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A History of War Series: Attack Part 1 – From Flintstones to Drones

April 13, 2021 at 8:00 pm BST

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On April 13, Interintellect founder Anna Gát returns to discuss aspects of warfare, with a look at the breakout of wars: from the earliest days of tribal conflict to the most contemporary, mercenary proxy wars, and those fought in the cyberspace – or, soon, space.


“The great end of life is not knowledge, but action. I believe that it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him … we must live for the future, not for our own comfort or success.”

–Admiral Rickover


About the Series:

The history of warfare is the history of humanity – it is also the history of everything that is not war: of peacetime politics, uninterrupted flourishing, nonconfrontational expansion, culture and art…



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About the Salon:

In this episode we will look at the breakout of some of the most significant wars in history. We will compare how wars were fought in the antiquity, during the Middle Ages, and how warfare changed with the advent of industrialisation and nation states. We will compare causes for war: ethnicity, religion, trade routes.

We will examine not just the role of the aggressor, but that of aggression, an impulse universally human but elevated to unique manifestations in war. We will ask questions like whether we can always clearly differentiate between “attack” and “defence”, whether there are just wars; how much of an attack is an instinct of violence and how much of it is cold-headed strategy.

We will look at some of the ugliest faces of war as well: from spontaneous rape-and-pillage to well-planned, monstrous, genocide. We will look at the new roles that spring up around the aggressor: the hero, the scapegoat, the prisoner of war.

And, lastly, we will ask whether we can stop. If the war ambition can ever be curtailed. If all of the above can be moderated with good communication and self-honesty between groups and with oneself.


Save the Date: The second part of Attack will be on May 11 (“The Factories of War”).

Important Note: The Salon series carries a 18+ age restriction. During the series we will read, watch and discuss things that some attendees might find distressing. Participant discretion is advised.


To Read Before the Salon:

– United Nations Charter, Chapter VII: Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression

– Timeline: Weapons Technology

– The Psychology of Killing: The Combat Experience of British Soldiers during the First World War

– A War Is Long Over, but Many Still Seek to Learn Its Lessons

– The Impact of Holy Land Crusades on State Formation

– 1939: Was Britain ready for war?

– “Moralization in social networks and the emergence of violence during protests”

– An Existential Discussion: What Is the Probability of Nuclear War?