Thucydides's Trap

Discussion in 'Culture' started by MackeyDingo, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. MackeyDingo

    MackeyDingo REALLY Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2012
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    “It was the rise of Athens, and the fear that this instilled in Sparta, that made war inevitable.”

    There is a lot of talk about Thucydides's trap in the context of America's waning hegemony and China's inevitable supremacy. Even reading that statement is shudder inducing. Who reads that and doesn't feel the ominous shadow of China falling over them? So maybe we go to war with them (Steven Bannon wants to just get on with it already) and we all die. Or maybe not.

    War is often described as armed conflict between societies. However war need not involve the use of traditional armaments. We have all types of modern hybrid warfare without traditional weapons, information warfare, cyber war among them. War is ultimately also a political tool. If we define war as "politics by the use of force," it could include a multitude of aggressive actions regardless of the use of armaments.

    In the current age, where multiple societal upheavals are concurrently taking place, I'm wondering how many other current power shifts Thucydides's trap can be applied to.

    Male vs female? Clearly men have been in power, and women are ascendant. Was this type of fear a motivating factor for men voting against Hillary? We have seen this accusation made multiple times by another name.

    Black vs White? Obviously white people have been at the levers of power since before the founding of this country. Then we had a black president. :eek: The resulting backlash was powerful enough to elect a pussy grabber with no political or military experience (something we have never done, seemingly for good reason) and a long history of amoral and self aggrandizing behavior. Sounds like pressing for change "at all cost," which could easily be argued to be a form of hybrid political warfare.

    There are, of course, degrees of reaction. Some reactions may not go far enough for some people to warrant being called "war." And yet they may be the most extreme option that is realistically available. I'm not sure there is a difference.

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