You are here: HomeCulture & Travel › Why They Fought

Culture & Travel

Why They Fought

By Michael Mandelbaum
- via Foreign Affairs    Nov 07, 2014

War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization From Primates to Robots BY IAN MORRIS. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014, 512 pp. $30.00.

The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once remarked that the history of European philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. For Ian Morris, world history may be understood as a series of footnotes to Thomas Hobbes. In Hobbes’ philosophy, order takes pride of place among all social conditions. Without it, human existence becomes, in his oft-quoted phrase, “nasty, brutish, and short.” Order, he wrote, comes about through the creation of a powerful government, which he termed “Leviathan,” after the Old Testament sea monster.

According to Morris’ sweeping history of conflict from prehistoric times to the present, order comes from governments strong enough to protect the people living under their jurisdiction, just as Hobbes said it did. Such governments, in turn, emerge from war. The answer to the question posed by the title of Morris’ book is that war is good for producing safety -- in other words, that war is good for peace. To be sure, not all wars are, as Morris puts it, “productive”; those that weaken or break up Leviathans earn the label “counterproductive,” since they make people more vulnerable. In his telling, human history has seen long periods of both kinds. In making his case, Morris provides a useful overview of military history since the beginning of organized warfare, although his account runs into difficulties as it approaches the present.

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

Article Tags:

REGIONAL

Western acts take note: Joy and enthusiasm are the key to winning over Summer Sonic crowds

By Patrick ST. Michel
- via The Japan Times    Aug 21, 2018

British rocker Noel Gallagher has developed a reputation in recent years for delivering biting, hilarious one-liners, both in interviews and at con...

Texas-Japan Summit: Innovating regional relationships

By Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council
-    Apr 10, 2018

For its second regional summit, the U.S.-Japan Council selected Texas for its venue because the state has remained a leading destination for foreig...

Business opportunities in Latin America for Japanese companies

By Javier A. Mazon
-    Mar 26, 2018

Thanks to Texas' proximity to the emerging markets of Central and South America, several major Japanese companies with significant investments in L...

BUSINESS

Yokohama-based tow truck builder to export 44 wreckers to congested Indonesia

via The Japan Times    Aug 17, 2018

Yamaguchi Wrecker Co., Japan’s leading tow truck supplier, is providing wreckers to local authorities in Indonesia so it can ease the country...

It's time to turn manufacturing on its head

By Tony Richards, President and CEO of Impact Dakota
-    Apr 24, 2018

The leader of a major business group in North Dakota has issued a call for government and industries to break away from long-held notions about eco...

An American SME enjoys success in Japan with a start-up distributor

By Doug Taeckens, CEO of Pace Solutions
-    Apr 04, 2018

As Japan is a very complex market, some American companies have found it hard to succeed in the country without a partner that has in-depth knowled...

CULTURE & TRAVEL

You may be telling everyone where you live on Instagram

   Jul 08, 2014

All heavy Instagram users should heed this warning: the “Add to Photo Map” function may be showing your stalkers where you work, where you hang out...

What Heidegger Was Hiding

By Gregory Fried
- via Foreign Affairs    Nov 07, 2014

Unearthing the Philosopher’s Anti-Semitism October 20, 2014 Gregory Fried Scholars have long known that Martin Heidegger was a Nazi, but many doub...

The War That Didn't End All Wars

By Lawrence D. Freedman
- via Foreign Affairs    Nov 07, 2014

What Started in 1914 -- and Why It Lasted So Long? October 17, 2014 Lawrence D. Freedman A hundred years after World War I, new accounts of the dr...

latest special features:

Upcoming Reports from

Australia 2018

See Preview »

Global Media Inc. and Foreign Affairs, following the successful 2012 report, return to Australia this year, to highlight the country's increasing i...

Ireland 2018

See Preview »

The Japan Times, in partnership with Global Media Inc., is tentatively set to publish a Special Report on Ireland in October. The report will celeb...

Eastern USA 2018

See Preview »

Stretching from Virginia to Maine, the Mid-Atlantic and New England states were part of the Thirteen Original Colonies that declared independence f...

South Korea 2018

See Preview »

As one of Asia’s most stable and most dynamic economies, South Korea maintains its status as a global leader because of its commitment to free trad...




  • Global Media is your partner in reaching a powerful international audience through high-level economic reporting.

    Our ambition is to highlight under-reported developments and opportunities around the world, and allow leaders in these regions and sectors to take their message to the highest global level. We partner with top media to communicate with the world’s most powerful audiences. We specialize in communication and branding initiatives that help our clients effectively get their messages to their existing and potential partners. We achieve results for our clients by introducing them and their initiatives to an audience of elite international business and government leaders.

    Global Media Inc. is an independent media agency with offices in Hong Kong and Canada. GMI has more than a decade of experience in the writing, researching, and production of promotional country reports, with media partners from East Asia to North America. We have teams worldwide that develop country and thematic reports on the latest economic trends and developments.

    We are a media partner of Foreign Affairs,the United States’ most influential publication, published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

    Nearly a century old, there isn’t a more influential or higher-reaching publication in the United States than Foreign Affairs. The journal is ranked #1 in influence by U.S. opinion leaders in a recent nationwide study conducted by Erdos and Morgan, the premier business-to-business research firm. Their findings place Foreign Affairs ahead of all media, both print and broadcast, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The Washington Post.

    Testimonials:

    “We were extremely impressed with how efficient, well-coordinated, responsive and reliable the Global Media Inc. team was. We owe them a lot for their professionalism. We were very pleased with the outcome, and the article was very well-written. We hope to have an opportunity to work with Global Media Inc. again in the near future.� – Japan Airport Terminal Co. Ltd.
    “The Global Media team’s professionalism was excellent. Their team was great and always gave us the right suggestions and information. The product was excellent, and we were very happy to have such a great opportunity working with their excellent team.â€� – National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS)
    “We were honored to be chosen as one of the good universities in Japan. This article conveyed Seigakuin University’s educational ideals and the message from President Akudo. The advertisement was conspicuous and gave a good impression that Seigakuin nurtured students to contribute to world peace. We really appreciated what Global Media Inc. had did for us.â€� – Seigakuin University

    Whom we have featured:

    • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
    • Australian Foreign Affairs Minister (and former Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
    • Qatari Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed
    • Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshiaki Takaki
    • Taiwanese Foreign Minister Yang Chin-Tien
    • Taiwanese Finance Minister Lee Sush-Der
    • Taiwanese Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-Shiang
    • Taiwanese National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-Chuang,
    • Taiwanese Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Yeh Kuang-Shih
    • Taiwanese Political Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Lin Tsong-Ming
    • Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Dino Patti Djalal
    • Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Gita Wirjawan
    • Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III
    • Philippine Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile