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Lukacs on Contradiction

Tom Piatak, in his post of May 23, has already commented on the peculiar last paragraph of John Lukacs’s review of Pat Buchanan’s book on World War II. Piatak notes that, contrary to Lukacs, it isn’t unusual for someone to think a regime evil, yet oppose waging war against it; Lukacs himself held this combination of attitudes toward Communist regimes. I think that Lukacs’s remark is even odder than so far noted. Lukacs contends not only that one shouldn’t oppose waging war against a regime that one thinks evil, but that it is a contradiction to do so. Of course it is not: there are any number of reasons why one might oppose war against an evil regime, e.g., that doing so will strengthen an even more evil regime, that one believes pacifism a correct view, etc. Suppose that none of one’s reasons is correct. It still does not follow that one has embraced a contradiction: not all wrong views are contradictory. Lukacs’s remark displays his characteristic ineptness in logic. He imagines himself a gifted philosopher, but he often is guilty of elementary fallacies in reasoning.