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Thread: Applying the great philosophers to insurgency

  1. #1
    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Washington DC

    Default Applying the great philosophers to insurgency

    Drawn from similar posts I've seen on this forum and a linked Army War College paper on Hobbes and insurgency. I and many other posters as well, have seen how the theories of the great philosophers throughout history can be applied in the study of COIN, for instance the ideas of Hobbes, Locke, Marx, Kant, etc. The way these concepts of the great's can be applied is striking, especially in the case of Hobbes, Marx and Engels which I personally find extremely interesting.

    So I was wondering if any other fellow posters had anything to add, as well as other opinion s on philosophy and the study of insurgency?

  2. #2
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Dec 2005


    Joseph Schumpeter...especially his concept of creative destruction. Which the US elite are big fans of today. Both Marx and Schumpeter thought Capitalism was doomed and largely for the same reasons but they differed on what would come afterwards. Also Marx was not just into revolutions his analysis of the US Civil War and what had to happen for the North to win was almost clairvoyant. And his analysis was based on economics(military power comes from economic power) and what we today would probably call soical network analysis, it was not based upon any known war theory. And Sherman executed it perfectly.

  3. #3
    Council Member
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    Feb 2007
    Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK

    Default Insurgency = Revolution?

    Kevin, i posed this as a question, not because I have any doubt but because the term "revolution" is not currently in vogue. Nevertheless, what you observed is correct - many of the classic philosophers were theorists of revolution. One can certainly start with Machiavelli whose Prince survives on at least the tacit consent of the governed - if he loses that, he will be overturned ie revolution. Locke explicitly builds a theory of revolution as does Rousseau. Of course, Jefferson's words echo Locke. Sun Tzu and Confuciuos have much to say on the subject. And, of course Marx and his successors were all about theories of revolution. For a modern theorist, Ted Robert Gurr's Why Men Rebel is a modern classic.



  4. #4
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Default Late 19th Century

    Emerson- Abolitionist movement and Unitarians

    Mark Twain- American expansion, colonialism, and imperialism

  5. #5
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Dec 2005


    Instead of reading watch this "The Corporation" 23 parts, this starts with part 1.

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