I declare war on the caps lock key! :laughing:

I’ve read The Prince. It’s rather dry… I wasn’t terribly shocked by it either. Didn’t live up to my expectations. I never read The Art of War, but it’s on my to-do list.

The Art Of War is more of a manual it is still a good read though and the translations vary a bit to much for my liking. As for The Prince it’s just a basic insight into politics but still one of my faves the shock factor is more in the betrayal and ruthlessness involved in coming and staying in power.

The perception of life is a game of chess the are alot of pieces to play but the important thing is the only piece of concern to you is you (the king) this seems to be the under lying theme of The Prince. :evilfun:

Yes, I’ve read both of those. In chess, the king is the most valuable piece but one of the least powerful. Anyone ever read Clausewitz?

A little, anyone ever read anything on Manuever Warfare or Manuel De Landa?

No I am not interested in the philosophy of war because war kills. Just to use the words war and phiosophy in the same sentence is a disgrace.

That’s a little extreme, violhence.

But here we go again with the word games, right? See, war can mean oh so many things. Say, right now, a bunch of thugs decide to crash through my windows, rape my wife and kill or kidnap my children. My brother in law and I are in the basement. We devise a plan to overcome the invaders, by systematically and strategically eliminating them in a best effort to salvage the lives and just freedoms of my family. This, Violhence, is a form of warfare, however small. I’m sure you would agree it’s justified, and highly charged in a philosophical sense. Words like “just,” “freedoms,” “systematically,” “devise,” “savage,” all words that you can get behind, right?

Soon, the evil invaders relatives and friends hear about the killing. They do not acknowledge it was justifiable homicide. They are pissed, big time. They in turn attack my family again, en masse, and my extended family has no choice but to come to my aid. next thing, the front yard is littered with corpses, and the only thing there is to blame is misinformation, and of course the psychopathic rampant nihilism of the original perps.

At no point did I or my family act irrationally, even when the battle raged to large scale. Our involvement was philosophical, based on ethical obligations, unity, justice, a social contract, familial protectionism, altruism, take your pick. All philosophy. If only my family could have squelched the misinformation on the other end…but that’s hard to do.

Sometimes you just gotta fight. And when you do, when someone is pulling the arm of your three-year-old, let’s hope you remembered a little of that Sun Tsu. I know I did. And if someone was attacking you, friend, this “philosopher” would have to resort to Violhence.

Could war be considered natural selection?

I don’t know what is with man’s fetish with conflict, but with out it the world would be in more chsos than it is today. I do see how our and other socioties would wrather solve conflict their problems with a cruz missle than with diplomacy. I do not see how any man would volentarily chose to end the life of another. Those who can’t find love will inevitably find it’s opposite.

I read a bit of “The art of war”, what i read was all prety logical.

Its in our biology and culture

A real man would want to be dominant in every situation, blame testosterones

As for culture we all have the right to be moral philosophers mix it with testosterones and you got a guy who wants his ideas imposed on everbody. If you dont agree he and his followers will put a bullet in your head.


I had a Classicist friend in college who noted that all Machiavelli’s examples in the Prince were ironic – that is, the whole thng proves the opposite of what he says, which any classics-loving man of the Renaissance would have been able to see. I read Mach’s play The Mandragora, and agree that it’s in Machiavelli’s style to do such a thing.

yet his Discourses on Livy and the Art of War seem to belie that.

Wait! Wait! Wait!!!

We CANNOT have a discussion on the philosophy of war without discussing…

“The History of the Peloponnesian War” by Thucydides


“The Suppliants” by Aeschylus

and we can’t forget the freaking “Illiad” and “Odyssey” by Homer!

oh, and then there is Herodotos’ “Histories”…

machiavelli and sun tzu just touch the surface of a much broader tradition…

technically (and I apologize for being a picky bitch) Sunzi is not part of this tradition.

What is this philosophy of war we have decided to discuss? What good is it?

are we just going to pick our bellybuttons and say I really like guns. Or shall we discuss the War Machine, that thing always exterior to the State and its power? Shall we discuss maneuver warfare and its parallels with Cybernetics ? Shall we discuss the strange overlap of the Nuclear fission experiments of Enrico Fermi, John Dewey’s Chicago Pragmatism, and Leo Strauss in the 1930’s at the University of Chicago?

Shall we discuss the near universality of war, the fact that in all or nearly all societies on the face of the earth, people go to war (contrary to what Maria Gimbutas claims about her pre-kurgan europeans and their peaceful worship of the “Goddess”)?

Shall we discuss the Mitra/Varuna complex of kings? A closer example would be Numa/Romulus or perhaps even agamemnon/achilles - these kings one slow the other fast, one builds the institution his predecessor creates. The one maintains a kingdom, the other creates it through creative violence.

What is this philosophy of war? Is it equivalent to a philosophy of violence?

since humans in masses tend to be irrational… War is necessary, and when strategy and philosophy are taken into account, there is much less violence than giving everyone a weapon and raping the countryside.

War is most often seen in the philosophy as a way to keep violence from occuring more than it has to. Sun Tzu in essence says that the most talented general wins without fighting… and it seems to embody the point of the philosophy of war, be victorious with as little bloodshed as possible.