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On the Origins of War

Green Anarchy, no.21, Summer 2005


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Resource information:
Resource IDzerzan2005
Resource titleOn the Origins of War
Author(s)John Zerzan
Publication/ sourceGreen Anarchy, no.21
Date publishedSummer 2005
Summary text/ abstractWar is a staple of civilisation. Its mass, rationalized, chronic presence has increased as civilization has spread and deepened. Among the specific reasons it doesn't go away is the desire to escape the horror of mass-industrial life. Mass society ofcourse finds its reflection in mass soldiery and it has been this way from early civilization. In the age of hyper-developing technology, war is fed by new heights ofdissociation and disembodiment. We are ever further from a grounding or leverage from which to oppose it (while too many accept paltry, symbolic "protest" gestures). How did it come to be that war is "the proper work of man," in the words of Homer's Odysseus? We know that organized warfare advanced with early industry and complex social organization in general, but the question oforigins predates even Homer's early Iron Age. The explicit archaeological/anthropological literature on the subject is surprisingly slight.
Library categoriesAnarchism & Action, Direct Action & Protest, Neo-Luddism, Peace, Politics
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