War and Ideology

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1990 - Philosophy - 207 pages
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Why do men resort to war to solve their socio-economic problems? That is the question that Eric Carlton asks, and attempts to answer, in this stimulating, readable study. Relating war to ideology, this book is based on the proposition that men act as they think, and think as they believe, and that belief - religious or otherwise - conditions attitudes toward the nature and conduct of war. Carlton argues that various constellations of values, often intellectualized as ideologies, not only constitute the rationalizations and justifications for war, but may also provide the actual imperatives for warfare itself. Carlton conducts his lively discussion in a historical and comparative setting, with case studies of war in eleven societies (ancient Egypt, Sparta, Athens, Carthage, Rome, early Israel, Crusader Knights, Mongols, Aztecs, Zulus, Maoists), in each of which the enemy is differently perceived. A final section, "War and the Problem of Values," draws together the threads of the arguments and reaffirms the relationship between war and ideological belief and commitment.
 

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Contents

THE EGYPTIANS OF THE NEW KINGDOM The enemy as nonpeople
34
THE SPARTANS The enemy as political obstacles
45
THE CARTHAGINIANS The enemy as economic rivals
57
THE ROMANS The enemy as uncouth barbarians
67
THE EARLY ISRAELITES The enemy as ritual outlaws
81
THE CRUSADER KNIGHTS The enemy as unbelievers
95
THE MONGOLS The enemy as effete degenerates
110
THE AZTECS The enemy as ritual fodder
119
THE ZULU The enemy as colonial intruders
132
THE ATHENIANS The enemy as opponents of democracy
143
THE MAOISTS The enemy as class antagonists
154
EXCURSUS ON RACE MASSACRE AND GENOCIDE The enemy as racial inferiors
168
WAR AND THE PROBLEM OF VALUES
180
BIBLIOGRAPHY
197
INDEX
203
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Page 20 - Perhaps a more satisfactory definition of ideology is 'a pattern of beliefs and concepts (both factual and normative) which purport to explain complex social phenomena with a view to directing and simplifying socio-political choices facing individuals and...
Page 8 - ... it is a law established for all time among all men that when a city is taken in war, the persons and the property of the inhabitants thereof belong to the captors.
Page 14 - But if any good result ensue, they, the People, at once take the credit of that to themselves. In the same spirit it is not allowed to caricature on the comic stage or otherwise libel the People, because they do not care to hear themselves ill spoken of. But if any one has a desire to satirize his neighbor he has full leave to do so.
Page 2 - Human nature being what it is, there will always be war and conflict* 5.
Page 24 - Human societies secrete ideology as the very element and atmosphere indispensable to their historical respiration and life.

References to this book

Does Christianity Cause War?
David Martin
No preview available - 1997
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