The Creative Side of War: Parts 1-3

  I. When an army feeds its horses with grain, and kills its cattle for food, and when the men do not hang the cooking pots over the camp fire, you may know that they are determined to fight to the death. Sun  Tzu, The Art of War. War. Possibly the Alpha and Omega of Human...
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Memory, Unity and Diversity in Catalonia and Europe

    The Catalan crisis has brought up deep and perplexing questions about identity, Europe and nationalism which do not have simple answers. These questions echo similar ones raised throughout Europe, with other secessionist/independence movements (most notably Brexit)....
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Gotta Serve Somebody: Nationalism and the Man

  Bob Dylan was almost certainly thinking of the future of the European Union when he penned his gospel song Gotta Serve Somebody. Doubtless he was describing Europe’s rich panoply of characters when he sung: “Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk, Might like to...
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The Creative Side of War Part 3: Ancient Greece

What was Ancient Greek war all about?   In two previous posts (see here for all 3 posts together) we have discussed the idea that war actually created peace in many ancient  societies, specifically by making many states one. In particular, we discussed how China became China...
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The Creative Side of War. Part One: China

When an army feeds its horses with grain, and kills its cattle for food, and when the men do not hang the cooking pots over the camp fire, you may know that they are determined to fight to the death. Sun  Tzu, The Art of War. War. Possibly the Alpha and Omega of Human history....
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ISIS, Paris, Refugees and the Future: Questions (& brief answers)

How to think about ISIS in the wake of Paris? This requires reams of reading and writing. But for those with little time, here are some ideas to get thinking about. Should Syrian refugees be allowed into Europe/The US?  For conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic, these...
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This Man’s Sex Life is Interesting

Hernan Cortes. Conqueror of the Mexica (Aztecs). First Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca. We are all more or less familiar with the idea that a group of Spaniards conquered what is now Mexico in short order. But apart from the political ramifications of this event (which are more...
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the history of silence

Keep Mum (throw out Dad). The Virtues of Silence This may seem like a bit of a stretch for world history. But the categories of WH are so ridiculously wide, and history itself is in the process of being opened up, butterflied like a shrimp, that we can, I think, insert many...
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The Past in the Present: Kidnapped Girls

All events are contemporary events; they happen Now, and are therefore distinctly of the moment. This is true of the abduction of 200 school girls from their dormitaries in the middle of the night by Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram. The group represents, among other...
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United: Part II. Cannibalism is Normal

When we think of our irreconcilable differences, we could do worse than consider the issue of cannibalism. This taboo practice seems like a perfect example of the ways in which people are separated by cultural gulfs. But, as it turns out, cannibalism and human sacrifice are a...
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