Weird battles in which nobody dies
The world of the Viner Codex assumes that, in line with the Agreement of the People, the Commonwealth of Britain of the 1650s onwards regards war as a crime, on a par with piracy and more – ‘war is a breach of the peace’ and all that. And therefore subject to the same penalties and preventions as for all other forms of violent crime. Preparing for war, for example, would be classed as ‘conspiracy to breach the peace’ – and hence in itself a criminal offence.
The catch, of course, is that most other nations wouldn’t feel this way at all – especially where those who benefit from war are not those who have to fight it…
This leads to all of the classic pacifist challenges. When we wish to prevent a fight, what do we do when others want it? If military action is unavoidable, how we ensure that our technologies and tactics are oriented towards defence, not offence? How can we reduce violence when others wish to escalate it? When others want to impose on us by violence, how do we mount a viable defence without ourselves resorting to the same violence? How do we ensure a non-violent outcome to every interaction?
Hence ‘weird battles in which nobody dies’ – always the desirable outcome, from the Commonwealth’s perspective, to any military-type encounter. How this would work, and how the technologies of vinery and suchlike might support it, are themes that seem worthwhile to explore here.