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Thread: The origins of war

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    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
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    Default The origins of war

    Over the summer I've am writing a paper on the origins of warfare. I've begun doing the actual writing however I'm still tweaking with my thesis. Though my thesis basically states that warfare evolved out of violent disagreements and archaic raids in pre-historic times although speculated. From which warfare constantly evolved and helped mark advancement in technology, strategy, and tactics. In addition to help mark the the rise of the political state. Like I said I'm still messing with it but I hope it turns out well in the end.

    Any opinions or suggestions?

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    At least as it pertains to modern warfare: all wars are political. That is to say, they begin for political reasons. For the most part, they also end for politcal reasons.

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Default Discovery channel to the rescue!

    I recall a video of a hyaena pack and a lion pack. There was a dead zebra or gnu on the ground, and the hyaenas were feasting on it.

    The lions approached and both packs began to threaten each other with gesture and voices.
    The lead female of the lion pack finally attacked and killed a hyaena, and the hyaenas withdrew.


    We're a bit more sophisticated, of course.
    Not much different, though.

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    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default Definition of war

    War is foreign policy at it's worst.

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    Council Member Greyhawk's Avatar
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    Default Determined any sources?

    There are obvious challenges to "pre-historic", but have you found any other works on the topic?

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    About pre-historic; a mummy ("Ötzi") was found in the alps years ago. A thorough investigation found that the man died of a combat wound 5,300 years ago.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oetzi

    That's the oldest indication of human vs. human combat known to me (except religious texts).

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Wink MMMM Could anyone tell me

    Exactly what the political agendas were for the Hatfields and the Mccoys

    Or maybe even what the initial political reason for the mongolian leader to get a group of guys together to go get back his wife

    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

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    Default Heed Greyhawk's advice re: challenges ...

    in drawing any firm conclusions on "primitive warfare".

    Brief SWC thread here, where 120mm cites the 1995 dissertation "The Origin of War", by Dr. J.M.G. Van Der Dennen, which is still here. Interesting read; huge bibliography & discusses various theories. You will find a lot of controversy by following the obvious Google leads.

    A proof of organized primitive warfare (Neolithic; one of many) is attached -"combate de arquero", from a Spanish cave (Morella la Vella, provincia de Castellón) - punch this.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jmm99; 07-20-2009 at 01:56 AM.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Humphrey View Post
    Exactly what the political agendas were for the Hatfields and the Mccoys

    It was about land reform....as in you got it.....I want it.... let's fight about it.

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    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    About pre-historic; a mummy ("Ötzi") was found in the alps years ago. A thorough investigation found that the man died of a combat wound 5,300 years ago.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oetzi
    Now that was very interesting. And note the legal dispute over Ötzi's discovery. Greed…..over the ‘value’ of someone who died 5300 years ago, probably as a result of some form of greed……the more things change, the more they stay the same!
    (For what its worth, I can’t really see why the finders should get paid anything at all, other than official recognition, but that would be a different discussion.)
    Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. (Christopher Columbus)

    All great truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    ONWARD

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Actually, it started about Civil War politics

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    It was about land reform....as in you got it.....I want it.... let's fight about it.
    the Hatfields fit for the Union, the McCoys for the Confederacy. That led to the first death of a wounded and home recuperating McCoy before the war was even over and then it later turned on a supposedly stolen pig and went downhill rapidly. No land involved...

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    the Hatfields fit for the Union, the McCoys for the Confederacy. That led to the first death of a wounded and home recuperating McCoy before the war was even over and then it later turned on a supposedly stolen pig and went downhill rapidly. No land involved...
    Who's land was the Pig on

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default

    Timber Land to be more precise.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatfield-McCoy_feud

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    Council Member Greyhawk's Avatar
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    Default Surfing on an otherwise dull Sunday Afternoon

    Actually, it may be helpful for you to present your thesis statement and who you're writing for. Somewhat difficult to point you down the right path without a bit more detail of where you think you want to go.


    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Brief SWC thread here, where 120mm cites the 1995 dissertation "The Origin of War", by Dr. J.M.G. Van Der Dennen, which is still here. Interesting read; huge bibliography & discusses various theories. You will find a lot of controversy by following the obvious Google leads.
    Here's a no-fee version of the linked article that began that thread.

    One thing you might notice in the course of your research is that you're in an area that isn't without controversy. That said, religious texts and mythologies might also present some quotable material (authoritative only in that "adherents believed X happened").

    Here's Wikipedia on the Battle of Megiddo ("the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail.") and same source on the Battle of Kadesh ("there is more evidence in the form of texts and wall reliefs for this battle than for any other battle in the Ancient Near East") which seem to be a bit too recent for your purposes but may be useful, even if only as brief introductory citations. I offer Wiki as a starting point, not definitive.

    Off topic: Some will appreciate the irony of this comment re: Kadesh - "There is no consensus about the outcome or what took place, with views ranging from an Egyptian victory, a draw, and an Egyptian defeat (with the Egyptian accounts simply propaganda)."

    Hopefully some day someone will figure it out.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Okay, read it. What timber land was involved?

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Timber Land to be more precise.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatfield-McCoy_feud
    No feudin' over land, timber or otherwise that I can see. Where specifically did you see that?

    You can also check this book LINK It has a little more detail than the wiki and it has no fighting over timber...

    Oh and the pig was on Hatfield land -- but that wasn't the issue, it allegedly had McCoy notches; the issue was the pig, not the land.
    Last edited by Ken White; 07-20-2009 at 04:05 AM.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default

    On another thread Surferbeetle links to thread about Harvard graduate Niall Ferguson on the current financial situation. He has PBS video series out (every Wed. Night In Alabama) about how the history of money and war are linked together. The series and the book is called "The Ascent of Money". My only complaint is it essentially a ripoff of John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Age Of Uncertainty" which was the original PBS series done in the 1970's.


    Here is a link to the program you can watch for free. You would probably like episode 2 "The Bonds Of War"
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ascentofmoney/

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question I guess what I was trying to get at is

    have we perhaps over the last few centuries began to assign cause and effect in inter societal interactions/ conflicts to strictly political machinations when quite often throughout history it may have been due more to needs/requirements for survival or support/security and the political pieces generally tended to determine how those where dealt with or in what manner?

    Big question is Is there a major difference?
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

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    Council Member Greyhawk's Avatar
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    Default Conflict over resources

    ...and that's that. Thog v Og - Sparta v Athens - Hatfield v McCoy - WWII - something that starts next week.

    Throw in tribalism, politics, religion, what have you as an team-organizing factor but without that fundamental element there is no "war".

    Given time Thog would probably "get" much of CvC. Might even say "well, duh!"

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Actually he teaches History at

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    On another thread Surferbeetle links to thread about Harvard graduate Niall Ferguson on the current financial situation...
    Harvard and is an Oxford graduate. He's written several other books on economic history and history of the US and of the British Empire that aren't based on anything Galbraith ever did -- Galbraith did copy a fair bit from Keynes, though. Ferguson's almost as Socialistically inclined as those two were...

  20. #20
    Council Member Greyhawk's Avatar
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    Default For that matter...

    If we brought an ancient Egyptian here today he could probably tell us a thing or two about COIN. If he asks why we'd forgotten I say we blame the library fire.

    Switching subject: Did you notice in Ötzi story that (theory) someone retrieved an arrow shaft from his corpse (/theory) but left him his own implements? Accepting theory suggests powerful taboo or no value to any of those items.

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