amazing ideas about warfare

Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.BITNET)
Mon, 7 Nov 1994 20:46:24 CST

Things have become too clear; let me introduce some confusion.

1. Career soldiers. It is the *warrior role* in *tribal society* which
gives you career soldiers. These are males who are otherwise farmers (Goths)
or hunters-herdsmen (Mongols). Agricultural civilization gives you *career
noncombitants*, males in dependent or unfree strata of the peasantry who
are forcibly denied entry into the armed forces. Access to the latter is
permitted only to the (relatively) privileged.
This is how the Roman Empire, in the fifth century, was militarily
outnumbered, notwithstanding a population of forty million, by half a million
or so Germans. The Eastern Roman Empire survived, in large measure, by means
of hiring German tribals to fight other German tribals; elsewise it relied
upon Isaurian and Armenian tribals. The Western Roman Empire similarly called
upon tribal Illyrians (Albanians) to fight against (or alongside or both) the
Germans; but there weren't enough of these.
The reservoirs of tribals in Western Europe had meanwhile dried up or, with
the enserfment of the peasant population, the labor of unfree peasants had
become too indispensable to latifundist landlords for the latter to yield it
up to military recruiters.

2. Motives for war. One motive for agressive war may be that the absence of
it might be made illegal. Consider the following, from the ninth century laws
of the Welsh king Hywel Dda (Howell The Good): "The king shall lead a hosting
to the borders of the kingdom once a year in the springtime."
This law was presumably popular with the warriors.

Question: Why does the warrior role exist?

Daniel A. Foss