C&C / GG&S

John Hall johnhall@evergo.net
Sat, 23 Mar 2002 12:48:49 -0800


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I’ll look up a number of these books shortly.  I also suggest “The Lever of
Riches” about the western development of technology.

My comment that said infantry was a ‘choice’ was perhaps not the best term.
Yes, it was the socioeconomic and technological circumstances.  But it was
the cultural direction that gave birth to them.  I admit that ‘choice’ is a
bad word to describe the culture a people adopt, but I’m not sure what other
word to use to convey that idea.  ‘Social choice?’

The Knight is more similar to the crew of an M-1, but I take your meaning.

Our military is, in fact, becoming more hereditary.  I think it is more
accurate to say that the civilian culture has moved away from the military
one.

I also think I’d argue for reversing your last statement.  To say that the
economic and military underpinnings that generally accompany democracy are
waning seems to indicate that the economic and military components are
waning.  I think they are increasing (economic) and exploding (military)
while it is the democracy that may be waning.


-----Original Message-----
From: fork-admin@xent.com [mailto:fork-admin@xent.com]On Behalf Of Ian Welsh
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 8:34 PM
To: fork@xent.com
Subject: RE: C&C / GG&S

Max Weber wrote a number of books that bear directly on these questions.
"Max Weber: A Skeleton Key" by Randall Collins is the best single volume
introduction I've read.  Weber's books on Islam and Chinese civilization
still stand up very well and are worth reading.
Another book I strongly reccomend for its' look at the direct effects of new
technological discoveries on both military affairs and the economy is "The
Sovereign Individual" by James Dale Davidson and Lord Rees-Mogg.
A third book, which may seem unrelated but is very much to the point is
"Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade".  The West would
not be what it is today without the largely independent medieval cities and
how they arose is an interesting story - it is also a strange artifact of
SPECIFIC events (starting with the essentially complete shutdown of trade in
western Europe caused by the muslim conquests.)   The general freedom that
merchants were granted to manage their own affairs in the middle ages is
extremely unusual and was a major factor in the rise of calculable and
useful mercantile law.  (Another example of this sort of situation occured
in Japan, btw, where the Samurai caste could not be bothered to regulate
commerce in detail during the Tokugawa shogunate, leaving merchants to
develope their own system remarkably free of the constraints of a
land-centric aristocracy that didn't understand mercantile affairs.)
I'm afraid that I am inclined to disagree that making infantry powerful is a
"choice".  Infantry works well in certain terrains and in certain
technological and socioeconomic circumstances.  So does something like the
extremely disciplined Mongols during their period of dominance (the Mongols
had probably the greatest military dominance that the world has ever seen.
They were essentially undefeatable during their heydey - and their time
lasted a long time.)
Those societal circumstances didn't exist during most of the dark and middle
ages - one of the few places they did exist (England) lost to a cavalry army
due to specific circumstances (the Saxon shield wall was more than capable
of defeating cavalry).  Infantry came back to dominance due to specfic
economic and technological changes.
It's worth noting, by the way, that infantry today, especially in the US, is
becoming very capital intensive and that the general consensus seems to be
that highly trained infantry is necessary and conscripts are not
particularly useful.  Mind you this hasn't gone nearly so far as it did in
the middle ages - where it was generally considered necessary to train from
childhood to make a good Knight.  It's also questionable if it is true, but
if true it is troublesome: especially when combined with the end of
conscription and the existance of a large standing military with a culture
that generally despises civilian culture.  The economic and military
underpinnings that generally accompany democracy are waning.


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<div class=3DSection1>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'><!=
[if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'>I&=
#8217;ll look
up a number of these books shortly.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: =
yes">&nbsp;
</span>I also suggest &#8220;The Lever of Riches&#8221; about the =
western development of
technology.<o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'><!=
[if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'>My=
 comment
that said infantry was a &#8216;choice&#8217; was perhaps not the best =
term.<span
style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Yes, it was the socioeconomic =
and
technological circumstances.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; =
</span>But
it was the cultural direction that gave birth to them.<span
style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>I admit that =
&#8216;choice&#8217; is a bad word to describe
the culture a people adopt, but I&#8217;m not sure what other word to =
use to convey
that idea.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>&#8216;Social =
choice?&#8217;<o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'><!=
[if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Th=
e Knight
is more similar to the crew of an M-1, but I take your =
meaning.<o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'><!=
[if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Ou=
r
military is, in fact, becoming more hereditary.<span =
style=3D"mso-spacerun:
yes">&nbsp; </span>I think it is more accurate to say that the civilian =
culture
has moved away from the military =
one.<o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'><!=
[if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'>I =
also
think I&#8217;d argue for reversing your last statement.<span =
style=3D"mso-spacerun:
yes">&nbsp; </span>To say that the economic and military underpinnings =
that
generally accompany democracy are waning seems to indicate that the =
economic
and military components are waning.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: =
yes">&nbsp;
</span>I think they are increasing (economic) and exploding (military) =
while it
is the democracy that may be waning.<o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'><!=
[if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span class=3DEmailStyle18><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dnavy face=3DArial><span
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Arial'><!=
[if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D2 =
color=3Dblack
face=3DTahoma><span =
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma;color:black'>-----Original
Message-----<br>
<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>From:</span></b> fork-admin@xent.com
[mailto:fork-admin@xent.com]<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>On =
Behalf Of </span></b>Ian
Welsh<br>
<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>Sent:</span></b> Saturday, March 23, =
2002
8:34 PM<br>
<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>To:</span></b> fork@xent.com<br>
<b><span style=3D'font-weight:bold'>Subject:</span></b> RE: C&amp;C / =
GG&amp;S</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 color=3Dblack face=3D"Times =
New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:black'>Max Weber wrote a number of books =
that
bear directly on these questions.&nbsp; &quot;Max Weber: A Skeleton =
Key&quot;
by Randall Collins is the best single volume introduction I've =
read.&nbsp;
Weber's books on Islam and Chinese civilization still stand up very well =
and
are worth reading.</span></font><font color=3Dblack><span =
style=3D'color:black;
mso-color-alt:windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 color=3Dblack face=3D"Times =
New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:black'>Another book I strongly reccomend =
for its'
look at the direct effects of new technological discoveries on both =
military
affairs and the economy is &quot;The Sovereign Individual&quot; by James =
Dale
Davidson and Lord Rees-Mogg.</span></font><font color=3Dblack><span
style=3D'color:black;mso-color-alt:windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font><=
/p>

<p style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 color=3Dblack face=3D"Times =
New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:black'>A third book, which may seem =
unrelated but
is very much to the point is &quot;Medieval Cities: Their Origins and =
the
Revival of Trade&quot;.&nbsp; The West would not be what it is today =
without
the largely independent medieval cities and how they arose is an =
interesting story
- it is also a strange artifact of SPECIFIC events (starting =
with&nbsp;the
essentially complete shutdown of trade in western Europe caused by the =
muslim
conquests.)&nbsp;&nbsp; The general freedom that merchants were granted =
to
manage their own affairs in the middle ages is extremely unusual and was =
a
major factor in the rise of calculable and useful mercantile law.&nbsp;
(Another example of this sort of situation occured in Japan, btw, where =
the
Samurai caste could not be bothered to regulate commerce in detail =
during the
Tokugawa shogunate, leaving merchants to develope their own system =
remarkably
free of the constraints of a land-centric aristocracy that didn't =
understand
mercantile affairs.)</span></font><font color=3Dblack><span =
style=3D'color:black;
mso-color-alt:windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 color=3Dblack face=3D"Times =
New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:black'>I'm afraid that I am inclined to =
disagree
that making infantry powerful is a &quot;choice&quot;.&nbsp; Infantry =
works
well in certain&nbsp;terrains and&nbsp;in certain technological and
socioeconomic circumstances.&nbsp; So&nbsp;does something like the =
extremely
disciplined&nbsp;Mongols during their period of dominance (the Mongols =
had
probably the greatest military dominance that the world has ever =
seen.&nbsp;
They were essentially undefeatable during their heydey - and their time =
lasted
a long time.)&nbsp; </span></font><font color=3Dblack><span =
style=3D'color:black;
mso-color-alt:windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 color=3Dblack face=3D"Times =
New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:black'>Those societal circumstances =
didn't exist
during most of the dark and middle ages - one of the few places they did =
exist
(England) lost to a cavalry army due to specific circumstances (the =
Saxon
shield wall was more than capable of defeating cavalry).&nbsp; Infantry =
came
back to dominance due to specfic economic and technological =
changes.</span></font><font
color=3Dblack><span =
style=3D'color:black;mso-color-alt:windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font><=
/p>

<p style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 color=3Dblack face=3D"Times =
New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:black'>It's worth noting, by the way, =
that
infantry today, especially in the US, is becoming very capital intensive =
and
that the general consensus seems to be that highly trained infantry is
necessary and conscripts are not particularly useful.&nbsp; Mind you =
this
hasn't gone nearly so far as it did in the middle ages - where it was =
generally
considered necessary to train from childhood to make a good =
Knight.&nbsp; It's
also questionable if it is true, but if true it is troublesome: =
especially when
combined with the end of conscription and the existance of a large =
standing
military with a culture that generally despises civilian culture.&nbsp; =
The
economic and military underpinnings that generally accompany democracy =
are
waning.</span></font><font color=3Dblack><span =
style=3D'color:black;mso-color-alt:
windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal style=3D'margin-left:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
color=3Dblack
face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;color:black'><br
clear=3Dall style=3D'mso-special-character:line-break'>
</span></font><font color=3Dblack><span =
style=3D'color:black;mso-color-alt:windowtext'><o:p></o:p></span></font><=
/p>


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