Blog Archives

The Game of War

My latest at Eclectica:

(For an ongoing discussion of this topic and other ideas it has spun off, please go to the comments section at the bottom of this page.)

War is a game—a lethal game (or “match,” if you like), but a game nonetheless. In the modern era, for the last couple hundred years, we all participate, if only passively as victims of its atrocities, assuming we don’t do so as combatants. It’s a game that affects everyone, but it still comes down to a winner and a loser,war the contest decided by “sides” that perform and are directed in much the same way a more conventional sport like football or basketball is coached and managed.

This is a thought that has been growing on me for some time but only became obvious during my recent reading of Victor Klemperer’s diaries of the Third Reich (I Will Bear Witness, 1933-1941 & 1942-1945). If the Nazis had fielded a soccer team instead of an army, and their opponents had done the same, and the outcome of the conflict including the fates of the populations of all the nations involved depended on who won the match, then the way the war was conducted, I mean the mentality of it, would not have been much different…. Read more.

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Radio Moshiach, Superbowl XLI & the Poisoned Kool-Aid Syndrome

I know it’s Superbowl XLVI. This is a piece I wrote a few years back, but it’s still a propos (click on Essays & Reviews, above, to read it). Angst never goes out of style. Neither does religion and patriotism, which is what this essay is about if I read it correctly (after you’ve finished writing something, you’re just another reader, and not the best one, either).