Primordial Hatred: Insurgency in the Civil War

Padre Steve's World...Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

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Sometime we look aghast at atrocities committed by people in other nations fighting civil wars or nations fighting various insurgents. Sadly, we usually fail to appreciate the nature of war, which in our sanitized brains we cannot comprehend. In all of our romanticism, especially that of the nobility of the Confederacy, and the Myth of the Lost Cause we forget the the American Civil War was profoundly ideological, heavily religious and fought with a ferocity that we cannot imagine. British military historian and theorist J.F.C. Fuller noted that “was preceded by years of violent propaganda, which long before the war had obliterated all sense of moderation, and awakened in the contending parties the primitive spirit of tribal fanaticism.”  Clausewitz said it best when he noted that war “As a total phenomenon its dominant tendencies always make war a paradoxical trinity–composed of primordial violence, hatred, and…

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