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"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." --Voltaire

adventure - culture wars - danger - group - spy - Vietnam - war fiction - violence - WWI - WWII

Pure War (1983/1998) - Paul Virilio, Sylvère Lotringer [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK] [...]

"Pure war" is the name of the invisible war that technology is waging against humanity. In this dazzling dialogue with Sylvere Lotringer, Paul Virilio for the first time displayed the whole range of his reflections on the effect of speed on our civilization and every one of them has been dramatically confirmed over the years. For Virilio, the foremost philosopher of speed, the "technical surprise" of World War I was the discovery that the wartime economy could not be sustained unless it was continued in peacetime. As a consequence, the distinction between war and peace ceased to apply, inaugurating the military-industrial complex and the militarization of science itself.

Every new invention casts a long shadow that we are generally unwilling to acknowledge in the name of progress: the invention of automobiles inaugurated car-crashes; the invention of nuclear energy, Hiroshima and Tchernobyl. The technologies of instant communications have invented another kind of accident: the extermination of space and the derealization of time. Instant feedback is shrinking the planet to nothing, and "globalization" is its ultimate accident. First published in 1983, this book introduced Virilio's thinking to the United States. For successive generations of readers, it remains one of the most influential and far-reaching essays of our time. --via Amazon.com


War is conflict involving the organized use of arms and physical force between nations, countries, or other large-scale armed groups. Warfare is the conduct of war.

Typically, warfare is mortal and lives of combatants are deliberately taken by enemy forces and the continued existence of a losing group as an entity is in doubt. In view of this, rules for the conduct of war are unenforceable during active conflict. A person faced with death, or an organisation faced with extinction, both have little incentive to obey rules that contribute to that result. If they can survive by breaking the rules they are likely to do so, and some would argue justifably.

Sometimes a distinction is made between a conflict and the formal declaration of a state of war. Given this distinction the term "war" is sometimes considered restricted to those conflicts where one or both belligerants have made a formal declaration.

Wars have been fought to control natural resources, for religious or cultural reasons, over political balances of power, legitimacy of particular laws, to settle economic and territorial disputes, and many other issues. The roots of any war are very complex - there is usually more than one issue involved. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War [Mar 2004]

Morality of war

Throughout history war has been the source of serious moral questions. Although many ancient nations and some more modern ones viewed war as noble, over the sweep of history concerns about the morality of war have gradually increased. Today war is almost unanimously seen as undesireable and morally problematic. Many now believe that wars should only be fought as a last resort. Some, known as pacifists, believe that war is inherently immoral and no war should ever be fought. This position was forcefully defended by the Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi (called "Mahatma" or "Great One".)

The negative view of war has not always been held as widely as it is today. Many thinkers, such as Heinrich von Treitschke saw war as humanity's highest activity where courage, honour, and ability were more necessary than in any other endeavour. At the outbreak of World War I the writer Thomas Mann wrote, "Is not peace an element of civil corruption and war a purification, a liberation, an enormous hope?" This attitude was embraced by many societies from Sparta in Ancient Greece and the ancient Romans to the fascist states of the 1930s. The defeat and repudiation of the fascist states and their militarism in the Second World War, combined with the unquestioned horror of nuclear war have contributed to the current negative view of war.

Today, some see only just wars (which also cause suffering, but are started to counter what is deemed even worse suffering) as legitimate, and it is the goal of organizations such as the United Nations to unite the world against wars of unjust aggression. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War [May 2005]

War on drugs

see Scott Thompson

Style Wars (1980) - Peter York

Style Wars (1980) - Peter York [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

More than that, Style Wars and its essays prefaced what the British press would soon dub "the style decade of the Eighties". Punk's binbags finally got binned, and in a few years street couture reached the catwalk and people began to consider that the way their homes looked was a "statement" about their lives made to the wider world. In new monthly glossies like The Face, i-D and Blitz, this fresh scene was written about and photographed, reported and celebrated with vigour and with the very style that its journalists and graphic designers were so enthusiastically recording. --http://www.popmatters.com/columns/warner/011120.shtml [Jun 2005]

see also: style - war

Disasters of War: Callot, Goya, Dix (1998) - Juliet Wilson-Bareau, John Willett

Disasters of War: Callot, Goya, Dix (1998) - Juliet Wilson-Bareau, John Willett [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
A series of etchings from three artists are the subject of this dramatic book. Jacques Callot's Miseries of War, published in 1633; Goya's The Disasters of War, rendered between 1810 and 1820; and Otto Dix's War, last issued in 1924, are separated by centuries yet connected to a noble tradition in European war art, that of realism and protest. Three authoritative essays by eminent historians give detailed accounts of the etchings and place them in their historical context. The relevance of these works today is apparent when noting the titles. "One can't watch this," "Bury them, without a word," "It's already too late," "Dead man in mud," and "House destroyed by bombs" are examples that address the plight of war's victims across the centuries.

About the Author
Antony Griffiths is Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum and author of Prints and Printmaking. Juliet Wilson-Bareau is author of the catalog, Goya's Prints. John Willett has written on the arts of Weimar Germany and recently translated Brecht's War Primer. Product Details

See also: Callot - Goya - Otto Dix - war - disaster

The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II () - Iris Chang, William C. Kirby

  • The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II () - Iris Chang, William C. Kirby [Amazon.com]
    In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered--a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written what will surely be the definitive history of this horrifying episode. The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: of the Japanese soldiers who performed it, of the Chinese civilians who endured it, and of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. Among these was the Nazi John Rabe, an unlikely hero whom Chang calls the "Oskar Schindler of China" and who worked tirelessly to protect the innocent and publicize the horror. More than just narrating the details of an orgy of violence, The Rape of Nanking analyzes the militaristic culture that fostered in the Japanese soldiers a total disregard for human life. Finally, it tells the appalling story: about how the advent of the Cold War led to a concerted effort on the part of the West and even the Chinese to stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Indeed, Chang characterizes this conspiracy of silence, that persists to this day, as "a second rape."

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