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If I were to be gifted a horse nowadays, I would've been angry. I would have to spend a lot of money in its food, in a blacksmith for horseshoes, grooming, cleaning his box, the rent of his box, extra taxes (depending on the government), veterinarian. So much money a simply horse would've cost me. And on top of that, imagine if the horse is sick and will just require surgery after surgery, draining my pockets even further. And I can't even sell him, he's pretty much a zombie horse.
Wait. But if I have those issues now, that raises the following question:
Between the start of the middle ages, until the Industrial revolution (Which majorly changed the revenue a horse could reek), what was on average the burden of owning an horse (Cost vs Income)?
Secondly, what would've happened if the cost of maintaining an horse was too high, but the horse would still be necessary as a ways to make a living? (They need him for transport / labor. When eating it just isn't viable)
The people who invented this proverb had somewhat different lifestyle from yours. And lived in different environment. They worked the land. For them a horse was not a liability but an asset. And these people were the majority of population. So even if one of them had no grass to feed a horse, or no desire to work with it, s/he would easily sell it. Even if you kill a horse for meat, you get: a) a lot of meat. b) the skin from which you can make a lot of things, c) hair and hoofs etc.
EDIT. Since the question was edited, and the proverb disappeared, I give a literal translation from the Russian: "One does not inspect the teeth of a horse which is received as a gift". Explanation: teeth inspection is one of the main things when you buy a horse. But if you receive something for free, you should be glad in any case.
Between the start of the middle ages, until the Industrial revolution (Which majorly changed the revenue a horse could reek), what was on average the burden of owning an horse (Cost vs Income)?
The answer to both sides, cost and income, is "it depends".
Do you have a lot of land for the horse to graze on? Do you already own other horses and thus already have the equipment and skills and stables to care for a horse? Then the cost will be relatively low.
At the other end is if you live in a city. You have to pay someone to stable the horse. You have to pay for feed. You have to spend time exercising the horse. Because of stone streets you have to pay for horse shoes and additional care for their hooves. There's a higher chance of disease in the more crowded conditions.
As to income, what is the horse doing? A war horse, or riding horse for recreation, will generate no income. A horse carrying messages and fast mail might make a high income, depending on the business. A draft horse could make a living, but it depends on what it's pulling: a horse pulling a plow over a turnip field will not make nearly the income as a horse pulling a fancy carriage taxing aristocrats around.
Secondly, what would've happened if the cost of maintaining an horse was too high, but the horse would still be necessary as a ways to make a living? (They need him for transport / labout. When eating it just isn't viable)
If what you're doing for a living isn't earning you a living, it's time to do something else.
If the horse isn't earning its keep, and you're not independently wealthy, you either do something more economically viable with the horse, or you sell the horse and do something else for money.
If you absolutely must have the horse, you find a way to pay for the horse. You can go into debt, or do other work.
A horse's teeth is one way to determine its age. So you should look at the teeth if you're buying it. If it's a gift, free, then there's no point in looking. You won't lose anything if it's old, and the giver might get offended and retract his offer.
In my answer to What was the price of a horse in 1750? I provided some actual prices for horses and oxen from early Detroit, dated 1807 and 1825. If you look at the values given you find that a team of horses is worth double a team of oxen. If you look at the inventories you will also find the price of land: 40 acres is worth about the value of a team of oxen. These are frontier values, for cleared land.
I don't recall the source offhand, but a team of horses can plow more than double the land in a day as a team of oxen, but costs about double to feed, hay and oats, and horses require more care, such as shoeing. As always, time is money, and the farmer who could afford it was willing to pay more for working horses than for oxen.
In both examples the teams of oxen and horses have been trained to work together; they are priced as teams.
English Civil War
The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of England's governance and issues of religious freedom.  It was part of the wider Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The wars also involved the Scottish Covenanters and Irish Confederates. The war ended with Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
(Second and Third Civil Wars)
(Second Civil War)
(First Civil War)
(Third Civil War)
Unlike other civil wars in England, which were mainly fought over who should rule, these conflicts were also concerned with how the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland should be governed. The outcome was threefold: the trial and the execution of Charles I (1649) the exile of his son, Charles II (1651) and the replacement of English monarchy with the Commonwealth of England, which from 1653 (as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland) unified the British Isles under the personal rule of Oliver Cromwell (1653–1658) and briefly his son Richard (1658–1659). In England, the monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship was ended, and in Ireland, the victors consolidated the established Protestant Ascendancy. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, but the idea of Parliamentary sovereignty was legally established only as part of the Glorious Revolution in 1688. 
John Stuart Mill was born at 13 Rodney Street in Pentonville, Middlesex, the eldest son of Harriet Barrow and the Scottish philosopher, historian, and economist James Mill. John Stuart was educated by his father, with the advice and assistance of Jeremy Bentham and Francis Place. He was given an extremely rigorous upbringing, and was deliberately shielded from association with children his own age other than his siblings. His father, a follower of Bentham and an adherent of associationism, had as his explicit aim to create a genius intellect that would carry on the cause of utilitarianism and its implementation after he and Bentham had died. 
Mill was a notably precocious child. He describes his education in his autobiography. At the age of three he was taught Greek.  By the age of eight, he had read Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis,  and the whole of Herodotus,  and was acquainted with Lucian, Diogenes Laërtius, Isocrates and six dialogues of Plato.  He had also read a great deal of history in English and had been taught arithmetic, physics and astronomy.
At the age of eight, Mill began studying Latin, the works of Euclid, and algebra, and was appointed schoolmaster to the younger children of the family. His main reading was still history, but he went through all the commonly taught Latin and Greek authors and by the age of ten could read Plato and Demosthenes with ease. His father also thought that it was important for Mill to study and compose poetry. One of his earliest poetic compositions was a continuation of the Iliad. In his spare time he also enjoyed reading about natural sciences and popular novels, such as Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe.
His father's work, The History of British India was published in 1818 immediately thereafter, at about the age of twelve, Mill began a thorough study of the scholastic logic, at the same time reading Aristotle's logical treatises in the original language. In the following year he was introduced to political economy and studied Adam Smith and David Ricardo with his father, ultimately completing their classical economic view of factors of production. Mill's comptes rendus of his daily economy lessons helped his father in writing Elements of Political Economy in 1821, a textbook to promote the ideas of Ricardian economics however, the book lacked popular support.  Ricardo, who was a close friend of his father, used to invite the young Mill to his house for a walk to talk about political economy.
At the age of fourteen, Mill stayed a year in France with the family of Sir Samuel Bentham, brother of Jeremy Bentham. The mountain scenery he saw led to a lifelong taste for mountain landscapes. The lively and friendly way of life of the French also left a deep impression on him. In Montpellier, he attended the winter courses on chemistry, zoology, logic of the Faculté des Sciences, as well as taking a course in higher mathematics. While coming and going from France, he stayed in Paris for a few days in the house of the renowned economist Jean-Baptiste Say, a friend of Mill's father. There he met many leaders of the Liberal party, as well as other notable Parisians, including Henri Saint-Simon.
Mill went through months of sadness and contemplated suicide at twenty years of age. According to the opening paragraphs of Chapter V of his autobiography, he had asked himself whether the creation of a just society, his life's objective, would actually make him happy. His heart answered "no", and unsurprisingly he lost the happiness of striving towards this objective. Eventually, the poetry of William Wordsworth showed him that beauty generates compassion for others and stimulates joy.  With renewed joy he continued to work towards a just society, but with more relish for the journey. He considered this one of the most pivotal shifts in his thinking. In fact, many of the differences between him and his father stemmed from this expanded source of joy.
Mill had been engaged in a pen-friendship with Auguste Comte, the founder of positivism and sociology, since Mill first contacted Comte in November 1841. Comte's sociologie was more an early philosophy of science than we perhaps know it today, and the positive philosophy aided in Mill's broad rejection of Benthamism. 
As a nonconformist who refused to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, Mill was not eligible to study at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge.  Instead he followed his father to work for the East India Company, and attended University College, London, to hear the lectures of John Austin, the first Professor of Jurisprudence.  He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1856. 
Mill's career as a colonial administrator at the East India Company spanned from when he was 17 years old in 1823 until 1858, when the Company's territories in India were directly annexed by the Crown, establishing direct Crown control over India.  In 1836, he was promoted to the Company's Political Department, where he was responsible for correspondence pertaining to the Company's relations with the princely states, and in 1856, was finally promoted to the position of Examiner of Indian Correspondence. In On Liberty, A Few Words on Non-Intervention, and other works, he opined that "To characterize any conduct whatever towards a barbarous people as a violation of the law of nations, only shows that he who so speaks has never considered the subject".  Mill viewed places such as India as having once been progressive in their outlook, but had now become stagnant in their development he opined that this meant these regions had to be ruled via a form of "benevolent despotism", "provided the end is improvement".  When the Crown proposed to take direct control over the territories of the East India Company, he was tasked with defending Company rule, penning Memorandum on the Improvements in the Administration of India during the Last Thirty Years among other petitions.  He was offered a seat on the Council of India, the body created to advise the new Secretary of State for India, but declined, citing his disapproval of the new system of administration in India. 
In 1851, Mill married Harriet Taylor after 21 years of intimate friendship. Taylor was married when they met, and their relationship was close but generally believed to be chaste during the years before her first husband died in 1849. The couple waited two years before marrying in 1851. Brilliant in her own right, Taylor was a significant influence on Mill's work and ideas during both friendship and marriage. His relationship with Taylor reinforced Mill's advocacy of women's rights. He said that in his stand against domestic violence, and for women's rights he was "chiefly an amanuensis to my wife". He called her mind a "perfect instrument", and said she was "the most eminently qualified of all those known to the author". He cites her influence in his final revision of On Liberty, which was published shortly after her death. Taylor died in 1858 after developing severe lung congestion, after only seven years of marriage to Mill.
Between the years 1865 and 1868 Mill served as Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews. At his inaugural address, delivered to the University on 1 February 1867, he made the now-famous (but often wrongly attributed) remark that "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing".  That Mill included that sentence in the address is a matter of historical record, but it by no means follows that it expressed a wholly original insight. During the same period, 1865–68, he was also a Member of Parliament (MP) for City of Westminster.   He was sitting for the Liberal Party. During his time as an MP, Mill advocated easing the burdens on Ireland. In 1866, he became the first person in the history of Parliament to call for women to be given the right to vote, vigorously defending this position in subsequent debate. He also became a strong advocate of such social reforms as labour unions and farm cooperatives. In Considerations on Representative Government, he called for various reforms of Parliament and voting, especially proportional representation, the single transferable vote, and the extension of suffrage. In April 1868, he favoured in a Commons debate the retention of capital punishment for such crimes as aggravated murder he termed its abolition "an effeminacy in the general mind of the country". 
He was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society in 1867. 
In his views on religion, Mill was an agnostic and a sceptic.    
Mill died in 1873, thirteen days before his 67th birthday, of erysipelas in Avignon, France, where his body was buried alongside his wife's.
The mechanization of the manufacturing process allowed workers to be more productive in less time and factories to operate more efficiently.
Describe the rise of modern management practices
- Many of the new workers were unskilled laborers who performed simple, repetitive tasks.
- New systems of management with clear chains of command and complex bureaucratic systems began with railroad companies and spread throughout American businesses.
- Many new blue-collar jobs appeared in manufacturing, as well as white-collar jobs for managers.
- By the beginning of the 1900s, the United States had the highest per capita income and industrial production in the world, with per capita incomes double those of Germany and France, and 50 percent higher than those of Britain.
- mechanization: The use of machinery to replace human or animal labor, especially in agriculture and industry.
- management: Administration the process or practice of running an organization.
- efficiency: The extent to which time is well used for the intended task.
Frederick Winslow Taylor: Frederick Winslow Taylor, a mechanical engineer by training, is often credited with inventing scientific management and improving industrial efficiency.
The Gilded Age was marked by increased mechanization in manufacturing. Businesses searched for cheaper and more efficient ways to create products. Corporate officials used various techniques, such as timing their workers with stopwatches and using stop-motion photography, to study the production process and improve efficiency. Frederick Winslow Taylor observed that the use of more advanced machinery could improve efficiency in steel production by requiring workers to make fewer motions in less time. His redesign increased the speed of factory machines and the productivity of factories while undercutting the need for skilled labor. Factories became an assemblage of unskilled laborers performing simple and repetitive tasks under the direction of skilled foremen and engineers. Machine shops, comprised of highly skilled workers and engineers, grew rapidly. The number of unskilled and skilled workers increased as their wage rates grew. Engineering colleges were established to feed the enormous demand for expertise.
Railroad Companies and Management
Railroads gave rise to the development of modern management techniques, such as the use of clear chains of command, statistical reporting, and complex bureaucratic systems. Railroad companies systematized the roles of middle managers and set up explicit career tracks. They hired young men at age 18–21 and promoted them internally until a man reached the status of locomotive engineer, conductor, or station agent at age 40 or so. Career tracks were offered to skilled blue-collar workers and white-collar managers, starting in railroads and expanding into finance, manufacturing, and trade. Together with rapid growth of small business, a new middle class was rapidly growing, especially in northern cities. Extensive national networks for transportation and communication were created. The corporation became the dominant form of business organization, and a managerial revolution transformed business operations. By the beginning of the 1900s, the United States had the highest per capita income and industrial production in the world, with per capita incomes double those of Germany and France, and 50 percent higher than those of Britain.
Founded in 1995 by entrepreneur and philanthropist, Gloria Austin
What is history? We are told that history is acts, ideas, or events that will or can shape the course of the future. Most people think of history and civilization as being made and created by men, but often, history and the development of human societies and civilizations are drastically altered by the introduction of an influential catalyst. Some of those influential catalysts from our past are fire, the wheel, metal, agriculture, religion, and written language but one is missing in the typical history books and it comes in the form of an animal.
There is one mammal that transformed the world once its speed and power were harnessed. It is the first thing that allowed man to travel faster than his two legs could carry him on land. It is the creature that a few of us, as equestrians, know and appreciate in our current-day lives. The unsung hero is the Horse.
“We have had 6,000 years of history with the horse and only 100 with the automobile,” states Gloria Austin, President of Equine Heritage Institute, Inc. whose mission is to educate, celebrate and preserve the history of the horse and its role in shaping world civilizations and changing lives
Some people talk about the Stone, Copper, Bronze, and Iron Ages while other talk about the Ancient World, Middle Ages, Age of Discovery, Revolution and Industry, and The Modern World. A student of the social history of the horse might look at things differently. The Horse Eras might look like this:
- Era of Consumption (50,000BC to present)
- Era of Utilization and Status (4000BC to 1900AD)
- Era of Herding (3500BC to present)
- Era of the Chariot (1700BC-400AD )
- Era of the Cavalry (700BC – 1942AD)
- Era of Agriculture (900AD – 1945AD)
- Era of the Carriage (1700AD-1920AD)
- Era of Leisure – (1900 to present)
Man’s first association with the horse, some 50,000 years ago, involved forcing them off a cliff, corralling them into natural cul-de-sac, or frightening them into pits so they might be clubbed to death for their meat. With 50% more protein and 30% more iron than leanest beef, it offered early cave men a tasty diet for sustaining life.
Some of our images of the importance of the horse appear in early cave art in France and other parts of the world. The greatest preponderance of prehistoric horse cave art appeared between 15,000 and 12,000 BC, along with other images of deer, mammoths, bears, lions, wolves and foxes.
Something special happened 6,000 years ago when the horse became domesticated. The world was transformed. The equine’s speed and power gave man a new approach to the world. Now tribes were united into empires, distance travel became viable, and cultures and languages raced around the known world.
The horse’s origin in the grassland of the Eurasian Steppe, north of the Black and Caspian Seas, was the launching platform for a revolutionary way of life that included faster travel. 4,000 BC appears in our list of Eras of the Horse since this ‘harnessed’ horse began to be used for its ‘horse power,’ speed, and the status it brought its user. Man was walking at about a rate of 4 miles per hour. The horse walks at that speed but trots long distances at twice that rate (8 miles per hour) and gallops at up to 35 miles per hour for shorter distances. Properly, conditioned the horse can cover as much as 100 miles in a day.
Once domesticated, the horse was poised for greatness because of its anatomy, physiology, and sociability. As a herd animal with a pecking order in the wild, it learned subordinance allowing man to become its boss and teacher. Its digestive system allowed it to eat and run whereas its predecessors – the reindeer and cow – must lie down, rest, and regurgitate and remasticate its food before working again. The biomechanics of the horse’s limbs allowed it to be an efficient and effective mover. Plus its conformation gave man a comfortable place to sit.
The uses for the horse in man’s life go on and on. The horse was used for food, herding, warfare, transportation, communication, agriculture, trade, commerce, pleasure, sport, religion, symbol, status, gift, industry, competition, and recreation. This is to say nothing about its significant role in the transfer of language, culture, and technology that resulted with the increased mobility the horse offered to man.
The Secondary Product Revolution (SPR)(The muscular power of the horse is valued enough to keep the animal alive.) marks the beginning of the Era of Herding that still exists to this day as cowboys and shepherds still use the horse for these purposes. The Era of Herding is the time that the horse went from a food source to a work horse. Packing, riding and driving horses took advantage of the animal’s speed and power. The SPR created a diffusion of wagons, horseback riding and wool sheep leading to Indo-European expansion. (David W. Anthony, The Horse, The Wheel, and Language)
The fast ridden horse was invaluable as an animal to herd animals like the already domesticated sheep and cows. It was the only way to herd other speedy horses. The horse brought increased efficiency to the shepherd’s life. One man and a dog could herd 200 sheep but one man with a horse and a dog could herd 500 sheep.
Generally, nomadic cultures tended to ride their horses and sedentary cultures tended to drive their horses. Driving horses would depend on whether: the given culture had previous experience driving other animals such as oxen or asses in harness the culture had understanding of effective harnessing and the wheel or they had a need for a draft animal. Most cultures that moved to wheeled vehicles used sledges or slide cars first. A sledge had two wooden runners and a platform holding the runners together and a slide car (travois in French) was made of two poles lashed to the sides of a horse with another holding the dragged pole apart at the rear of the horse. Both were used for transport of goods, the sick or the elderly. A culture with chariots or wagons had to have a fairly sophisticated technology to put together the horse, the harness and the wheeled carriage.
Wheeled vehicles were invaluable to cultures that had developed cities and confined their animal in pens. There was a need to move grain and fodder from the countryside to the places where people and animals congregated. Congregation in cities was generally done to protect the population from aggressors who wanted to steal food, property and wives.
The horse and wheel gave a great boost to man’s ability to move goods from place to place. A man can carry about 50 pounds, a horse can pack 200 pounds, but a horse and a wheeled vehicle can transport up to twice the horses own weight consequently a 1,000 pound horse could move 2,000 pounds of cargo to penned animal or shops in the city.
The horse has had an impact on the world – everywhere it went and on every aspect of life.
The horse has been part of human history for over 6,000 years. We offer a variety of lectures and resources on history, tradition and culture surrounding them.
Ancient Greece wasn't a single country or empire united under a single government, it was made up of a number of city-states. At the center of each city-state was a powerful city. The city ruled the lands and area around it. Sometimes it also ruled smaller less-powerful cities. The Greek name for a city-state was "polis".
Each city-state, or polis, had its own government. Some city states were monarchies ruled by kings or tyrants. Others were oligarchies ruled by a few powerful men on councils. The city of Athens invented the government of democracy and was ruled by the people for many years.
The two most powerful and famous city-states were Athens and Sparta, but there were other important and influential city-states in the history of Ancient Greece. Here are a few examples:
Corinth was a trade city in an ideal location that allowed it to have two seaports, one on the Saronic Gulf and one on the Corinthian Gulf. As a result, the city was one of the wealthiest cities in Ancient Greece. The Corinthians developed their own coins and required that traders use them when in their city.
Corinth is perhaps most famous for its architecture. The Corinthians developed the Corinthian order of Greek architecture which is the third major form of classical Greek architecture along with the Doric and Ionic.
The government of Corinth was a monarchy ruled by a king. Corinth provided soldiers to the Greeks during the Persian Wars. They also allied with Sparta against Athens in the Peloponnesian War.
Thebes was a powerful city-state to the north of Corinth and Athens that was constantly switching sides in the various Greek wars. During the Persian Wars they originally sent men to Thermopylae to fight the Persians, but later, they allied with King Xerxes I of Persia to fight against Sparta and Athens. During different times in history they allied with Athens against Sparta and then switched sides to ally with Sparta against Athens.
In 371 BC, Thebes marched against Sparta and defeated the Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra. This put an end to the power of the Spartan city-state and set many of the Spartan slaves free.
Thebes was famous in Greek legend and literature as well. It is known as the birthplace of the Greek hero Hercules and played a major role in the stories of Oedipus and Dionysus. Also, perhaps the most famous Greek poet of the time, Pindar, lived in Thebes.
Argos was one of the oldest city-states in Ancient Greece, but it first became a major power under the tyrant Pheidon during the 7th century BC. During Pheidon's reign, Argos introduced silver coins as well as a standard system of weights and measures that later became known as the Pheidonian measures.
According to Greek Mythology, Argos was founded by Argos, the son of the god Zeus. The land became dry and arid after the gods Hera and Poseidon had an argument over the city. Hera won and became the patron of the city, but Poseidon got his revenge by drying out the land.
Delphi was the religious center of the Greek city-states. People from all over Ancient Greece visited the city to receive guidance from the famous Delphic oracle Pythia. During the classical Greek period the city became the shrine to the god Apollo after he slew the Python.
Delphi was also a center of the arts, education, literature, and trade. Located in the center of Greece, it was often called the "navel (center) of the world". Delphi was also home to the Pythian Games, one of the most famous athletic competitions in early Greece.
The city-state of Rhodes was formed in 408 BC on a Greek island when three smaller cities (Ialyssos, Kamiros, and Lindos) decided to unite and make one large city. The city was prosperous for hundreds of years due to its prime location as a trade port. The city was famous for its shipbuilders as well as its giant statue called the Colossus of Rhodes. The Colossus of Rhodes was considered one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. It was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios and it stood over 100 feet high.
Islam's black slaves
By Suzy Hansen
Published April 6, 2001 3:22AM (EDT)
Although slavery seems like an institution from a barbaric and uncivilized past, it survives today in both Sudan and Mauritania. The horrific details of the Atlantic slave trade -- the ruthless slave traders who pillaged Africa, the millions of Africans who died on treacherous sea journeys to America, the resulting "peculiar institution" of cheap, brutalized labor that spawned the Civil War -- weigh heavily on the American conscience. Another slave trade, however, the Islamic one, remains a mysterious aspect in the history of the black diaspora. Fourteen centuries old, this version of slavery spread throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, India and China. It is the legacy of this trade that continues to ravage Sudan and Mauritania today.
South African-born Ronald Segal is the author of 13 books including "The Anguish of India," "The Americans" and "The Black Diaspora." In his latest book, "Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora," he offers one of the first historical accounts of the Islamic slave trade. Salon spoke with Segal by telephone from his home in London.
How did the Atlantic and Islamic slave trades differ?
The Atlantic slave trade exclusively used black slaves or agricultural labor on plantations. It started in a very small way in 1450 and ended in the middle of the 19th century. It was the basic labor supply for the plantations in the Americas since the indigenous people had been all but wiped out by a combination of imported diseases and forced labor. The number of slaves who landed alive in the Americas -- it was an important aspect in the development of capitalism, so the numbers are fairly accurate and organized by merchant banks and investors with stock market quotations -- was something like 10,600,000. Slaves became so cheap that it was more profitable to work them to death and buy new ones than to try to keep your labor supply alive. For example, some of the mortality rates in San Domingue -- which became, after the only successful slave revolution in history, Haiti -- were quite staggering.
Slaves in the Atlantic trade came to be kept and regarded as units of labor, not as people. This was almost formalized by categorizing slaves as "pieces of the Indies." A male slave, able-bodied and in the prime of his life, was defined as a "piece of the Indies," and the other slaves, the women and children, were defined as "pieces of pieces of the Indies." That gives you an idea of how the exploitation of African slaves was rationalized in the West.
The slave trade in Islam was seriously different. It began in the middle of the seventh century and survives today in Mauritania and Sudan. With the Islamic slave trade, we're talking of 14 centuries rather than four.
Whereas the gender ratio of slaves in the Atlantic trade was two males to every female, in the Islamic trade, it was two females to every male. Very large numbers of slaves were used for domestic purposes. Concubinage was for those who could afford it and there was no disrepute attached to having women as sexual objects. In fact, they married them. Some harems could be enormous. One ruler had 14,000 concubines. In one respect, women slaves were a status symbol. I hate to say it this way, but it's comparable to the way people in the West collect motorcars.
The male slaves were used for the more exacting physical jobs in homes and palaces: porters, messengers, doorkeepers. In various places, from Islamic Spain to Egypt to Libya, there were black slaves used as soldiers. In Morocco, there was a whole generation of black slaves who became the army of Morocco, in which the young boys were bought at the age of 10 or 11 and trained in horse handling and military skills of various kinds. Young female slaves were instructed in household crafts and were then provided with resources to buy a home and get married.
Strictly speaking, in Islam, castration was against the law. I don't think it was in the Koran, I think it was a hadith -- a saying attributed to the prophets -- which says he who castrates a slave will himself be castrated. But they got around this as people do. One contrivance was to buy already castrated slaves. Another was to employ those who were not Muslims to perform the operation. But then even these contrivances came to be abandoned and dealers would perform the operation themselves along the route. The mortality rates were absolutely huge.
To be technical, there was a crucial difference between white eunuchs and black eunuchs. White eunuchs were made by the removal of testicles. Black eunuchs were made by what was called "level with the abdomen." Eunuchs were guardians of the harem [because] if they were castrated "level with the abdomen," there was no risk of their damaging any of the property in the harem.
For reasons that are not altogether clear or explicit, they came to be used increasingly by rulers as counselors, advisors and tutors and, eventually, to actually run the holy places of Mecca and Medina, where they were treated with enormous respect. One can speculate on the motivation -- if they were not sexually active or preoccupied they were more likely to be devoted and loyal or given to spiritual preoccupations instead of bodily ones.
Were there other types of white slaves in Islam?
Yes. The Atlantic trade didn't deal with white slaves, but the Islamic trade dealt with large numbers of white slaves.
And in Islam black slaves were never used for the same purposes that they were used in America?
In the early stages of Islam, they were used in the American way. In southern Iraq and neighboring Iran they were put to work in large quantities to clear the salt crust for agriculture and plantation labor. But in the ninth century, a prophet arrived who instigated a rebellion among the black slaves, the Zanj, in the area. This rebellion was enormous. It destroyed much of the commercial shipping in the region and came close to capturing the city of Baghdad, then the greatest city of Islam. It was eventually crushed after quite a protracted period. The impact across Islam was enormous. There developed a reluctance to allow very large concentrations of slaves for plantation agriculture. That is a parenthetical reason for the overwhelmingly domestic nature of the Islamic trade.
Does the Koran specify how slaves should be treated?
The Koran is the key. The relationship between slave and master in Islam is a very different relationship from that between the American plantation laborer and owner. It was a much more personalized relationship and relatively benevolent. Everything here is relative -- being a slave is being a slave and it shouldn't be romanticized.
The institution of slavery is sanctioned in the Koran. To say that the Koran is in any way opposed to the institution of slavery would be wrong. It is never recommended, but it is influentially and explicitly benevolent in its attitude to the poor, the orphaned and slaves. And there is a specific injunction that to free a slave is an act of piety, which has its due reward in the other life.
Incidentally, what was absolutely outlawed in the Koran was to separate an infant or a young child from his mother.
Which was normal in America.
Right. There is a specific statement in the Koran that says that he who separates the child from his mother will himself be separated from his loved ones on the day of judgment.
Since it was an act of piety with immeasurable reward, the incidence of emancipation or enfranchisement was enormously more widespread in Islam than it was in the Western form of slavery. There wasn't a complete separation of master from former slave. Usually, a patron and client relationship developed between slave and master. For example, in Mauritania today there are freed slaves called Haratin whose descendants still pay tribute to the family of the owner. Specifically in the Koran, the owner of a slave is enjoined to provide that slave with an opportunity to purchase his freedom.
There would be a binding contract in which the slave would be provided with the opportunity to earn money for himself and pay in installments to his owner, which by practice, if not by law, became a gratuity. There were then two motivations for freeing your slave -- a reward in heaven and money in this world.
Was slave ownership only for the rich, as it was in America?
Slave ownership was so widespread. Even small shopkeepers owned slaves. Paradoxically, although slaves were at the bottom of the hierarchy because they weren't free, they still stretched right across the economic hierarchy. It was not rare for slaves to become highly prized artists. There were academies that existed to teach young slave girls to play musical instruments. Any self-respecting merchant house would have a chamber orchestra.
Slaves became generals and black slaves became rulers. In the 16th century, a slave, Ambar, became first a general and then the ruler of a large Indian state.
I also thought it was fascinating that the child of a master by a slave was free.
Definitely. A child born fathered by his master was freed, since a child could not be the slave of his parents.
The great numbers of black female slaves must have ensured a great deal of miscegenation.
There's no question about that. It is the major reason for the relatively small size of the black diaspora in Islam, though there were other reasons. A number of countries noted a low fertility rate among black women slaves. And not all women slaves used for domestic purposes had the opportunity to produce children.
The ultimate example of the distinction between the two trades is that in the greatest Islamic empire, the Ottoman Empire, after the sons of the first two sultans, no sultan mounted the throne who had not been born of a concubine. The Ottoman ruling family did not marry because they regarded the royal family as above any alliance. Occasionally, marriage would be used to ensure the loyalty of a Turkish tribe, but overwhelmingly the fertility of the Ottomans was through concubines.
Why could Islamic slaves assimilate into the surrounding society so more easily than American blacks could?
Here we get to a further dimension of the difference between the two trades. Slavery in the West, because it was so cruel and had become so disreputable, required some kind of excuse or extenuation -- the idea of biological discrimination. Essentially, the concept of race developed and was popularized. The sort of pseudo-scientific view, in distinction from the pseudo-religious view, came about during the Victorian age, the 19th century, when you had Darwin's theory of evolution. You could irresponsibly and intellectually dishonestly subscribe to the idea that certain races were inferior.
But the Koran, on the other hand, prohibits racism?
The Koran very explicitly attacks it. According to the Prophet, Islam comes to do away with these distinctions of tribe and nation and color. There is a strong argument made by Patricia Crone that, initially, Mohammed was most influential in a political rather than a religious sense. He supplanted this intertribal rivalry by uniting a large part of the Arabian people into a political unit, and, of course, it then became an imperial power.
Was there no stigma attached to being black in Islam?
Nothing is ever quite so simple. There did develop an attitude toward color. There were distinctions in market value and general consumer appreciation between one sort of black slave and another. Some of this was aesthetic. One tends to think that anyone who looks like one's own people is more beautiful. For instance, the Ethiopians and the Nubians were highly favored because they had sharpish noses rather than flat noses and they were lighter colored. Clichés developed so that you had so-called Negro slaves for hard work and you had Ethiopians and Nubians for concubinage.
But this was never institutionalized. This is another key to the difference between the two empires. Of course, there were Islamic pseudo scientists in the Middle Ages who said differences of character and temperament were the consequences of climate -- those who lived too far from the sun in the North had frigid temperaments, and those who were immediately beneath the sun were given to too much merriment and too little thought.
But in the context of the development of Islam it would have been a real break with tradition had it been institutionalized in law. This is important for the assimilation aspect too, because once you were freed, there was no discrimination in law against you.
They weren't confined to an underclass after they were freed?
Many of them might have been, although the client/patron relationship was a sort of protection if you were in need -- that is, if your previous owner was a true practicing Muslim. And there isn't this history of separation. The nature of the Atlantic trade and therefore the survival of racism in the West has been one of segregation. In America, separation was the social clarion call and as bad in the Northern states as in the Southern. Generally, the geographical separation -- the kind of separation in individual churches where blacks were seated in one part of the congregation and whites in another -- produced this enormously creative black diaspora in America, as well as infinite suffering.
There wasn't this separation in Islam. Whites didn't push blacks off the pavement. They didn't refuse to allow a black singer to sing in Constitution Hall. They didn't forbid restaurants to serve them. I don't think that there's any disputing that slavery was a more benevolent institution in Islam than it was in the West.
Also, it is irrational to make the exclusive connection between slavery and color that existed in the West because there were white slaves in Islam in significant numbers.
In comparable numbers to black slaves?
With the enormous expansion of Islam and the conquests of huge territories, there were certainly large numbers of white slaves in the early periods. But, to be cautious, white slaves became increasingly more difficult and expensive to obtain. Black slaves became far more numerous than white ones. Certainly, when you get to the 19th century, which was the cruelest century, there were many more black slaves than white ones in Islam.
Beyond the tenets of the Koran, why was this so?
Western capitalism and the development of the attitude of viewing people as units of labor and not as people.
Was America so economically powerful because it exploited its cheap slave labor more brutally than any other leading empire -- such as the Ottoman?
That's a valid point but there are many other reasons for the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Although opinions may differ over the extent of the relationship between the Atlantic trade and the development of industrial capitalism, it is unarguable that the Atlantic slave trade was immensely profitable. The Industrial Revolution was closely related to the Atlantic trade in two major respects. First, many of the products of early British industrialization were directly related to the slave trade. But also, the families who grew rich as a result of the slave trade invested their profits in industrialization. This was a dual fruitfulness that the slave trade produced for the development of industrial capitalism.
The Islamic slave trade was not profitable?
It was profitable for the dealers. But it was nowhere near the kind of sophisticated business that it became in the Atlantic trade.
The Atlantic trade is a horrendous and fascinating story. Which is not to say that in Islam there weren't tremendous cruelties involved, particularly in the 19th century when all inhibitions were discarded. Of course, it must also be said that the West, for all the horrors for which it was responsible, did also engender (not always for benign reasons) the movement against the international slave trade.
Was there an abolitionist movement in Islam?
Initially, it was a source of great hostility that the West dared to intervene in Islamic affairs in contradiction to what was allowed by the Koran. But as Western influence, or modernism, became more and more [widespread], it became less fashionable as well as profitable in Islam to own slaves. And it became illegal over much of the area. The pressures against slavery were extremely great from Western powers. It was the moral issue. It became more scandalous because the conditions of procurement and transport became more and more horrendous.
Was it similar to the Atlantic trade in this respect?
Both slave trades wittingly and unwittingly encouraged warfare on a huge scale to provide the captives for the traders. In Islam, this was much less the case until the 19th century, when it became quite ghastly. The worst of the slavers were not Arabs but Afro-Arabs -- they were as black as the people they were enslaving. The casualties involved in enslavement wars were absolutely unspeakable.
Where were the Afro-Arabs from?
The great dealers of the 19th century? Some of them carved empires for waging war and for providing large numbers of slaves. The point must be made that the worst, the most costly in their ravages, were the Afro-Arabs. They were themselves Africans. There is nothing peculiar to Africa about this, though -- people are corrupted by circumstances and greed.
Why has slavery survived in Sudan and Mauritania?
The resurgence of fundamentalist Islam has a lot to do with slavery in both countries. Both describe themselves as Islamic states and pursue policies of Arab-Islamic religious law, but they are essentially exercises in the maintenance of control. Sudan is an imperial agglomeration of two countries -- one part of black Africa, one part of North Africa. Involved in the war is a question of control and power. In Mauritania, the so-called white Moors represent a third of the population, another third are the Haratin -- who are the descendants of freed slaves and largely black -- and the last third are blacks still held in slavery.
Also, it is partly a reaction to the power differentials in the world at large. Islam was a civilization that for hundreds of years was arguably the central civilization of the world and certainly dwarfed the cultures and powers of a West that is now unquestionably supreme. So there is a sense of humiliation. In such a situation you get a backlash -- a "return to the future through the past" sort of thing -- a re-Islamization. There's nothing in the Koran that says someone can come along and free your slave.
What interested you in the Nation of Islam?
I find it personally inexplicable that the adhesion to Islam within the Black Muslim movement is apparently indifferent to the survival of black slavery within Islam.
Louis Farrakhan doesn't acknowledge what goes on in Sudan and Mauritania?
Does he want them to bring him the slaves as proof? I think it's based on a crude self-defense mechanism not unrelated to those who feel it necessary to defend the conduct of the Israeli government regardless of what it does. The attitude is: "These are yours, you belong to them, they are part of your past and part of your history, and therefore how can you associate yourself with outsiders who attack them?"
But this isn't about the survival of Islam -- that's not in question. You're talking about two rogue states, which are condemned by Islamic countries, governments, preachers, writers. You become so much more credible if you show that you are altogether sensitive to suffering, that you are hostile to injustice across the board. If you become so selective that you can ignore outrages of this kind, well, how can you blame other people for ignoring outrages to you and your community?
Farrakhan is a very paradoxical thinker because he's very, very intelligent, yet he makes statements that are so obviously stupid. It is incomprehensible that he doesn't know that they are stupid. He knows how to manipulate the media. He does it on the basis of short-term gain, without realizing that it is long-term loss. You don't build anything lasting on that basis.
Do Black Muslims hold to the classic tenets of Islam?
They break from the Koran immediately -- if we're talking functionally about their crude and open anti-Semitism. That is in complete conflict with the special relationship that Islam established, while the Prophet was alive, with Judaism and Christianity. There has been no long historical conflict between Jew and Muslim, though there has been a conflict since the crusades between Christian and Muslim.
There are exceptions, but overall Islam proved most hospitable, and certainly a great deal more so than Christianity, to the Jews. When the Jewish population was expelled in 1492 from Spain, Islam took in those Jews who couldn't find havens in Christian countries. This isn't to say there haven't been tensions from time to time, but overall there is no comparison between the way Islam has behaved to Jews and the way Christianity has behaved to Jews.
On what basis does the Black Muslim movement usually attack Jews?
What I find most outrageous is that the leadership of the Black Muslim movement has judged it necessary and defensible to attack Jews on the basis -- for which there is no historical foundation whatsoever -- that they masterminded the slave trade, by which I think they mean specifically the Atlantic trade. And that is -- not to put to fine a point on it or to be excessively elegant -- unmistakable crap. Anyone who knows anything about the Atlantic trade knows that this is nonsense.
So why do you think they keep on about this?
I think that they are resentful -- and I understand the resentment but not the form it has taken -- that a great deal of fuss, an enormous amount of moral attention, is now paid to the Holocaust. And in my view, rightly so. The slave trade was the only comparable historical experience to the Holocaust -- comparable but not identical. No one seems to pay remotely the same attention to or have the same sense of guilt about the slave trade as about the combination of racism in the Holocaust.
Now, that is a point that ought to be made. But you do not aggrandize one by belittling the other. On the contrary, you end up denying the importance of one by denying the importance of the other. Certainly you add nothing to your case by basing it on assertions that are so easy to confront and contradict.
Do you think the Nation of Islam came out of pure despair with America or from a loss of faith in Christianity?
They were explicably attracted by a sense or knowledge that there was no such history of specifically anti-black racism in Islam, as so conspicuously had existed for blacks in the West and, in particular, in the United States. Those who wished to believe in God or practiced some form of religion and were, as Louis Farrakhan was, disenchanted with Christianity were easily captivated by a religious alternative not all that far apart but distinctly different from Christianity.
Do you think the Nation of Islam has helped American blacks?
I have traveled widely in the United States and have visited communities in Michigan and Illinois. Secular black academics testify that in Black Muslim schools the emphasis placed on the history and dignity of blacks in Africa has had a marked effect on the reading ability of black children, who no longer feel disparaged and demoralized.
There is a great deal of truth in a man like Farrakhan's indictment of some of the black middle class who flee the ghettos, for understandable reasons, but in the process think that they can turn their backs on those who are unable to buy new homes in these middle-class suburbs. There is a smugness there, and then there is the phenomenon of the black conservative, such as Clarence Thomas.
It is outrageous that American democracy doesn't function for the objectives that it is almost perpetually enunciating. If you start looking at statistics on the disproportionate numbers of blacks executed, of young blacks in prison -- all these undeniable abuses of the system make people very angry. The problem occurs when this anger becomes irrational. Because it is such an obvious series of abuses, the anger doesn't need to be irrational. In fact, the only way it can be effectual is to be rational.
Suzy Hansen, a former editor at Salon, is an editor at the New York Observer.
Consent, Assent and Dissent in Dementia Care and Research
Ethics and Law
One of the first starting points in approaching any issue in clinical and research ethics is to differentiate clearly between law and ethics . While a knowledge of the law is important, the law is anethical – e.g. it is not illegal for a psychiatrist to sleep with a patient, but it is considered to be highly unethical – and in certain jurisdictions, the law may routinely place practitioners in situations that test their professional ethics. Examples include mandatory reporting for driving for many illnesses in all Canadian provinces which raises significant ethical concerns  and similar concerns that mandatory reporting of elder abuse in all 50 US states is a counter-productive measure for some.
There are clearly important links between health law and ethics  , and under-graduate and graduate education needs to be informed by medical jurisprudence, and medical jurisprudence courses have developed in advance of bioethics courses in many universities. Many societal debates on ethical issues are aired and decisions achieved through law, albeit in a setting in which discourse is constrained by legal protocols, and where often decisions may be antagonistic to professional and deeper ethical principles. However, law is a separate discipline, and special skills are needed to clarify the interface between the law, ethics and professional practice  . A final concern is the avoidance of ‘legalism’, whereby practitioners place an undue emphasis on the law  .
So, a due balance between ethics and medical jurisprudence is needed, which will recognise not only the needs of students and practitioners to acquire and continually develop competence in each of these areas, but also equally important that each discipline has an academic presence of sufficient size for the maintenance of academic credibility, standing and focus of the discipline: ‘orphan’ middle-level academics embedded in other departments will not facilitate an optimal development of bioethics.
7. Who can dance? Everyone can dance.
Put simply, Everyone can dance. Really, anyone can dance.
Regardless of shape, size, age, race or religion, ability and disability, anyone can experience and delight in dance, and enjoy its benefits.
This is because dancing takes so many forms - there is a type of dance for everyone - and because each of us has dancing inside us.
If you doubt this, take a few minutes to read about Multiple Intelligences Theory - you can even do a free self-test to indicate your own 'multiple intelligence profile' - and the degree to which music and body movement feature in your own personality. We all possess musical and body movement capabilities - some more than others - but it's basically impossible for a human being to exist who has none. Besides this many people are drawn to dance for its artistic and spatial and social/interpersonal qualities, and these are also separate multiple intelligence aspects that every person tends to possess to a lesser of greater degree.
Dance at its simplest is self-expression - so ability is irrelevant. Self-expression is utterly separate from, and and not dependent on skill.
If you have natural talent and passion for dance, learning to dance might be easier.
Also some dance styles are easier to enjoy and perform when learning begins at a young age (ballet, for example).
Nevertheless people can dance, and learn to dance better, at all ages.
Moreover, certain types of dancing are much easier to learn when older.
The variations of dance also make dancing accessible to people of all physical conditions - and mental conditions.
Disability is not an obstacle to dancing.
So ability and age and physical ability are not relevant. And we have already discussed the substantial benefits that can be derived from dancing by people with all sorts of mental challenges and conditions.
We know that human beings have been dancing for millennia.
We are genetically &lsquohard-wired&rsquo to move in rhythm and we are programmed to respond when other people dance. The global TV phenomena of Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars are clear proof of the universal appeal of dance - competing alongside the most popular sports and dramatic entertainment - for what people choose to follow on TV and other media.
Nevertheless, there is a wide belief that only a few people can really dance, and that many people can&rsquot dance at all.
Yet dancing is in all of us to varying degrees. When we are young we naturally move to music as soon as we hear it. We tap our feet and nod our heads spontaneously, automatically, intuitively, instinctively.
We dance at events, discos, functions and weddings, in front of the mirror, with friends, with our children and grandchildren, drunk or sober, in groups of tens of thousands (at festivals and sports grounds), and alone when no-one is looking.
We can all dance, but, of course, many of us do not.
Many of use choose not to dance convincing ourselves that we are not good enough or we will embarrass ourselves. or we might think we are not a &lsquodancer&rsquo.
Just as everyone can boil a kettle and make a sandwich, and plant a seed, and hum a tune, so each of us can dance if we choose to.
Dancing is for everyone, and everyone can dance.
Dancing and disability
It is important to note that dance is accessible in various forms to people of different disabilities - temporary or permanent.
Wheelchair dancing or Wheelchair DanceSport, which is well established in over 40 countries, and as an international competitive form of dance, is a wonderful example of the increasing adaptability and accessibility of dance for people who are not as physically able as the majority of dancers.
There are also types of dance for people who have visual impairment, and other forms of sensory disability.
Dance is increasingly used as a social, therapeutic, healing, and fitness activity for people suffering from mental challenges of one sort or another.
Dancing is also a hugely helpful activity for people who suffer from illness and disease of some sort, whether temporary, or permanent, or even terminal.
Specialist dance classes and groups exist now, and continue to grow, all around the world, for people of all ages who are impaired or challenged in some way.
Research is discovering more and more ways that dance can help treat, soothe, heal or comfort people who are battling physical or mental adversity.
Teaching and learning dance for dancers who have a disability of some sort logically requires specialist knowledge and methods, but the basic principles of teaching and learning are the same as for able-bodied dancers - particularly the concept that the needs of the dancers must be understood before learning/teaching commences .
In this respect dancing for people with disabilities is much like dancing for everyone else:
- Teachers must be suitably qualified, and must understand the form of dance they plan to teach.
- The dancers needs and capabilities must be assessed, so that teaching can be planned and explained.
- Teachers and dancers should have a mutually agreed view of what the aims are - the purpose, the standards and measures, and opportunity for students to influence and control their rate and intensity of development, so that people remain happy and committed, and stresses and confusions avoided.
- Equipment, clothing, and venue considerations must be satisfied properly, so that everyone is safe, and that people have what they need to dance.
- Dancers' learning and development must be monitored, and students given careful sensitive feedback and coaching, with suitable reference to proven learning and teaching methods.
- Appropriate notes of theory and instruction must be provided by teachers to students, so that dancers have a printed (or other media) reference to aid their development, besides the practical learning that happens in the class/studio situation.
- Teachers must ensure that learning happens according to an appropriate mix of fun, enjoyment, social engagement, physical exercise/development/therapy, variety of dance experience, measurement/assessment/qualification, and perhaps competition too if wanted, and certainly lots of acknowledgement and recognition of progress and achievement.
Dancing for disabled people, and people howsoever challenged or impaired physically or mentally, is an aspect of dancing that offers unlimited potential for good - for societies and communities everywhere. Much of this potential has yet to be identified, and new ideas and methods are emerging all the time.
If you have an interest in this area of dance please follow your passion, because so much good can be achieved.
The benefits of dance, for people who are physically or mentally disadvantaged, are powerful medicine indeed.
So as you read more of this article - remember that with a little adaptation and imagination - dance really is for everyone.
- Main Index
- Introduction to dance and dancing
- About this article and how to use it
- Origins of dance - dancing in human history
- Definitions of dance - word origins, language
- Benefits of dance - physical, mental, workplace, society
- Who can dance. Everyone can dance..
- How to learn to dance and how to teach dance
- Glossary of dance styles and different forms of dancing - summary of the major dance types
- Choreography - dance choreography and dance notation
- Glossary of interesting and significant dance-related terms and people
- Dance information sources - references, dance associations, teaching bodies, etc.
State, Society, and War
Military revolutions are seldom legible to their participants in advance. New technologies, organizational templates, and doctrinal concepts only reveal the extent of their superiority when tested in battle. After their dominance has been demonstrated, the rest of the world scrambles to catch up and a new way of conducting war supplants methods that had been in place for decades or centuries. Thus, figuring out whether one is in a revolutionary moment and positioning oneself on the winning side of history is a matter of pressing concern for military professionals.
One way to approach the study of military revolutions is to develop some working definition of the concept and then inventory all such revolutions over a given span of history.[i] While common, this technique is unsatisfactory.[ii] Identifying and selecting cases based on an outcome of interest makes the process of causal inference impossible because there is no mechanism for differentiating the selected cases from the population at large. For instance, all successful American generals weigh less than 400 pounds. If one only considers cases of “successful generals,” as opposed to “all generals” or “officers” or “soldiers” in determining the causes of battlefield success, one might ascribe significance to a characteristic that is quite common across all generals, successful and otherwise.
Rather than fall into the trap of starting with revolutions and working backwards, this paper will start from general theories of the state, society, and war and work forward. Theories structure information and explain relationships between causes and effects. By positing a theory that explains how states produce military power, it becomes possible to organize a vast amount of information about the world into manageable, focused analytical categories. These categories enable one to derive relationships between state, society, and military power and test the resulting hypotheses using historical cases. The first section of this paper describes contemporary thinking on the sources of continuity and change in war. It argues that military power is a function of five things: the regime type, the state’s penetration of society, the economy, the society’s human capital, and the technologies extant at that point in history. This implies that a radical change in any one of these variables results in a radical shift in the military options available to that state. The section concludes with an illustration of this theory using a well-known historical example of a revolution in military affairs – the production of military power by France and Germany in the 1930s.
Having assessed where military power comes from in broad terms, the next task is to describe how states employ that power to achieve political outcomes. The military, as an institution, realizes the war-making potential of its state and society by translating war-making potential into political outcomes. This section describes a military’s theory of warfare as a chain that begins with the constraints generated by the state’s sources of military power and the strategic environment. Given these constraints, a military will produce materiel, doctrine and organizations. These tools are produced in order to produce a military effect against an adversary, which is intended to generate a favorable political outcome. This sequence is illustrated by returning to the example of 1930s France and Germany, two states that developed and implemented two very different theories of warfare in response to the different structural constraints and strategic challenges they faced.
The purpose of a theory is to structure information and enable people to draw useful conclusions. This paper will show that the interlocking theories presented in the first two sections illuminate both evolutionary and revolutionary changes in warfare, help simplify the process of thinking about the future operating environment, and can clarify the search for the 3 rd offset, which is itself an attempt to leverage American society’s comparative advantages to military effect. It does so by conducting a thought experiment which pits a future United States against a near-peer adversary with different political, social, and economic constraints.
Five Sources of Military Power
Changes in warfare are often caused by changes in the raw material from which war-making institutions are constructed. War, by definition, is a political endeavor – one group of human beings attempts to impose its will on another through actual or threatened violence. Both the characteristics of human organizations and the tools of violence change over time. This section presents five ways of thinking about these sources of military power that will enable a clearer examination of major shifts in the conduct of warfare.
The method by which the leadership of a state is selected determines its regime type. Different types of regimes produce different types of militaries. The most obvious distinction in the contemporary world is between democratic and non-democratic states, but adding nuance to each of these categories generates a more useful typology for present purposes. For example, within democratic states, one can make a distinction between national and non-national democracies. A nation is a group of people who believe they should determine the political leadership for their group, based on a common identity. Where the boundaries of nation and state coincide, there is an overwhelmingly powerful tool for the generation of military power: the nation-state. The nation-state, and especially the democratic nation-state, is able to overcome citizen resistance to paying for and participating in a military at much lower cost than competitors. The advent of the nation-state had such a profound impact that Knox and Murray identify it as the first of five military revolutions in Western history.[iii] Of course, where the boundaries of nation and state do not align, one observes challenges to the state’s ability to generate and employ military power – the Kurds are an example of this phenomenon, the troubles in Northern Ireland are another.
Within non-democracies there are a variety of regime types. To distinguish between these, it is important to determine who selects the political leadership.[iv] For most of history, leadership was selected on the basis of war-making ability.[v] However, interminable leadership competitions between rival warriors are ultimately destabilizing to a political entity and this system for selecting leaders gave way to patrilineal regimes, where power is passed from father to son. This regime type remained the norm for centuries, but has been supplanted by the single-party regime in modern times.[vi] In a single-party regime, an organization with restricted membership determines the composition of the state’s leadership. This party can be quite large – the Chinese Communist Party has nearly 90 million members – or can be highly restrictive, like a military junta. The point is that there are consensual mechanisms, acceptable to the party membership, for determining leadership and that the party, through the state, is able to impose its preferences on the rest of society. Because the party is able to attract a wider constituency and provide greater opportunities for advancement than other sorts of non-democratic alternatives, one-party regimes tend to be more stable and have a greater ability to generate military power than patrilineal (or other autocratic) regime types.[vii]
Additionally, there is an enduring concern on the part of any regime regarding the potential for the military it builds to simply take over the state. In democratic regimes, rules governing military professionalism are augmented by a general belief among citizen-soldiers that the regime is legitimate and that democratic preferences should determine the political order. To the extent that the state is skeptical of the democratic bona fides of its military, it tends to create a weaker military apparatus, subject senior leadership to political litmus tests, and create alternate centers of military power. French politics and military planning in the first half of the 20 th century vividly illustrates this dynamic.[viii] Since the patrilineal regime of Napolean III was only overthrown in 1870, the commitment of senior military officials to the Third Republic was considered suspect, as the military was a pillar of the old regime and was generally feared to have reactionary tendencies (especially after the suppression of the Paris Commune in 1871).[ix] The result was a military that was less prepared than its strategic leadership would have preferred in either 1914 or 1940.
In non-democratic regimes, the problem of the military can be even more acute.[x] The state needs a military to defend it from external threats and suppress internal dissent. However, if the military is too powerful, it will take over. Thus, non-democratic regimes are forced to trade military efficiency for security from military coup.[xi] This can result in the constitution of parallel security agencies, so that the National Police watches the military, the military watches the National Police and only the state leadership watches both. It can result in the creation of parallel command structures in military formations, such as the Soviet political officers. This situation can result in deliberately under-supplying formations, positioning forces away from population and political centers, and preparing to sabotage internal lines, which was the Iraqi monarchy’s strategy.[xii]
State Penetration of Society
The state is the organizational apparatus that determines political outcomes for a given population in a given geographic area – it is the final arbiter of who gets what and why. Among its other characteristics, it ensures its survival by extracting resources from society and employing them to create and maintain military power.[xiii] Naturally, given an option, most people prefer to keep resources under their own control and let somebody else provide public goods. The extent to which a state can overcome this popular resistance to extract resources and influence individual behavior is what I mean by state penetration of society.[xiv]
In contemporary America, the state is overwhelmingly powerful. The state is constrained by rule of law and enjoys widespread democratic legitimacy nevertheless, citizens are given unique identification numbers at birth, required to submit an individually assessed portion of the annual productivity, are potentially subject to compulsory military service, have their rights of ownership arbitrated in the state’s courts, etc. And even this level of penetration pales in comparison with totalitarian regimes of the past, which fully captured even the most mundane human interactions under the aegis of state and party.[xv] However, states this powerful are not the norm internationally or throughout history.[xvi] In many places, the state struggles to penetrate other political forms (like a tribe, for instance)[xvii] and the process of breaking down these barriers and building new political allegiances is slow and incredibly costly.[xviii] The resources available for the production of military power and the forms that the military will take can differ considerably in response to these local conditions – think about local militias, religiously-motivated fighters, and tribally organized formations in the contemporary world, or, historically, knights called up by feudal allegiances or mercenaries hired by Italian city-states.
The method by which a society produces and distributes desired goods is inextricably connected to its politics and, by extension, its military. A state must extract from the economy the materials it uses to construct a military, must either produce or buy military goods using the economic means at its disposal, and will attempt to prevent the export of militarily significant commodities to its rivals. To render this enormous set of interlocking behaviors more tractable, I will focus on the predominant source of wealth in the economy, the relationships between classes of economic actors, and the total resources available for extraction by the state. All three of these variables have a significant impact on the creation of military power.
Modes of production can be broadly separated into agricultural, industrial, and service economies.[xix] Agricultural production centers around the manipulation of natural processes to generate consumable goods. In agrarian economies, land holdings are the predominant source of wealth, manufactured goods are produced on a local, artisanal basis, and most human labor is dedicated to farming, fishing, or mining. Industrial production combines inputs from the natural world with labor and capital (factories, equipment, etc.) to produce much higher volumes of manufactured goods than could be created by individual artisans. In industrial economies, capital is the predominant source of wealth, goods are manufactured in factories, and the population is increasingly urban and employed by others in exchange for wages. Service production employs human capital to generate efficiencies in the creation and allocation of goods and services. In service economies, capital is the predominant source of wealth and profits are generated and captured in the non-manufacturing components of production (finance, design, marketing, shipping, insurance, sales, strategic management, etc.). The archetypical worker in a service economy is in an office of some type, not on a factory floor or a farm.
Changes in the economy lead to changes in social organization. In early agrarian societies in Europe, agricultural labor was supplied by peasants tied to the land and managed by a network of feudal nobility that controlled the land.[xx] This mode of social organization is profoundly unsuited to industrialization, which requires a mobile labor pool, the ability to transfer and redeploy capital, and large markets. Therefore, during the process of industrialization the peasantry is replaced by a wage-earning labor pool (and, occasionally, some small-holding farmers), a middle class of small business owners and managers, and an aristocracy defined by control over variously fungible forms of capital.[xxi] In service economies, capital becomes incredibly mobile, and is able to seek out opportunity in a global labor market. Since it is much easier for a capital owner to move assets to another country than it is for a worker to migrate, there is a tendency for rapid deindustrialization in some countries, the use of globalized management systems, and the need for workers to repeatedly reskill during their careers. Thus, society splits further into a “precariat” of unskilled labor, skilled labor, high-wage managers, and a capital-owning elite.[xxii] Notably, all or any of these classes can be controlled by the state rather than governed by an open market – the late Soviet regime absolutely had a division between laborers and a relatively stable managerial class, although everyone was employed by the state.[xxiii]
These dynamics are significant because they dramatically impact how military power is generated. The mobilization of peasants is a function of land-based coercion – to create an army, nobles would demand their peasants either join the fight or lose their livelihoods. This incentive scheme leads to armies with small pools of motivated nobles and a large pool of unruly peasants who would much rather wander off and go back to the farm than campaign. By contrast, the industrial tendency to generate specialized labor encourages standing armies trained to operate the machines of war built by an industrial economy. Large-scale conscription directly impacts the productive capacity of war-time industry, and management of the labor pool becomes an ongoing concern. The service society’s way of war is still emerging, although perhaps the ongoing concern about talent-management and the individual allocation of skilled labor to organizational needs reflects the broader demands of a service economy workforce.
The final consideration in the impact of the economy on the military is, of course, the fact that more is better. Paul Kennedy argues that “there is a very clear connection in the long run between individual Great Power’s rise and fall and its growth and decline as an important military power (or world empire).”[xxiv] The larger the output of the economy, the larger the amount of military power it can produce. This is related to the previous factors inasmuch as fundamental changes in the economy have led to explosions in productivity that generate both technological overmatch and enormous wealth available to resource military requirements.
Militaries wage war by combining technology with human capability. While there is a tendency to concentrate on technological overmatch, which will be discussed below, the human capital available in a society can also be a source of military advantage. I will consider two forms of human capital – physical and cultural.
As people respond to the demands of their environment, their bodies adapt (or they are selected out of the gene pool by their higher propensity to die before they reproduce.) Mongol warriors lived on vast steppes and needed to be able to ride great distances in order to function as nomads. This ability then translated into incredible strategic and operational mobility that enabled the rapid concentration of force which, when combined with a tendency to massacre their enemies, prevented local coordination of adversaries, deterred uprisings by conquered populations, and created an enormous empire. Similarly, the adaptation of early American settlers to physical labor, reduced disease, and improved nutrition led to a soldiery able to withstand long marches through wilderness and the ability to exploit British forces operating on extended lines of communication.[xxv]
Human beings also bring cultural practices with them when they enter military service. These understandings can be highly politicized, like the revolutionary armies in Europe who saw themselves as on a quest for human freedom that was naturally in conflict with monarchies.[xxvi] They can be more tightly focused on military virtue, such as the definitions of martial courage that inspired French formations to conduct bayonet charges in the face of withering artillery and machine gun fire in August 1914.[xxvii] Or cultural values can focus on more basic notions of hierarchy, teamwork, or the relationship between group and individual, as in the Duke of Wellington’s famous (and probably apocryphal) claim that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. Similarly, the British army historically has been much more comfortable providing its officers with personal assistance and has called such individuals “batmen,” whereas the much more egalitarian American culture produces a military that made no such provisions for its junior officers.
Technologies are the physical tools, organizational templates, and methods of employment that are utilized during war in pursuit of a combatants objectives. Technology is so fundamental to warfare that the two often merge in popular imagination – wars are often remembered by the tools used to fight them. These materiel solutions are ably defined by the warfighting functions: firepower, protection, movement and maneuver, intelligence, sustainment, and mission command. Any warfighting technology can be understood in terms of its (or its user’s) ability to do harm, to be harmed, to move, to perceive its surrounding, to continue operations, and to coordinate with others. When a one of these attributes changes radically in a short period, militaries attempt to leverage this new imbalance to their advantage.
A second form of technology is organizational. In previous eras, materiel overmatch could be retained for considerable stretches of time – think of the power of the Greek phalanx, pikes, and shields or Roman legions armed with short swords, century-based formations, and expert military engineering. By contrast, more modern eras have seen the rapid diffusion of technology, so that rival militaries are able to adopt similar-looking tools of warfare nearly simultaneously – the tank, jet aircraft, ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons, etc. In moments of relative parity in materiel terms, the key is for leaders is:
[t]o know what one can do on the basis of the available means, and to do it to know what one cannot do, and refrain from trying and to distinguish between the two – that, after all, is the very definition of military greatness, as it is of human genius in general.[xxviii]
In the contemporary era, the overwhelming lethality of the battlefield is generated by a suite of interlocking technological solutions that has extended battlefield geometries over progressively greater distances as militaries disperse and conceal forces in order to preserve combat power in the face of modern firepower. Stephen Biddle calls this the “modern system of warfare,” and argues differences in the ability to train and employ disciplined small units lead to enormous disparities in battlefield outcomes.[xxix] The ability to unify individual efforts across a dispersed battlefield requires an enormously complex command and control apparatus, which requires both materiel solutions and trained commanders and staffs. The bureaucratic history of these organizations, the training of the commanders, and the recent history of the military all inform their ability to adapt existing human and technological capital to the demands of contemporary warfare.[xxx]
Application: Sources of Military Power in 1930s France and Germany
The usefulness of a theory is defined by its ability to organize information so that complex phenomena can be understood accurately at the minimum cognitive cost. To demonstrate the usefulness of dividing the sources of military power into the five broad categories described above, this section will apply this approach to France and Germany in the late 1930s. The 1930s and 40s are widely accepted as the advent of mechanized warfare and are considered a military revolution in affairs by scholars working in that vein.[xxxi] Since the outcome of the German invasion of France in May 1940 was especially stark, it serves as a useful illustration of a state that successfully adapted to a military revolution (Germany) and one that was comparatively unsuccessful (France).
A later section will discuss the particulars of French and German approaches to warfighting. However, in order to understand the context out of which those approaches emerged, it is necessary to outline the structural situation facing France and Germany in the late 1930s. The paper will return to this example at the conclusion of the next section what is important to note at this juncture is the extent to which France was disadvantaged relative to Germany in the production of military power of a particular sort. The Nazi party’s capture of the German state enabled it to repurpose the entire state apparatus for the production of military power and disciplined cadres.[xxxii] At this juncture, the Nazi regime had not yet begun its reliance on slave labor, but was still actively repressive of non-party labor organization. It actively cooperated with large German industrial conglomerates – indeed, the unification of party and corporate power under a pseudo-market system is a defining feature of fascist ideology.[xxxiii] It also leveraged a culture of innovation in the German military which had been conducting active experimentation with emerging concepts and technologies.[xxxiv]
By contrast, the French state was wracked by a series of confrontations between workers and employers that had been deferred during the Great War. French governments fell with disturbing regularity, preventing long-term stability in defense planning. Further, French labor unrest led to frequent strikes and the reconstruction of northeastern France, the impact of the Great Depression, and manpower shortages due to World War I casualties left the French government with a smaller pool of resources to allocate to defense than it would otherwise have had. Thus, military modernization was delayed until the late-1930s and the drive to mass produce new equipment was substantially disrupted by the mobilization of the French industrial workforce into the Army.[xxxv] While the French had access to tank and aircraft technology, they were slower to adapt to new ideas:
[French] military leaders basked in the glory of a victory that had required the best efforts of them and the entire nation. They were neither hypnotized nor blinded by their experiences in the war, and they were not bound for defeat in 1940 because they succeeded in 1918. Instead, they were confident of the methods and weapons that had given them success in the war, and they saw no reason to abandon or modify them without careful thought, thorough analysis, and challenging tests.[xxxvi]
Theories of Warfare: Turning Potential Military Power into Political Outcomes
If war is an attempt by one group of human beings to impose its will on another through actual or threatened violence, a military is the bureaucratic mechanism through which that violence is achieved. The connection between the structural conditions discussed above, the military organization, the application of violence, and the determination of a political outcome is determined by the military’s theory of warfare.[xxxvii] In its simplest form, a theory of warfare takes a given set of background conditions and a strategic problem determines a doctrinal, organizational, and materiel arrangement most conducive to solving that problem applies the military instrument thus generated to an adversary and, given that application, predicts some change in the adversary’s political behavior. These theories tend to be quite durable, are deeply rooted in institutional culture, and change only in the face of immense pressure. In the words of Gen. Balck, a German Army Group commander and a key figure in the German breakthrough in 1940: “… no army can separate itself from the principles on which it has acted from the very outset.”[xxxviii]
The insight to be had from this way of thinking is not that militaries can be defined through their Doctrine, Organization, and Materiel (along with the remaining DOTMLPF-P factors), but that: first, these factors are constrained by background conditions that are seldom discussed but are overwhelmingly important second, the belief about how the application of the military will impact the enemy’s will and capability to continue to resist can and does vary across militaries third, that the relationship between military and political outcomes is a matter of organizational belief and informs thinking about how the organization should be built and what it should be doing in battle.[xxxix]
The Army Operating Concept is the foundational document for the Army’s theory of warfare in the 2020-2040 timeframe.[xl] It presents an evaluation of some of the sources of military power and outlines strategic challenges, it describes a military problem and the methods by which that problem will be overcome, and it emphasizes the importance of achieving durable political outcomes.[xli] It is, however, one of multiple theories of warfare competing for attention and resources. In order to demonstrate its relative merits, it is important to be able to clearly delineate what theories of warfare are, what they are meant to do, and how this particular approach to thinking about warfare can inform investments in future offset strategies.
The Givens: Context Matters
In 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously remarked that “[a]s you know, you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” In addition to being a classic Rumsfeldian bon mot, it also highlights the reality that, regardless of the demands of the operational and strategic environment, a military can only be built using the material made available by the society which generates it. Not only is the military constrained by choices made in a previous era, it is constrained by its organizational culture, by bureaucratic inertia, by the ability of the state to produce resources, the regime type and its relationship to the military, the state of technology at the time, etc. One of the great challenges American advisors faced in Iraq was trying to determine what reasonable expectations for the Iraqi army really were. A culture that operated on complex webs of loyalty, used a shadow economy and shadow bureaucracy to get things done, had mass illiteracy, and had limited exposure to the intricate electronic systems was probably not going to do well with a system of small unit leadership that relied on bureaucratic transparency, careful maintenance of electronic systems, written records, and a great deal of individual initiative. On the other hand, the ability to pool soldiers in groups, grab vehicles, assign an officer, and commence operations gave the Iraqi Army an impressive ability to generate tempo. An entire Iraqi battalion could be formed and moving in the time it took its American advisors to reset a radio’s encryption.
Equally important to the five sources of military power is the strategic environment as understood by the authorities forming the military. A great power tends to focus on the threats emanating from other great powers – so when General Don Starry wrote that the United States Army had to be able to fight outnumbered and win, he was responding to the particular strategic problem posed by the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact in Europe. In most other situations, the United States could reasonably expect to be able to generate both a qualitative and a quantitative edge over its adversaries. Other countries, though, have their own concerns that focus the attention of their militaries. One of the recurring challenges the United States faced during the Cold War was convincing its allies to focus on the Soviet menace, rather than their own more specific concerns.[xlii] This problem is only more acute for non-democratic regimes, which may face both internal and external security challenges, and thus design a military that is suboptimal for international conflict but quite well suited for the suppression of local dissent.[xliii]
How to Change the Military Situation
The purpose of conducting military operations is to produce some effect on a targeted force or population. A theory of warfare posits the connection between the operations and the effect that will be produced and such theories have varied across time and between militaries. For example, an attritional theory of warfare would organize, equip, and train forces to conduct operations designed to achieve a favorable loss-exchange ratio with their adversaries. The military effect of these operations on the adversaries would be to induce losses until the force collapsed. By contrast, Rapid Decisive Operations argued that by combining advances in intelligence and firepower, key adversary nodes could be attacked from distance and destroyed, leading to widespread fear and confusion in the adversary decision-making apparatus. Other theories argue that bypassing adversary strengths to target key enabling capabilities (centers of gravity) will render the adversary’s military unable to continue to offer productive resistance.
The point here is not to catalogue every military theory in history, but to observe that what often feels obvious and universal from within a military institution is less so from outside of it.[xliv] In fact, there is a great danger in optimizing a force around a flawed theory of warfare, as it may perform exactly as designed and still fail. That is, it may have the appropriate doctrine, organization, and materiel to undertake planned operations, and fail to have a useful military effect on the adversary because it has targeted the wrong vulnerabilities.
How to Generate Political Outcomes
The final component of a theory of warfare is the connection between changes in the military situation and political outcomes. In the case of a war of annihilation, the connection is clear – the goal is the destruction of the adversary’s society and, perhaps, population. In modern times, the target of a total war is aimed at the adversary’s political apparatus – the collapse of the state and the elimination of organized resistance to whatever new political order is to be established. In these cases, there is no space for a negotiated settlement between combatants, “military efforts that aim to coerce enemy leaders to accept undesirable terms are very problematic” and, therefore, “are historically accompanied by complementary efforts that force closure by defeating the enemy’s power to resist regardless of his will.”[xlv]Thus, in this case the political defeat mechanism is a complete collapse of the adversary’s ability to resist militarily.
However, in limited wars between states, the purpose of military operations is to change the cost-benefit calculus of an adversary and produce a negotiated settlement that accurately reflects the balance of power between the two sides.[xlvi] How states understand cost and how warfare changes beliefs about the wisdom of negotiation and settlement is a topic of strenuous disagreement. For example, proponents of the nuclear doctrine of Flexible Response and a long, multi-tiered escalation ladder believed that wartime behavior could transmit nuanced messages about future intentions and political thresholds. Opponents of that approach believed that messages sent across cultures through a violent medium tend to lose their nuance and are prone to misinterpretation thus, thresholds have a far greater significance, because there are fewer boundaries to be crossed.
In wars with non-states, the challenge becomes even more difficult, as resistance by local power centers to the imposition of state authority can be negotiated away through concessions in some cases, through a demonstration of military capability and resolve in others, and through the elimination of the challengers when reconciliation is not possible. A great deal of the debate about counterinsurgency has to do with the connection of military activities to political outcomes and the extent to which occupying powers are able to effectively distinguish between types of insurgent motivation and broker durable peace agreements between warring factions.
Again, the point here is not to catalogue the beliefs that people have held about the relationship between war and politics, but to point out that the belief about the relationship is an indispensable component of any theory of warfare. How a military outcome translates into a favorable political situation determines the types of military outcomes one seeks. The type of military outcome one seeks determines how one equips, organizes, and employs the military instrument. The creation of that instrument is a function of the strategic problem set facing the state and the sources of military power.
Application Part 2: Theories of Warfare in 1930s France and Germany
The interwar period and the adoption of mechanized warfare is often considered a military revolution, with the German military valorized as free-thinking innovators and the French military castigated as hide-bound fools. The tendency to work from revolutions backwards focuses on what the Germans did well and what others did poorly. However, the approach presented here enables us to examine what both sides did and learn from the strengths and weaknesses of both theories of warfare.
The German theory of warfare, driven by legendary officers and thinkers like Guderian and Rommel, leaned heavily on the importance of audacious, relentless attacks that dislocate an opponent’s defensive scheme and prevent an effective response. In continental warfare, this initial punch was delivered by armored formations designed for just that purpose.[xlvii] Rather than slow the formation down to wait for the artillery to move up, fire support would be provided by light and medium bombers. These aircraft could operate from hastily established airfields and be resupplied by transport aircraft. Once a breakthrough was achieved, this force would continue to advance, followed by traditional infantry and horse-drawn artillery. With their defenses in tatters, the adversary would panic and capitulate. A negotiated settlement that established a German-friendly regime and/or territorial concessions would be completed and the German military administration of the territory would begin.
By contrast, the French military initially planned a counterattacking strategy for 1940. Faced with the manpower shortages caused by WWI and cognizant of the difficulties that were created by losing the French industrial heartland to Germany in August 1914, the French theory of warfare called for a robust defense in depth along the border, supported by a large reserve capable of capitalizing on adversary exhaustion or errors in judgment.[xlviii] This defensive system, called the Maginot Line, was to stretch the entire length of France’s eastern border, tying into the Belgian system of fortifications. However, due to the enormous expense involved in buying property and clearing fields of fire in built-up areas, the scheme was never completed. Further, complicating issues, Belgium withdrew from its defense agreement with France in 1936. Thus, in practice, French defensive works were weighted towards the south. The French made heavy investments in aircraft design in the 1920s, which left them with an expensive but out-dated fleet by the 1930s. Their tank technology was good for the day, but 2/3 of French tanks were dispersed throughout the Army, rather than organized into armored units.[xlix] Armor was not intended to support a rapid breakthrough that would pull along follow-on forces instead, it formed an integral part of a centrally organized “methodical battle” to be launched in 1941-2, once conditions had been set for an offensive.[l] Learning from World War I, this offensive would not need to extend the length of the adversary’s territory before a settlement was reached and a favorable political result could be established.
In 1940, the French were concerned about a German attack against the Maginot line and were positioning their reserves for offensive operations along the Dyer river in Belgium. The French plan assumed risk in the middle of their line by positioning less prepared forces in the Ardennes region. The Germans attacked through the Ardennes using its armored formations, premier infantry divisions, and significant close air support. The German army penetrated the French defensive line in the center meanwhile, the French decision-making apparatus was slow to assess where the German main effort was being made, due to an aggressive military deception plan that generated signals of an attack near the Swiss border and launched a strong attack into Belgium. The French reserve, which was out of position and constantly harassed by German medium bombers, made local counterattacks in a piecemeal, disorganized fashion. The German breakthrough was followed by an aggressive exploitation that encircled French, British, and Belgian forces in the north, which were force to evacuate. The German army then turned south, and attacked the positions assembled by the now significantly outnumbered French army. After the German army broke through the line established by this force, the French government capitulated and the Vichy regime was established. The entire operation had taken six weeks.
Despite the result, it is important to note that the German theory was not obviously right, nor was the French theory obviously wrong. In the words of Sir Michael Howard: “Certainly the blitzkrieg tactics of 1940 and 1941 need not have worked so effectively as they did … [c]ompetent adversaries who kept their heads might have sealed off the penetration achieved by the German armoured spearheads in the Ardennes, and the campaign would have gone down to history as a disastrous gamble.”[li] And, of course, the gamble at Sedan was followed by a much larger gamble against the Soviet Union, where the vast geographic distances involved prevented German military success from inducing a complete Soviet collapse following an initial period of panic. While the French did lose the war, they also managed to destroy half the German armor on the continent in the process they had simply left the defenses too thin, placed their reserve in a poor position, and moved too far forward on their left wing in the early phase of the attack. Importantly for the purposes of this paper, in the mid-1930s the French were also constrained in their ability to spend large sums on military modernization by both economic and political factors. Internal divisions limited the military power the French could produce relative to Germany during the period. Germany, for its part, was able to leverage innovation, expanding power, and a willingness to take risks into a military that was able to achieve enormous success on the battlefield and then translate the shock of those military outcomes into desirable political results. However, the same system of technological investment, risk tolerance, and totalitarian politics led to the destruction of the German military and the end of the Nazi regime.
Sources of Military Power, Theories of Warfare, and the 3 rd Offset
Thus far, this paper has made a theoretical argument about the sources of military power and the development of theories of warfare. It has illustrated that argument using a moment commonly identified as a “military revolution” as an example: the German and French responses to developments in military technology in the interwar period. The Germans are commonly associated with a successful adoption of a revolutionary approach, whereas the French are identified as an example of what not to do. It has argued that German success was predicated on the military power available to them 1930s, the adoption of a theory of warfare remarkably well-suited to their strategic situation and likely adversaries, and a good deal of luck. French failure was also a function of the limitations imposed on the French military by the conditions of the 1930s, the adoption of a theory of warfare that relied on defenses that had not been built, and a panicked response to early German success. With this theoretical structure and brief historical demonstration in place, this section turns to an application of the theory to the problem of future warfare.
A state is able to derive military advantage another when either it sees a relative expansion in its access to one of the five sources of military power or it develops a theory of warfare that leverages available resources more efficiently than its adversaries. An example of the former is the American ability to produce nuclear weapons in the early-1950s, an example of the latter is Napoleon’s ability to implement a superior theory of warfare. Thus, the question that must occupy American defense planners is: where will our comparative advantage in the sources of military power be in 2050 and how do we design a theory of warfare that best leverages those advantages?
For the sake of argument, assume that America in 2050 sees an intensification of present trends. The U.S. remains a democracy and the state continues to be able to collect taxes on an individual basis from its citizens. The service sector, mediated by ubiquitous information technology, dominates the U.S. economy, and so most people view work as a highly individual endeavor with high mobility across firms. People reskill regularly and are adept at learning new software and hardware packages necessary for their work. Competition among workers and between firms is brutal, and workers expect regular challenges and opportunities for advancement. Firms mold and remold their work force on a regular basis. All of this requires a robust educational infrastructure that produces people able to innovate, work in novel contexts, and rapidly process and implement instructions. This society generates soldiers who are expert in the modern system of battle – they are problem-oriented, comfortable with ambiguity, and able to act with minimal management in order to achieve their objectives. They are also very interested in skill improvement and the ability to move both within the military and in and out of service as opportunities arise. Materiel capabilities can never be kept secret long, and adversaries can quickly reproduce changes in systems that yield advances in any of the warfighting functions. Thus, the trend of increased battlefield dispersion and increased lethality continues.
By contrast, a theoretical strategic adversary in 2050 has a different set of endowments. This state is semi-authoritarian. It is either a one-party state or allows competitive elections that are dominated by the ruling party on a consistent basis. It is able to penetrate society, but some senior party members are able to protect their personal interests from state intrusion, which may limit state access to wealth and technology. The economy is built around large, state-owned industrial conglomerates. The workforce is educated to work in the factories and teamwork is reinforced at every stage of the educational process. This state produces soldiers that are highly disciplined, responsive to authority, willing to work together, and motivated to defend the state ideology. They are proficient at the modern system of battle, but lose momentum if cut off from leadership. This state is outstanding at the reproduction of materiel innovation and can produce the full suite of modern weapons.
Given this set of conditions, there is a clear U.S. advantage in terms of human capital and ability to fight on a widely-dispersed, highly-lethal battlefield that requires small unit initiative. In a longer war, the inefficiencies of oligarchic state industry would become problematic for the adversary state, although the U.S. would need to reconstitute a significant industrial base or ensure a steady supply of industrial inputs from a network of allies. Thus, the U.S. is optimally advantaged if it relies on a professional force using existing equipment to win a short, sharp fight.
This set of conditions then generates a theory of warfare. Given materiel parity and extreme battlefield lethality, U.S. and adversary forces will fight with the forces they have available at the moment of crisis. The U.S. will organize for dispersed, small-unit tactical action and will generate a “dirty” electro-magnetic and cyber battlefield. If all combatants struggle to communicate with subordinate formations, then the U.S. will have an advantage. The purpose of fighting is to inflict maximum damage on adversary forces within a circumscribed area as quickly as possible. Once the adversary is unable to pursue their military designs, they will become open to a brokered settlement, which will end the crisis and separate the combatants. The U.S. must posture forces forward that are sufficient to inflict this level of defeat without signaling an intention to escalate to a global conflict.
This thought experiment can be expanded by manipulating any of the sources of military power to advantage either the U.S. or an adversary or by exploring the efficacy of different theories of warfare given a fixed set of assumptions about the 2050 environment. In so doing, it offers an alternative way to think about the future that extends beyond trend analysis or a focus on shifts in materiel capabilities.
This is especially important because of the current focus on replicating the success of the 1 st and 2 nd offsets. Using the language of this theory, both nuclear and precision technology offered the U.S. a comparative advantage in the ability to generate firepower. In the case of nuclear technology, the window in which the U.S. had enough weapons to seriously alter the battlefield calculus and the Soviet Union had no meaningful nuclear response (the so-called “era of nuclear plenty”) lasted about 5-10 years. Archival research after the Cold War revealed that the Soviet Union did not significantly alter its policies regarding the importance of maintaining a strategic buffer and its willingness to use force to pursue its interests during this window. While precision technologies were very helpful to U.S. forces in the wars of the past 30 years, the ability to implement the modern system of battle and the advantages in American professionalism and tactical excellence probably contributed more.[lii] Thus, while materiel capabilities generated in pursuit of the 3 rd offset are likely to be important, it seems equally likely that the advantage they generate will be as relatively short-lived and contextual as those of the 1 st and 2 nd . Moreover, if the experience of the French is any indication, mistimed materiel acquisition strategies might deeply disadvantage the future force.
It is far more difficult to generate the human capital necessary to employ the cutting-edge “offset” technology of the future. As the American labor marketplace shifts, the skills, expectations, and mobility of the military’s workforce will shift as well. This can be a source of incredible advantage or a liability. Ironically, the thought experiment conducted above suggests that the digital natives of the future might have a comparative advantage on an intentionally degraded battlefield. It also suggests that, depending on how conflict is envisioned, it may be necessary to think about how to get the right resources into the fight quickly enough to make a difference. That is to say, future offset strategies must marry transitory materiel advantages with more enduring sources of military power.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for thinking about the relationship between the state, society, and war. Using this framework allows a clearer understanding of the constraints faced by strategic decision-makers in the past and clearer thinking about the problems of the future. Any military reflects the state, society, and historical context which produce it. The creation of an organization designed to use violence to produce political outcomes necessarily implies a connection between the design of that organization, the impact it is expected to have on an adversary, and the political outcome that is expected to result. By articulating these categories in a unified framework and specifying the relationship that these categories can have with one another, it becomes possible to conduct a sustained inquiry into the possible contours of the future without having to draw definitive conclusions about what will happen next. It offers insight into the general types of investments that will bear fruit in a variety of futures and those that will offer benefits of a relatively short duration. It is an important first step in the ongoing project to understand, visualize, and describe the future and to design a force that will be able to fight and win the nation’s battles.
[i] For an excellent overview of the RMA literature, see Shimko, Keith. 2010. The Iraq Wars and America’s Military Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch. 1
[ii] In technical language, this is called “selecting on the dependent.” It is an aggregated version of the post hoc, propter hoc fallacy. Fischer, David Hackett. 1970. Historian’s Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. New York: Harper and Row.
[iii] Murray, Williamson and MacGregor Knox. 2001. “Thinking about revolutions in warfare.” The Dynamics of Military Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 6
[iv] This is pithily referred to as the “selectorate.” Bueno de Mesquita et al. 2005. The Logic of Political Survival. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
[v] North, Wallis, and Weingast. 2009. Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[vi] In fact, the most common transition between regime types in the world is from patrilineal to single-party. Geddes, Barbara, Joseph Wright, and Erica Frantz. 2014. “Autocratic Breakdown and Regime Transitions: A New Data Set.” Perspectives on Politics. 12:2. 313-331.
[vii] It merits pointing out that it is possible for a democratic regime to function as a one-party state and use a similar system of rewards and punishments. Magaloni, Beatriz. 2008. Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and its Demise in Mexico. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Levitsky, Steven and Lucian Way. 2010. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[viii] Bourachot, Andre. 2014. Marshal Joffre. Andrew Uffindell, trans. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, Ltd.
[ix] Horne, Alistair. 2007 . The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune. New York: Penguin.
[x] However, centrally-managed, non-democratic practices may support large scale mobilization in a way that democratic, market-based practices do not. Thus the pressure of an arms race may cause states of all types to converge on less democratic solutions sets. See Maiolo, Joseph. 2010. Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1939-1941. New York: Basic Books.
[xi] Quinlivan, James. 1999. “Coup-Proofing: Its Practice and Consequences in the Middle East.” International Security. 24:2. 131-165.
[xii] Chamberlain, Robert. 2014. Security Exchange Theory: How Great Powers Trade Security with Small States. Dissertation. New York: Columbia University. 213.
[xiii] Tilly, Charles. 1992. Coercion, Capital and European States: AD 990 – 1992. Oxford: Blackwell.
[xiv] Huntington, Samuel. 1968. Political Order in Changing Societies. New Haven: Yale University Press.
[xv] Berman, Sheri. 1997. “Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic.” World Politics. 49:3. 401-429.
[xvi] Spruyt, Henrik. 1994. The Sovereign State and Its Competitors. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[xvii] Migdal, Joel. 1988. Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[xviii] Weber, Eugen. 1976. Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France 1870-1914. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
[xix] Also referred to as the primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors of the economy.
[xx] Moore, Barrington. 1966. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World. Boston: Beacon Press. For an account outside of Europe, see Scott, James C. 1976. The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia. New Haven: Yale University. This dynamic was different in Africa due to the overabundance of arable land and the relatively low population densities – Herbst, Jeffrey. 2000. States and Power in Africa: Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[xxi] Piketty, Thomas. 2014. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Arthur Goldhammer, trans. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Barrington Moore also discusses the process.
[xxii] The dynamics of modern economies are discussed in Piketty. The term “precariat” appears in Savage, Mike. 2015. Social Class in the 21 st Century. London: Pelican.
[xxiii] Derluguian, Georgi. 2005. Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World-System Biography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[xxiv] Kennedy, Paul. 1989 . The Rise and Fall of Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000. New York: Random House. xxii
[xxv] Ketchum, Richard. 1997. Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War. New York: Holt.
[xxvi] Bukovansky, Mlada. 2002. Legitimacy and Power Politics: The American and French Revolutions in International Political Culture. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[xxvii] Bourachot, Andre. 2014. Marshal Joffre. Andrew Uffindell, trans. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books, Ltd.. 109-112.
[xxviii] van Crevald, Martin. 1985. Command in War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 102
[xxix] Biddle, Stephen. 2004. Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[xxx] See Winton, Harold. 2007. Corps Commanders of the Bulge: Six American Generals and Victory in the Ardennes. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press Snyder, Jack. 1984. Ideology of the Offensive: Military Decision Making and the Disasters of 1914. Ithaca: Cornell University Press Schein, Edgar. 2010. Organizational Culture and Leadership, 4 th ed. San Francisco: Wiley Marshall, Andrew. 1966 “Problems of Estimating Military Power.” Santa Monica: RAND.
[xxxi] Murray, Williamson and MacGregor Knox. 2001. “Thinking about revolutions in warfare.” The Dynamics of Military Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 14
[xxxii] Evans, Richard J. 2005. The Third Reich in Power. New York: Penguin. 338 regarding the role of factories in creating a hardened, disciplined population and Horne, Alistair. 2007 . To Lose a Battle: France 1940. New York: Penguin. regarding the role of youth and other party organizations.
[xxxiii] Evans, Richard J. The Third Reich in Power. 351
[xxxiv] Murray, Williamson. 2001. “Contingency and fragility of the German RMA” The Dynamics of Military Revolution. Murray, Williamson and MacGregor Knox, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 158
[xxxv] Jackson, Julian. The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 19
[xxxvi] Doughty, Robert. 2008 . Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 515-516
[xxxvii] Chamberlain, Robert. “The Mud of Verdun: Falkenhayn and the Future of American Landpower.” Military Review. Forthcoming. This article discuss this model and applies it to the German conduct of the battle of Verdun.
[xxxviii] BDM Corporation. 1980. “Generals Balck and Von Mellenthin on Tactics: Implications for NATO Military Doctrine.”
[xxxix] Biddle, Tami Davis. 2015. Strategy and Grand Strategy: What Students and Practitioners Need to Know. Carlisle: US Army War College Press. 2-3
[xl] TRADOC PAM 525-3-1. 2014. The U.S. Army Operating Concept: Win in a Complex World.
[xli] Chapters 2 and 3, respectively.
[xlii] Chamberlain, Robert. 2014. Security Exchange Theory: How Great Powers Trade Security with Small States. Dissertation. New York: Columbia University. Chapter 6
[xliii] David, Steven. 1991. “Explaining Third World Alignment.” World Politics. 43.
[xliv] Biddle, Tami Davis. 2015. Strategy and Grand Strategy: What Students and Practitioners Need to Know. Carlisle: US Army War College Press
[xlv] Wass de Czege, Huba. “The Hard Truth about ‘Easy Fighting’ Theories: The Army is Needed Most When Specific Outcomes Matter.” Landpower Essay. No. 13-2. Washington: AUSA Institute of Land Warfare. 6.
[xlvi] For example, Falkenhayn believed that the purpose of his offensives on the Eastern front was to enable the German government to offer inducements to Russia to make a separate peace, not to trigger the total political capitulation of the Russian Empire. Foley, Robert. 2005. German Strategy and the Path to Verdun: Erich von Falkenhayn and the Development of Attrition, 1870-1916. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[xlvii] However, it is important to note that this was not just a theory of armor – in Norway, an audacious maneuver from the sea supported by leap-frogging land-based aircraft achieved a shocking success and seized a northern port and railway essential to German iron ore imports.
[xlviii] Maiolo, Joseph. 2010. Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War, 1931-1941. New York: Basic Books. 84
[xlix] “Of the 2900 French tanks in 1940. Only about 960 were organized into armoured divisions.” Jackson, Julian. The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 24
[l] Jackson, Julian. The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 24-5
[li] Howard, Michael. 2009 . War in European History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 132. see also Horne, Alistair. 2007 . To Lose a Battle: France 1940. New York: Penguin.
[lii] Biddle, Stephen. 2004. Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle. Princeton: Princeton University Press. This is the core argument of his book.
How does the cost-benefit relationship of owning a horse differ today from the Middle Ages or Early Industrial Revolution? - History
Who were the Iroquois?
The Iroquois were a League or Confederacy of tribes in the Northeastern part of America. Originally they were formed by five tribes: the Cayuga, Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca, and Oneida. Later, in the 1700s, the Tuscarora tribe joined.
Iroquois 6 Nations Map by R. A. Nonenmacher
The French named them the Iroquois, but they called themselves the Haudenosaunee which means People of the Longhouse. The British called them the Five Nations.
How was the Iroquois League governed?
The Iroquois had a type of representative government. Each tribe in the Iroquois League had its own elected officials called chiefs. These chiefs would attend the Iroquois council where major decisions were made regarding the Five Nations. Each tribe also had its own leaders to make local decisions.
What type of homes did they live in?
The Iroquois lived in longhouses. These were long rectangular buildings made with wood frames and covered with bark. They were sometimes over 100 feet long. They didn't have any windows, just a door at each end and holes in the roof to let smoke from cooking fires out. Many families would live in a single long house. Each family would have its own compartment that could be separated from the others for privacy using a partition made of bark or animal skin.
Iroquois Longhouse by Wilbur F. Gordy
Longhouses were part of a larger village. A village would have several longhouses which would often be surrounded by a fence called a palisade. Outside of the palisade would be the fields where the Iroquois would farm crops.
What did the Iroquois eat?
The Iroquois ate a variety of foods. They grew crops such as corn, beans, and squash. These three main crops were called the "Three Sisters" and were usually grown together. Women generally farmed the fields and cooked the meals. They had a number of ways to prepare corn and the other vegetables they grew.
The men hunted wild game including deer, rabbit, turkey, bear, and beaver. Some meat was eaten fresh and some was dried and stored for later. Hunting animals was not only important for meat, but for other parts of the animal as well. The Iroquois used the skin for making clothing and blankets, the bones for tools, and the tendons for sewing.
Iroquois clothing was made from tanned deerskin. The men wore leggings and long breechcloths while the women wore long skirts. Both men and women wore deerskin shirts or blouses and soft shoes made of leather called moccasins.
Did they have Mohawk hair styles?
The men of the Iroquois Nation shaved their heads except for a strip down the middle. Even though this is called a Mohawk haircut today, many of the Iroquois tribesmen (not just the Mohawk) cut their hair like this. Girls would wear two braids in their hair until they got married, then they would have a single braid.
Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy by Himasaram