PW: I bit more...

Scott Holmes (sholmes@NETCOM.COM)
Wed, 26 Oct 1994 18:40:09 -0700

well, but I looked "parry" up in my Webster and the definition
emphasized evasion and his arguments are anything but evasive. I can't
argue with the proper operation of political systems ("ostracised unless
his pronouncements mesh with a popular will"). Please forgive the black
humor but I'd always thought that was the way the American political
system was supposed to work.

Neither will I argue against the effect of writing on social
mechanisms (ie commemoration and the general rabble rousing we discussed
earlier). My use of the word "history", however, did not imply writing.
If general usage of the term implies written history, I will stand
corrected and ask that the term be replaced with "tradition". What
is important to this point is that those conducting warfare had a degree
of experience with manipulating morale, that a number of methodologies
and applications of technology relating to tactics and strategy were
known and their general effectiveness could be evaluated in terms of
specific situations. I don't think I can accept the idea that oral
tradition means mythology.

I don't believe we've addressed the concept of "army" before this. Is an
army necessary to warfare? AND: What is an army? I suspect that armies
arose because of the realization that attacking others and/or being
attacked was a social reality and preparation was necessary for survival.
Perhaps the recognition of this "reality" was the real birth of warfare.
This was the moment IT was named and thus became real. Correct me if I'm
off base here, but for an army to exist it must have some members who
are essentially career soldiers. This implies a sophisticated social
structure, the same type of sophistication associated with the earliest
known writing. So, I can well believe that writing developed alongside
warfare. I don't, however, believe that one requires the other or even
implies the other. I understand that the Sumerians had professional
soldiers that were members of the "amelu" or patrician class.

We have yet to establish requisite levels of technology and social
sophistication needed to satisfy the definition of warfare. If Mr Sproule
is successful in demonstrating that the Sumerians did indeed invent
warfare then we must search situations of pre-warfare conflict to discover
what it was that initially justified the kind of violence we describe
as warfare. (I know you never said the Sumerians did it. It just seemed
like a good way to provoke further discussion as I cannot begin to
speculate on the amounts and/or distribution of melanin in these people).

We must then study "pre-warefare" violence to find initial uses of tactical
weaponry and the development of strategies. In the thread conducted
earlier this year ("Invention of War") we established that much of what
the Mongols did developed directly from hunting. I interjected them
again because they are so much fun to discuss. I would also like to
re-involve Mr Foss, at least to the degree that he may be able to
expound on the development of Chinese civilization vis a vis the Sumerians.
It would be a shame if the Sumerians took all the credit. Most of the
information I have on the Chinese is thirty (30) years old. It recognizes
an earliest civilization at about 2000 BC called Shang. I'm aware that
terminology not to mention proper spelling and pronunciation as changed
a great deal since then (30 years ago, not 2000 BC).

What say Mr Hicks on the idea that warfare is an African invention
developed by people of possibly Asian origin?

I wrote everything previous to this point before seeing Stephanie
Wilson's post. I have to agree that the emphasis seems to be with
defining warfare such that only civilizations capable of writing are
capable of conducting warfare. I think one point I was trying to make here
is that if such a definition is accepted, then we must look to pre-warfare
situations to learn what it is we need to know inorder to do anything
about it.

----------- There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, ----------------
Scott Holmes <> Informix 4GL Applications
---------------- Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. ------------------------