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Clausewitz Roundtable – War as Social Interaction

My belated contribution to The Clausewitz Roundtable on Book II.

Clausewitz, On War, Book 2: War is an Act of Human Intercourse

Nation-states are superorganisms and warfare constitutes a form of collective bargaining, a market of blood. Lyndon Johnson in the basement of the White House, pouring over maps of North Vietnam, picking out bombing targets was attempting to bargain with Hanoi through the martial gestures of escalation. Even amidst the total war of WWII, the belligerents made calculated gestures in the intransigence of Stalingrad, the reckless dash for Cairo or through the Ardennes, in the step by step horror that was Okinawa, to signal to the enemy “the price” for continuing the war. Hiroshima and Nagasaki cleared the table of all but the most dangerous of gamblers

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