Is All Fair In Love And War?

Is All Fair In Love And War?

Hey, Vsauce. Michael here. Love and war are exactly alike. It is lawful to use tricks and slights to obtain a
desired end. But is all fair in love and war? That’s a good question, let’s pencil it in for this episode. Of course, pencil is not permanent. It can
be erased. It’s not like whatever I write down is
being chiseled into granite. But pencil lead is made out of carbon atoms organised into a structure called
graphite – a nonmetallic mineral with some metallic
properties found naturally in rocks, which means things written in
pencil, though erasable, are still technically
written in stone. In video games if the bad guys really wanted to stop
you, why did they walk around in such predictable patterns? Wouldn’t their chances be better if they
just came right at you? There’s a great name for this logic: “mook chivalry”. It’s as if there’s a sort of unwritten Geneva Convention that applies
to fictional baddies that respects not reality, or what would
make sense, but instead the higher purpose of fun, and a good story. But in real life we aren’t that much different from the
mooks. We construct voluntary obstacles in the
way of even honourable goals, like truth, justice, or right over wrong. Not all is fair in love and war. And it’s the exceptions
that make us who we are. Torturing your enemies to get information from them, to demoralise them, or just for fun has been a “might is right” part of war since war began. But in the second half of the 19th
century, Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross organized
an official moral code of warfare – The Geneva Conventions, that
today across it’s now 4 conventions has been
agreed to be followed by 196 nations. And since then various other customs, codes and
principles have been established totaling up into what may now be called
the “Rules of war”. Their enforcement is handled
by regional, national and international powers. Of course, an unconcerned force would simply ignore
these rules because the quickest route to victory is
the one full of unfair advantages, but nonetheless we treasure them. Try to, at least. And
believe that all others should. The values they recognise are telling. Things unrelated to military
necessity, or valued in a sense, more greatly than
immediate victory are protected. For instance, The
Environmental Modification Convention prohibits controlling the weather and
using the weather as a weapon against your
opponents. Before the convention that happened. For example, during
Operation Popeye US airplanes seeded rain clouds over
Vietnam and successfully extended the monsoon
season by more than a month, increasing rainfall by 30 percent – a move
that made enemy road surfaces muddy, blocked by landslides, washed out, much less passable. The laws of war protect
certain symbols. Parties or infrastructures bearing
symbols that indicate there are only there to help, or are neutral,
culturally important buildings that should be protected for posterity are off limits. It’s a violation of the laws of war to attack such targets or to pretend to
be such targets if your intentions are otherwise. That is called perfidy. A kind of
deception that involves pretending to act fairly and honestly to
invite the confidence of an adversary, only to then take advantage of that
trust, betray it and kill, injure or capture. If you do one of those three things
while pretending to be dead or injured or surrendered or civilian or
a non-combatant, well, that’s a violation of the rules of war. Espionage is allowed. But if caught, you can be prosecuted and punished. Whereas if you
are a lawful combatants on the other hand you’re entitled to protection as an official
prisoner-of-war. Conditions like these reveal something
we desire to hold above quick vengeance: dignity and
respect. Both sides wish to be treated with that
and uphold the bargain. Athletes agreed
to play fair, to avoid prohibited things, even
technically safe and otherwise legal things that would
nonetheless give them an unfair advantage. They do this because
the spirit of the sport is more important to them then the quickest victory possible, sportsmanship. Likewise, a sort of “lovesmanship” exists in US court rooms. If the most sure-fire way of getting
the truth of someone’s guilt involves spoiling a bond of love. Spousal
privilege says chill. Love is sacred. Truth will come second, find another way. So, if you are planning on committing crimes
in the US, and you need an accomplice, marry them. Your spouse can not be forced to testify
against you. There are different privileges applying
to other relations of yours, allowing them to
refuse to give evidence against you. These rules exist to honour
something that we deem, or like to deem, greater than easy victory.
You cannot travel faster than light. Or escape from a black hole. Or commit
perfidy in a time of war. Or cheat on your
significant other. That’s usually considered unfair, but the final two aren’t physical
limitations of matter. They are voluntary obstacles reflecting what we value. Whether we respect those
values, or not, is another story. And how we interpret what actions are over
the line and what aren’t is a matter of judgment. We didn’t get to
create protons or planets – they were already
here. But we do get to create judgments. We even named ourselves after that
ability. We call ourselves Homo sapiens. ‘Homo’
meaning hummus – the soil, we are from the earth.
‘Sapien’ mean sapiens, the ability to make wise
judgments. Very few people would argue that all
truly is fair in love and war, but in love and war behaviours otherwise not acceptable can
be not only forgiven, but recommended. Reading messages not
meant for yourself, using disguises, even murder can be
downgraded to a crime of passion or lawful combat. But love and war put different things at
stake. And just because unfair things are
expected during love and war doesn’t mean that within their
respective domains we prosecute or prohibit unfairness in the same way. Violating the law of war is a crime but there is no official law of love. You can prosecute someone for perfidy, or
desertion, or weaponising the weather, but you can’t prosecute cupid for heartbreak. You can’t have someone arrested for not
loving you back and you shouldn’t call 911 if someone leaves you for someone else. You see, there is no Geneva Convention
for love. Furthermore, we often route for friends
or fictional characters who follow their
hearts, even if it means leaving someone we care less for – a minor character for instance – alone or
stranded at the altar. Does this mean that love is a better
excuse for bad behavior than war? Obviously not for criminal behaviour, but
otherwise? As far as authoritative powers and our
modern conception of love are concerned, war – its technologies and strategies are
human invention. Whereas love is a human condition. Love is like inertia or death – inevitable. A law of nature and blameless, if unkind. We legislate where a bomb can fall, where debris can fall and prosecute
those who violate those rulings. But we don’t prosecute gravity for
making things fall. We support voluntary
restrictions on fair play in sports more – public etiquette. But the players in love’s battlefield are blameless victims of their passion, even if those
passions are nonsensical. The heart has its
reasons, which reason knows nothing of. Deceiving
others, that is what the world calls a romance.
Maybe love has this power intrinsically or maybe we give it that power by
leaving so legally alone. But either way, broken bones are the domain of law. Broken hearts are the domain of ‘aww’, ‘shucks’, ‘sorry’. And as always, thanks for watching.

Daniel Ostrander

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100 thoughts on “Is All Fair In Love And War?

  1. IBE BANGIN says:

    We really don't want to kill each other but we do because we can and sometimes we just get bored,anyway who's up for WW3?. I think it's been about long enough since the last one and it looks like you're getting pretty restless.

  2. QuackCraft says:

    Oh love me mister~
    Ohh mister~

  3. Yiani Meleisis says:

    "Homo" means the same, not "from soil". Right?

  4. 合百 says:

    Me after I watched kaguya sama love is war

  5. Lumine says:

    Michael's refusal to make a 10 min vid is gold

  6. AcidMushTV says:

    1:02 damn, thanks for the nostalgia Michael, haven’t seen that game for ages…

  7. Bone says:

    Me: see the title
    Me: oh, now vsauce is talking about anime
    Video: fuc no

    Idk, i just made a reference to Kaguya-san, love is war

    Kill me alredy

  8. Abhi Johal says:

    You didn't have to make me feel things like that

  9. Erstlouis says:

    Missed opportunity to use the American Idiot album cover.

  10. Robert Ostler says:

    "hey Micheal, Vsauce here" your welcome Michael

  11. Junior Sales says:

    OMG, your videos are awsome.

  12. Magnesium Pumpkin says:

    0:57 me: o no he said it

    Media: *kicks down door* VIDEOGAMES ARE THE #1 CAUSE OF WAR!!!

  13. fer8agp says:

    Nietzsche said: what is done out of love is beyond good and evil

  14. zora says:


  15. CrazyRiverOtter says:

    "You shouldn't call 911 if someone leaves you for someone else."
    But what if they leave me while I'm having a stroke?

  16. hamza hamza says:

    i come from love is war anime

  17. snurk agurk says:

    In ww2 japanese snipers specifically targeted us medics because they were easy targets, yet those inglorious bastards went home to their families, wilst the the medics they killed didn’t.

  18. The Great Premiere says:

    War is also a human condition

  19. Treston Medina says:

    So close to that ad revenue tho

  20. Noah Oswurth says:


  21. HeroJournalism says:

    More relevant than ever…

  22. ej sese says:

    But I want people who dont love me back to be arrested

  23. Mozart Wolfgang says:

    The person you care about the most, can destroy you the most

  24. BUX BE says:

    War is disempowering.
    Love is empowering.
    Different frameworks.

  25. Gabe García says:

    Only one second away from being a perfect 10:00.

  26. Water Bird says:


  27. Lyri Metacurl says:

    So incel shootings are fair, vsauce? Since that was arguably caused by their "uncontrollable" passion.

    I'm of the belief that everything we do is controllable, and that to do otherwise is a psychopathic excuse.

    If an enemy soldier killed your brother and then got captured as a POW, it would be "against the rules of war" to kill them. But many people would choose to break that law and kill them, if they could. That's the kind of thing that happens in love. The point is: it is possible to control yourself not to kill the one who killed your brother, even though you could.

    When we say we can't control dumb actions with love, we are saying we aren't really human. Including when we cheat on someone or if we are the guy taking someone else's wife. Just a psychopathic lie excuse that everyone wants to be sacred and untouchable. To accept control would be to admit you are a c*nt. And not many people want to do that.

  28. Scrungo Ze Clown says:

    At the end when he has his final speech in the dark, he moves like a character of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

  29. memelord says:

    Q: is all fair in love and war?

    A: in the beginning… there was nothing

  30. GrimWolf6300 says:

    Why do I feel like Michael foreshadowing something when he talks about perfidy?

  31. Laboraty EWP says:

    Dank Danny:
    this is the color ID of Michael's forehead

  32. Chris aka Schulbus says:

    i can't find any mention about homo sapiens meaning anything like "earth" or "from the earth"… all i read is "wise man" and stuff like that… the link in the description gives a definition of "humus" and there is no mention of "homo", "human" or any relation between the words

  33. Poof Cucumber says:

    No sir. All is fair in love and brostep

  34. Shoude Huang says:

    Michael trying to understand human empathy -circa. 2015.

  35. Papa uncle Phoenix says:


  36. NitroNote says:

    Everyone be memeing the comments but this is great vid

  37. OneBot says:

    The legend made the video 9:59

  38. Monody says:

    I thought the "Homo" in "Homo Sapiens" meant same, us.

  39. An_Annoying_Cat says:

    Unfairly fighting? No dignity

  40. Grandmanitou says:

    9:15 "The Heart has its reasons, which reason knows nothing of."
    This phrase is NOT about Love but about Faith, I am deeply disapointed by such a terrible mistake on your part …

  41. PLG-Streams TV says:

    No homo


  42. DrawDown says:

    "Love is inevitable"

    Laughs in aromantic

  43. massanti madunigang says:

    Everything about war is unfair. It simplifies down to: "I have the gun, I'm in charge" when in reality, no-one is In actual charge, but nature. We tend to mess with it, and now we have nature striking back with natural disasters, and I'm honestly rooting for nature. We are menaces to the world, and when I say We, I mean literally everyone. We might not all be the cause of climate change, but we for sure are all able to stop it if we wanted to. Maybe there has been big petitions to plant more trees and bundle up the trash we have thrown away, but we have talked about this for decades, and not much has happened. You might say more and more people has opened their eyes, but just as many if not more are born to not care, so we are stuck in this lie of getting better.
    Justice has arrived, and soon the world collapses in the stress we have put it in, and how dare you be sorry, when you really weren't, when you were able to do something about it

  44. austin blake says:

    There is no difference between what is right and what is necessary. Spec ops the line

  45. William Xu says:

    Is there a word for these voluntary limits one places on themselves

  46. Manuel Martins says:

    I will never bow to the laws of nature

  47. NotWeeb says:

    i mean im glad you explained the rules of war to us, but why love's rules? its been around us our whole lives, we're no strangers to love. you know the rules, and so do i.

  48. PURPLE says:

    watching a video like this when ur high is the ultimate brain fucker

  49. LEMONS Patusky says:

    Is making the video 9:59 just a way to start love and war with yourself Micheal

  50. CrazyGravy says:

    "We arent much different from the mooks" Vsauce 2015 (in newyork mook is a term for "gay ass nigga") 1:28

  51. Cooper Romney says:

    Am I the only one who had a stroke reading the title of the video

  52. Matthew Cole says:

    Bruh…who be dis geneva bitch I keep herin bout?

  53. The Hassler says:

    there are no roles in war

  54. drewbabe says:

    A Geneva Conventions for love and romance would actually be really handy.

  55. JG Peres says:

    Ok but imagine an olympics where all is allowed

    Ok, not all but..

    You still need to follow the rules so that you can win (stay on the track on a run, etc.) and follow laws

    But any machines, legal drugs, and changes to the human body

    Are allowed

    Lets push humans to their ACTUAL limit

  56. Zan says:

    "Laws of War"
    That is the most dumbest and illogical thing I've ever heard. If I'm starting a war then there's no way I'm gonna suddenly start following a war code because I'm feeling good.

  57. Roderykz says:

    This, is, so, sad. Can we make Geneva conventions for love? Or at least a heart broken healer for all the fallen soldiers

  58. PongoThomas says:

    Came for the Valentine's 'nade

  59. James Iyer says:

    Perfidy may be banned and frowned upon in war, but girls do it all the time to guys

  60. GENZIZ says:

    Bros before hoes

  61. Calculated Sweat says:

    What a legend. 9:59 minutes

  62. Play ForFood says:

    Wait so we can't play dead?

  63. Tolu Adegbilero says:

    Yes, as long as your side/ you win

  64. Symmetron the Destroyer says:

    Thats probably the video that Shinomiya watched at home

  65. Brownskikuca Garlic Bread says:


  66. el med jojo says:

    So… war is more fair than love?

  67. 12345 678910 says:

    1.59 kashmir

  68. Surya Raju says:

    The solution: Ban war

  69. ravengamer god says:

    if war and love were fair i could beat my wife

  70. Michael Tkaczevski says:

    We need an ICC for love: The International Court of Courting.

  71. Charles Lee Ray says:

    the ironie in the "rules of war" is that all the countrys that are actual in a war (basicly the whole near east and some states in africa) are not part of this "rule"………………… making the whole point useless.

  72. Floofy Liu says:

    Who thought those were bakugos arm things

  73. homosapien says:

    why is he standing in the void

  74. Slothster 0612 says:

    Is all fair in love and war?
    Graphite is pencil lead

  75. Forwardstory says:

    Humans are actually Homo sapiens sapiens, not Homo sapiens. That's a slightly different species, but it's like splitting hairs at that point.

  76. Magicant Marauder says:

    VSauce: I mean, obviously not for criminal behavior-

    Me, sweating: Uhh, yeah, obviously!

  77. Epic gamer 420 says:

    Let’s say you break the Geneva Convention who’s gonna stop you?!? You’re already at work just win the war.

  78. I'm Okay , says:

    5:35 pretty much the most useful advice a man needs

  79. Nikh Nikh says:

    Vsauce is not just contained to a specific branch of science. He does mathematics, physics, biology, philosophy and psychology. He also does history, geography, economics and etymology. As well as other mysteries like how and why do people go missing

  80. Jack Black says:

    Soo… Homosapiens means judgemental soil?

  81. Jared, 19 says:

    honey,, , honey no,, you missed a perfect opportunity to put the american idiot album thumbnail on there

  82. Tabish Rahman says:

    thats how player are born

  83. DudeBro says:

    confused Darjeeling noises

  84. Beckham says:

    Chardeemacdennis is not a game.
    It’s a war.

  85. Sewer Boi says:

    Thought he meant the anime

  86. Fuad Adan says:

    Perfidy …. Damn you Walder Frey!!!

  87. Jamie Brown says:

    Epic the title is spanish for me

  88. Hemi_Jr1015 says:

    Kaguya sama love is war

  89. sonicthehedgeho4 says:

    Love is war (ins fujiwara dance)

  90. Chris Estabrooks says:

    Oh so thats how rapists and pedos get away with no jail

  91. tiny angry ace says:

    Take my megaphone

  92. Pablo Adrian Luna Alvarez says:

    Michael: In videogames, if the bad guys really wanted to stop you, wouldn't there chances be better if they just came right at you?
    Me: Have you ever played Dark Souls, my guy??

  93. SZYMON KULIK says:

    Like the Geneva law where teachers or adults that hold activities can't hold you accountable for more than the time promised and if they do they are technically performing a war crime.

  94. Saagar Singh Sachdev says:

    War, is not a human invention.

  95. Goth Loli says:


  96. Rose is a Door says:


  97. Strigil N says:

    "You see, there is no Genova Convention for love.

    No im not crying, shut up

  98. Akharus of the Black Legion says:

    So you're saying the Geneva Convention probably wouldn't approve of the Daemonculaba?

  99. Amritraj Dash says:

    "Hey vsauce can you talk about the famous saying "All is fair in Love and War"
    "Yeah but look at that damn pencil tho"

  100. YellowCactusTv z says:

    2:37 Not really, people get real angry real fast to people who violate the Ginevra convention.

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