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Thread: Carl von Clausewitz and War

  1. #1 Carl von Clausewitz and War 
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    ON WAR

    "The idea of modern total war," writes sociologist Robert Nisbet, "was born in the famous decree of the French National Convention on August 23rd 1793." This decree resulted in the creation of a mass army, a citizen army, the first in human history in France. Carl von Clausewitz's book On War followed forty years after. Clauswitz wrote, according to Nisbet, "the single most influential book written in modern times on war" in the years 1817 to 1827. On War, a book on strategy and tactics, on the philosophy of war and the relation between society and the individual, was begun one hundred years before another book on war, a spiritual war, The Tablets of the Divine Plan. In 1793, too, Shaykh Ahmad left his home in Bahrain to begin the process of that spiritual, that total war, a war of quite a different character, characterized in those Tablets by what you might call 'a military metaphor.' -Ron Price with thanks to Robert Nisbet, The Social Philosophers: Community and Conflict in Western Thought, Heinemann, London, 1973, p.70.

    Sharper than blades of steel
    and hotter than summer heat,
    placed somewhere inside,
    pervasive, but as natural as
    the weather, unassuming,
    unobtrusive, you'd never
    know or guess that it was
    war—more like some fun
    park with distractions and
    pleasures enough to keep us
    all laughing to the grave and
    all this amidst a tempest that
    threatens to tear us apart in
    a third world war that does
    its insinuations while we go
    shopping, watch movies and
    get entertained more than any
    generation the world has seen.

    Ron Price
    22 June 2010
    Posted at: Science Forum
    On: 16/8/'10


    married for 37 years; teacher for 30; living in Australia for 33 years; Baha'i for 45 years. Writer of poetry for 25 years.
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  3. #2 A NEW KIND OF WAR 
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    Carl Von Clausewitz’s book On War(1873) aimed at an understanding and clarification of the principles of conflict in general and of war in particular. The nature of war, the technology, indeed, the entire process of warfare has changed since the first two decades of the 19th century when Clausewitz(1780-1831) wrote the series of essays that became the book On War. Certainly for me and my daily life and for the millions of traumatized people in the last half century,1960-2010, warfare has come to assume immense shifts in its psychological, sociological, historical and technological parameters. -Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 16 August 2010.

    It’s a different war these days
    than the ones my father and his
    father and fathers before faught
    with guns and uniforms and all
    the marching and the marching.

    A tightening in the gut, real fear,
    morning after morning, wanting
    to run away from all those stony,
    narrow and tortuous paths in life,
    learning to love it, slowly, slowly,
    slowly--well, most of it—little by
    little and day by day, so it is said.

    It’s the kind of war that wears you
    down, year after year as you learn
    to keep your forces concentrated--
    that simple law of strategy & keep
    faithful to the principles you & he
    laid down to take you into battle!!1

    1 These were the first two principles of war laid down by Clausewitz in the book On War.

    Ron Price
    16 August 2010


    married for 37 years; teacher for 30; living in Australia for 33 years; Baha'i for 45 years. Writer of poetry for 25 years.
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