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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 11-26-12.pdf

5 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Civilian Violence and War 2012-11-26 11:39 AM From Ancient Greece to the Holocaust - War is normally thought of as state on state - Violence generally monopolized by state - Weber – state: monopoly of legitimate use of violence within a given territory - Civil war is something different - Collapse of state, collapse of sovereignty - Example Syria: The state does not have a monopoly on use of force within the country - Either no or multiple sovereignties - What is the difference between civil war and revolution? - The sequence, we tend to see situations as revolutions dependent on the outcomes - If the sovereignty wins, it is not a revolution but a civil war - Sometimes revolutions are not revolutionary, does not result to change - Very difficult to make sense of neighbor on neighbor violence Ancient Greece: Peloponnesian War - 431 to 203 BCE - Backstory: 480BCE: beating back Persoans, Athenians lead the way (almost single handed-Delian league) - 479 to 432 BCE Rise of Athens vs Sparta - Contrasts: land versus maritime, oligarchy versus democracy, military versus commercial orientation - Democracy and leadership (Pericles_ - Reason for war: rise in power of Athens and alarm it caused in Sparta and its allies Corcyra (Corfu): 427 BCE - "Oligarchs" versus "Democrats” each with external backers - Civil war: "now in time of peace they could have no pretext and would not have been so eager to call them in, but because it was war, and allies were to be had for either party to hurt their enemies and strengthen themselves at the same time, invitations to intervene came readily from those who want a new government - "Every form of death was seen at this time; and there was nothing people would not do. And more: fathers killed their sons; men were dragged out of the temples and then killed hard by; and some who were walled up in the temple of Dionysus died inside of it” Human nature and war Change people’s circumstances and they act very differently War and Language - War does something with language, alters it - Thought is dependent on language - "And they reversed the usual way of using words to evaluate activities. Ill considered boldness was counted as loyal manliness; prudent hesitation was held to be cowardice in disguise, and moderation merely the cloak of an unmanly nature. A mind that could grasp the good of the whole was considered wholly lazy” Human Nature - Phoesis versus nomos, human nature versus convention or law. Nature is violent, law is orderly. Nature is full of greed and envy, law is hierarchical and peaceful - Broader points about human nature and the conditions of peace - “The reason they failed, their ambitions outweighed their interests” - It's wrong to go to war when it doesn’t serve your interests, when it’s out off greed or when it’s overreaching Pinker - Starts with an empirical face that may be surprising: violence has gone down over time (measured primarily by homicide) - The 20 thcentury seems to have been the most violent, however it has declined - He measures it not by absolute death but by chances of dying at any given time - Chances of dying a violent death in medieval Europe were very high - Chances of experiencing a violent death in the undeveloped world is also very high but it tends to drop - Political theorists and social scientists have disagreed about the fact and its causes - Jean Jacques Rousseau (18th century 1760): pri
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