January 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm

PAPER JOURNAL: The State of War

“It might seem fatalistic to suggest that both civilisation and warfare share the same origins; certainly one does appear to presuppose the other. Any organized grouping of people will seek to maintain or to extend that organization by force if necessary and sometimes even when it is not, because this necessity can also be, as it generally is in our own time, ideological rather than strictly tactical. If civilisation as such is understood as the bond of group integration that rests on a shared social experience (and the history that goes along with it), then warfare is not just an inevitability, as might be understood by the notion of its shared origins with human society, but the “logical” consequence of the power structures that underlie all civilisation. This is of significance precisely because it means that war is the result of a particular social organization at a given historical moment and is characterized by the structures from which those societies are formed. Warfare is not an a-historical tendency; it is, on the contrary, a reflection of those values that are fundamental to how the world we inhabit is organized. Lisa Barnard has probed the increasingly distanced experience of war in the early 21st Century and the results say as much about the disaffections of our contemporary social landscape as they do about warfare itself……..[continue]