Van Creveld Martin - The culture of war

Author : Van Creveld Martin
Title : The culture of war
Year : 2008

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Introduction. In theory, war is simply a means to an end, a rational, if very brutal, activity intended to serve the interests of one group of people by killing, wounding, or otherwise incapacitating those who oppose that group. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Even economists now agree that human beings, warriors and soldiers included, are not just machines out for gain. Facts beyond number prove that war exercises a powerful fascination in its own right—one that has its greatest impact on participants but is by no means limited to them. Fighting itself can be a source of joy, perhaps even the greatest joy of all. Out of this fascination grew an entire culture that surrounds it and in which, in fact, it is immersed. Like any other culture, the one associated with war consists largely of “useless” play, decoration, and affectations of every sort; on occasion, affectations, decoration, and play are even carried to counterproductive lengths. So it has always been, and so, presumably, it will always be. ...

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Balder Ex-Libris