« Karl Rove | Main | Hubbert's Peak »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Roberta Kelly

Albert Einstein said this about war and I concur, 100% --

"He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt.

He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.

This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action.

It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."


“. . The construction of the public monopolies [states] was ... intimately bound up with war against other states. Cosmopolitanism and organized violence."

An essay written by Mary Kaldor, of the London School of Economics, who is a student of war.

(“She subscribes to what I believe is a crackpot theory of “global cosmopolitanism,” but she has written insightfully - if in a fragmentary and eurocentric way = about the evolution of something she calls the “new war.” www.fromthewilderness.com”)

“Inter-state war became the only legitimate form of organized violence, and, moreover, was sharply distinguished from peace. In place of more or less continuous warfare, war became a discrete episode that was reserved for use against other states and was excluded from internal relations. Domestic pacification (the elimination of private armies, the reduction of corruption, violent crime, piracy and brigandage), the growth of taxation and public borrowing, the regularization of armed forces and police forces, the development of nationalist sentiment, were all mutually reinforcing in wartime. Essentially, the social contract associated with the construction of the nation-state could be said to have taken the following form; civil and political rights could be guaranteed in exchange for paying taxes and fighting in wars. The individual rights that citizens enjoyed in peacetime were exchanged for the abrogation of those rights in wartime. In wartime the citizens became part of a collectivity, the nation, and had to be ready to die for the state. In exchange for individual civil and political rights in peacetime, the citizen accepted a kind of unlimited liability in wartime. Hence, [Norbert] Elias writing just before the Second World War, feared that the civilizing process would be engulfed by the barbarity of war.

Inter-state war is sometimes described as Clausewitzean war. The wars of classical modernity had a kind of extremist logic that is well analyzed by Clausewitz. As war became more extreme and terrible, so the social contract was extended, reaching its logical end point during the Cold War. Essentially, during this period, there were unprecedented gains in economic and social rights. But the risks were also dramatically extended. The price of these gains, during this period, was readiness to risk a nuclear war.”

The comments to this entry are closed.