The Culture of War: Invention and Early Development

The Culture of War: Invention and Early Development

The Culture of War: Invention and Early Development

The Culture of War: Invention and Early Development

Synopsis

Although war has been analyzed from many perspectives, no scholar has satisfactorily explained why the human race fights and how we came to create a degree of military sophistication capable of destroying the entire species. Gabriel addresses these questions in his study of the origins and development of warfare. He looks particularly at the relationship between the evolution of the social institution of war and the development of the military institutions, tactical sciences, and technology required for organized conflict.

Excerpt

In the midst of profound changes in international politics and the apparent dissolution of the Cold War, the ahistorical among us might believe or hope that mankind has moved beyond warfare. Having traversed in four short decades a span that encompassed the end of World War ii, the birth of the atomic and then nuclear ages, the advent of highly polarized ideological politics, and the age of true totalitarian societies, we could hope that this is an age when the world will pull back from the abyss--where cataclysmic struggles will end, where nations will withdraw from hostilities, where humans will rethink how they wish to conduct politics. Above all else, a common thread that runs throughout political discourse in the late 1980s is the fervent desire to enter a world in which the paroxysms of conflict are not the norm or ruling condition. These are powerful hopes and worthwhile ones that at.

Richard Gabriel, in his work The Culture of War simply will not let us forget these lessons of the past or sidestep through analytic pirouettes the role of warfare in human history. He is there, like a silent witness to the past, to remind us however gently but persistently that warfare is not the aberration that some believe it is. Over the millennia, warfare has become as tangible a manifestation of civilization as cities, language, politics, or science. Warfare has been a powerful influence on the nature of civilization, and has been a constant event, with which all generations must reckon-- one determinant, finally, of what we are. This argument applies not to discrete societies, nations, or ethnic groups, but to humans writ large. and it is for this reason that Gabriel's book is powerful, because it reminds us of the role of warfare in so many facets of politics.

To what social institutions in modern civilization can we look to warfare for their origins? Even a partial list of institutions that were influenced . . .

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