Modern Warfare: The Loss of Ritual Pathways
DOI link for Modern Warfare: The Loss of Ritual Pathways
Modern Warfare: The Loss of Ritual Pathways book
Traditionally, in most societies, warfare has been a highly ritualized activity. Life in the New Guinea highlands, including warfare, pig exchange, agriculture, and domestic life has been beautifully depicted in a documentary film called Dead Birds, made by Robert Gardner in 1961 in Irian Barat, the Indonesian territory adjoining Papua New Guinea. The civil governors were offended by intertribal warfare and declared it illegal. Warfare in the twentieth century turns its back on all this. It knows nothing of honor but moves by stealth. Modern warfare depends much on encryption, and the work that goes on in back rooms to break an enemy's codes. It could be argued that the life-threatening pollution of the earth's oceans, streams, and atmosphere is partly due to the neglect and decline of rituals that once regulated people's relation to their habitat. Many people in modern society dislike rituals because they see them as constraining.