On conflict and culture: A theoretical exposition
War has always been an essential part of man’s social existence. The very mention of the word “war” evokes fear and loathing, passion and excitement. Wars have been waged out of honour, anger, greed, and religious principle. They have resulted in empires being built or lost, peoples being freed or enslaved, and civilisations being protected, disrupted, or even extinguished. The death and destruction that result from war are generally obvious to anyone not blinded by ambition. But, what are the underlying causes and effects of war? Do unseen forces of nature govern war, or is the art of war relative to space and time and the people who wage it? What is even intended by use of the term “war”? Perspectives abound on these and other related questions. For answers to such questions, this author defers to Clausewitz.