Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Politics and War

"War is a continuation of politics by other means--von Clausewitz."
--Captain Frank Ramsey (Crimson Tide)

Nineteenth century military theorist Carl von Clausewitz famously posited that "war is not merely an act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse carried on with other means." (1976)

Jeff Tucker suggests that rearranging the general's thoughts results in another true proposition: politics is the continuation of warfare by other means.

Politics can be seen as the process of gaining control of the strong arm of government for personal purposes. Politically charged environments therefore crowd out peaceful cooperation in favor of violent force.

Its forcible, decivilizing nature cloaks politics in its warlike character.


Clausewitz, C.V. (1976). On war. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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