CASTING A GLITTERING EYE ON SOCIAL TECHNOLOGIES AND 4GWDave Schuler
, who I have discovered has a polymathic grasp of most subjects, had an important post at The Glittering Eye
that I would like to direct to the attention of those readers inclined to strategy and military affairs. I have reproduced Dave's post in it's entirety:The adaptive functionality of limitations on war
"At Gene Expressions, matoko-chan has posted a consideration of just war theory from an evolutionary standpoint, reflections on a give-and-take we’d had in the comments of one of my posts on just wars.
It’s important that we not lose track of the fact that human social systems and the laws and rules of ethics that come with them are technologies, tools for living happier and more satisfying lives. The ethical and legal principles governing the decision to go to war and how war should be conducted most definitely has benefits. They enable members of societies that practice them to specialize and, as has been known for nearly 300 years, that has economic benefits—we’re more prosperous as a result and live healthier, more fulfilling lives as a result. Practicing such principles allows the societies to avoid certain costs.
I am concerned that what we’re seeing in the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, both on the part of the Israelis and on the part of Hezbollah, will become the future way of war in a post-Westphalian world. This is the world being created by the radicals and ideologues who have degraded the role of states in human society by attempting to reduce the role of states and treating non-states as though they were states. That is the nature of radicals and ideologues: they hurry to discard social technologies without understanding the purpose and workings of the technology they’re discarding. I think it’s a world that will be poorer and meaner.
If you want to understand the social, economic, and psychological costs of this new world, look to Israel. They’ve been adapting to them for the last 50 years."
I'm reserving comment for the moment hoping that those of you who have been deeply engaged in thinking about emerging military theories ( or, alternatively, attacking them) will offer your views on Dave's post either here or at The Glittering Eye