Carl Von Clausewitz: Captain of the State the Obvious Regiment

Carl Von Clausewitz has too many seen as the pioneering school of thought of simply stating obvious facts and then making them seem like philosophical theories. Amongst the drivel that he once spewed out was his work on friction, that if countries dislike each other they want to go to war, who knows that. Clausewitz was successfully revitalized in the 1970s due to the development of War and Strategy academics, which crawled into universities and think tanks due to the rigorous over funding of strategy academics in the 1970s, in the pot luck hope that someone may have some kind of idea that will prevent the world from being nuked to hell. After the fall of the Soviet Union the theory continued to rehash itself and undergraduates of poorly designed political courses, have been forced to study Clausewitz as if his theories have any form of credibility at all. One could even go as far as to compare Clausewitz’s philosophical theory to that of a single middle aged man, who lounges around his one-bedroom flat in his underwear, sipping the odd can of Carling whilst watching the history channel.

Clausewitz’ theory on the trinity clearly illustrates a mind blowing example of the true depth of strategic thought that is that; a ‘paradoxical trinity-composed of violence, hatred and enmity… the play of chance and probability… and of its element of subordination’ brings all the main elements of how war is created. He later went on to articulate that three groups in society, the military, the people and the government are generally but not always associated with this trinity. It must be pondered upon, after the military, the government and the people, who exactly is left?

You can argue on a superficial way that it comes down to the military and the government, but if people aren’t associated with these aspects, the only other social groups that could be found are the animal kingdom and perhaps to be generously farfetched aliens. Captain Obvious clearly strikes again by arguing that war is “composed of violence, hatred and enmity”, Although perhaps I am forgetting the rigorous wars of pacifist guerrillas in the famous Shaking Hands and Making Friends(SHMF)  atrocity of 1939.

Chance and probability clearly illustrates how war is like a casino and you must compose academic theory by repeating the same thing twice and rephrasing it, in order to emphasis it for no reason. I would say an element of subordination clearly trivialises that state of a nations at the end of a war. It’s not as if the Natives Americans were just getting bullied for a bit of lunch money, when the settlers stole there land and diminished there culture into alcoholism and gambling addiction placing them on reserves of their own land.

Clausewitz claimed that understanding the nature of war for some reason is a necessary preconception to developing an effective strategy, which seems to some as a non sequitur to his towards his other works. Clausewitz is effectively the result of giving a hard-nosed military official a pen and paper and telling him he’s an academic.


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