PW: Re Purpose of War.

Warren Sproule (Warren.Sproule@SOCIOL.UTAS.EDU.AU)
Fri, 4 Nov 1994 11:11:21 +0200

Re the last K. Gauck post [11/3]: Thanks, Kenneth! I think your four-part
taxonomy of war-aims as a series of 'economies' in differentiated social
spheres is just about right. Likewise the claim of war as "politics by
violent means" to the degree that this implies (some form of - WHICH form
is an empirical issue) a state; and particularly, war as the combination of
'limited resources and unlimited desires': The last "particularly", because
it sent me scurrying back to Marshall Sahlins' argument in _Stone Age
Economics_ around his conception of 'original affluent societies'. In ch 1,
S. builds his depiction of hunter-gatherer/foraging groups around the
notion of the 'two possible courses to affluence', alternatively, PRODUCING
MUCH or DESIRING LITTLE. The first course, production of an economic
surplus and its negative corollary (the principle of scarcity and
inadequacy of economic means) is the path adopted initially by 'neolithic
groups, and is most evident/ at its peak in modern capitalist societies.
'Paleolithic' hunter-gatherers adopt the second ("Zen") road to affluence.
In the terms of my argument and to the degree that this is valid, it *also*
means that the "limited resources X unlimited desires" formula is
*inapplicable* to such groups on either side of the equation - and if this
is so, it must also follow that there is likewise NO MOTIVATION FOR WARFARE
in such groups. Which is only another way of stating for the umpteenth time
that there's
No Such Thing As Pri... AAAAARGH!!!!! (Sound of mind-numbingly repetitive
sociologist being strangled by fed-up ANTHROP-L listmembers).

Anyone swayed/converted to this proposition yet? If not, I'll catch ya next

Warren Sproule.