Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Wollt Ihr den totalen Krieg?"

Ever since I read this quote ("Do you want total war?") somewhere, attributed to Hilter's propaganda adviser, Joseph Goebbels, I've been pondering this fine distinction between Total War and Absolute War.

Total War is essentially a war in which a state's political system, society and economy are mobilized to a massive degree for the continuation and expansion of the war effort.

Absolute War, would be a war that is free from the moderating effects imposed on it by politics and society.

Clausewitz, western philosophy's esteemed theorist of warfare, considered the concept an absurdity--since, a nation (a social and political economy) is required to underwrite a massive war machine.

However, Clausewitz was thinking about this 150 years before the birth of George Bush 2.0.

The Bush/Cheney regime would appear to be the first successful practioners of Absolute War in history. Their program is international in scope. Boundaries are less important than targets. Targets can be anyone and anything.

It is generally agreed that World Wars I & II were the first instances of Total War, incorporating civilians and the civilian infrastructure as part of the military's logistical support system.

Absolute War has taken this one step further. Now, civilians have been hired to do the actual killing. International law and the moderating influences of social custom? How quaint.

With Total War there was at least a sense of an Us versus a Them.

Absolute War is not so obvious and is most clearly embodied in the conduct of Herr Cheney: You may be his friend but that doesn't mean he won't shoot you in the face.
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Blogger john hanson said...

shoot you in the face
then get you to apologize for
the inconvenience

in the tucson airport i watched
an 80 yr old man get lifted
out of his wheel chair
and frisked

the one fact that the absolute war agenda seems to ignore completely is
perhaps we are somehow culpable

in a global economy
ignorant of cultural history
the terrorist always has a point to make

i know what you're doing
you're just trying to get me
to say what i really think about these bastards
so they can read your blog
and then arrest me
and torture me
in a turkish jail

oh yeah
i know what you're doing

7:01 AM  
Blogger borneman said...

You sound a little paranoid.

What are you trying to hide!

Perhaps you should place yourself

under arrest for having . . . thoughts?

10:48 PM  
Blogger john hanson said...

important distinction

the first ammendment assures freedom of speech

freedom of thought is another matter

welcome ladies and gentleman
to the tower of babble babel babbell babbelocity

i realize this blog does not allow anonymous comments
but i am a victim of stolen identity

st simon stylites
looking at the gals
sunbathing in the bright

11:22 AM  
Blogger rm said...

beautiful photo

9:00 PM  

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