Military Power and International Order



In offering some tentative remarks on this subject I shall consider briefly the nature both of war and of the international order within which it arises. I shall not, in dealing with the first, adopt the view that war is a disease of the body politic, a pathological condition which can be traced to abnormalities in the social or economic structure, or to the racial characteristics of particular peoples. One could list many such explanations of the causes of war, from ‘aggressor nations’ or the machinations of armament-manufacturers to particular kinds of ruling class — whether monarcho-feudal, as the Gobdenites believed a hundred years ago, or bourgeois-capitalist, as the socialists believed fifty years later. All take as their starting point the assumption that peace is the natural condition of mankind, as health is of the human body. Such a view is understandable enough. It is a commendable reaction, not simply against the evils of war in themselves, but against the doctrines which were so widespread in Europe during the nineteenth and the earlier part of this century, that War is necessary to the health of the Race, that it is an intrinsic part of the dialectical mechanism of Progress or the biological mechanism of the Survival of the Fittest, a test of manhood to be strenuously prepared for and welcomed when it comes. The generation of Rupert Brooke had still to learn the lesson, on which Sir Frederick Maurice was to insist in 1927, that ‘war is a great evil’.


International Relation Armed Force Nuclear Weapon International Affair Sovereign State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations