tools of destruction and redefining what victory looks like are critical elements in plotting a better course for achieving a sustainable equilibrium albeit there is little agreement on what that would look like.
Haskell, J., J.M. Beneyto and D. Kennnedy (eds). 2012. New Approaches to International Law. Asser Press. Netherlands. DOI 10 1007/97890-6704-8798-5.
Kurokawa, K. 2012. Fukashima in a Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Nation Diet of Japan: Japan.
Maag, J. (1999). Behavior management, San Diego: Singular Publishing.
Maslow, A. (1962) Toward a psychology of being. New York: Van Norstrand.
Potter, V. R. (1971). BioEthics bridge to the future. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.
Toavs, D. (n.d.). Ideas of governance. Retrieved from http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/146482/Ideas-of-Governance
Zinn, H. 2010. A People's History. NY. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-052837-9.