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The Clausewitz Roundtable: Lexington Green’s Introduction

The Roundtable has begun.

Lexington Green  – Clausewitz, On War, Introductory Matter: Empiricism, Clarity of Expression, Patterns not Systems, Utility

….And as we look around for some organizing framework, some intellectual bins and buckets, at least, to sort all this material out, we look for a reliable guide, a respected instructor. And we keep seeing the same name come up: Clausewitz.

Many writers refer to him, and many current ones seem determined to rebut or claim to have surpassed Clausewitz. But it is always Clausewitz who is “the guy to beat”. His sole challenger is Sun Tzu, at least in the last generation or so. But despite the current vogue for the Chinese sage, which I cannot vouch for, but will assume to be merited, Sun Tzu has not been so woven into the military mind and thought of the Western world nearly so deeply or for so long, as Clausewitz has. In a century, it may be different, but for now, the foremost military thinker of our civilization is and remains Clausewitz.

This predominance is recognized, if sometimes resented, but is balanced by the claim that everyone talks about him, and many quote from him, but few actually ever read Clausewitz. Hence, the “Clausewitz” who is spoken of by his proponents as well as his detractors may only be a cardboard cutout, a bullet-point power point slide of sound bites, at best a Cliff Notes version of the man and his book.

This blog was founded by people who went to college at the University of Chicago. Part of the ethos at the U of C was to read original documents, in translation if necessary, but to get as close to the historical sources as you could, to take these old books seriously, to accept as a rebuttable presumption that they became classics because they had some enduring insight to convey, to see for yourself what these people said, and what they claimed they were doing, and what they professed to believe. Hence, ChicagoBoyz is a good forum for a group of people who are doing just that with the “classic”, On War. We are letting Clausewitz speak for himself.

Read the rest here.

3 Responses to “The Clausewitz Roundtable: Lexington Green’s Introduction”

  1. Lexington Green Says:

    Five posts up on the first day, so far. 
    With 22 contributors, some of whom may only post intermittently, we still have a lot to look forward to, even for this first week.
    All the world eagerly awaits Zenpundit’s contribution!

  2. YT Says:

    LG & Zen : With so much expert opinion @ The Roundtable, I’ ll take the black pieces while you dudes can take white. Don’t wanna post somethin’ too simple.

  3. World News » Admin Note: in DC Says:

    […] Clausewitz Roundtable is all week. Despite what you think, the C-man remains applicable in today’s Global Information Environment […]

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