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War as a Normality of Life and Politics

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War as a Normality of Life and Politics In his chapter, "Sun-Tzu and Thucydides", Robert D. Kaplan discusses the war philosophy of Sun-Tzu and Thucydides. Kaplan explores these ancient literatures because he believes it is important to look at ancient classics on war and politics, since literature is the quiet resource of statesmen. As Kaplan elucidates on the principles of both Sun-Tzu and Thucydides, it is evident that they both believe that war is not an aberration. Kaplan identifies in his chapter that, if Sun-Tzu did indeed exist as one man, he was likely a court minister in China in the fourth century B.C. Whether he did exist or not, the book, "The Art of Warfare" was definitely a work of philosophy by someone or a ...read more.


Espionage, a strategy which is much frowned upon in today's society, was a strategy equal to any other for Sun-Tzu, because, the most important thing is to avoid war at all costs, and one may go to great lengths to satisfy that. Through this chapter, Kaplan shows that, despite the existence of such literatures as "The Art of Warfare", 20th century leaders like President Clinton and President Bush (senior) have not learnt the skills of avoiding war from the works of great historians. Thucydides, like Sun-Tzu, was also a man of who lived through times of great wars and turned to writing. Born in 460 B.C., he was fairly close to the time of Sun-Tzu of China, and was an Athenian general who was later stripped of his title and banished due to the unsuccessful defending of Thrace. ...read more.


As Kaplan organizes Thucydides' accounts of the Peloponnesian allies and the Athenian allies and how they gained them, it yet again becomes evident that modern society has much to learn from historians of antiquity. In today's society, alliance and acceptance is still gained by power and self-interest, as Kaplan shows by referring to the Peloponnesian Wars, and Thucydides' depiction of the formations of allies, in his works. Through the chapter, "Sun-Tzu and Thucydides", Kaplan intends to show the importance of ancient literature and its significance for the future. Since the philosophies of both Sun-Tzu and Thucydides developed due to experiencing real battle, and its consequences, Kaplan clearly illustrates the pragmatic view of war, and its place in life. Done By: Raad Yameen ...read more.

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