Of Clausewitz and the clowns

Fred is not religious, but he conspicuously fails to get the New Atheists’ collective back nevertheless in Peeing on Hydrants:

The aggressiveness of males has wreaked unremitting havoc throughout history in the form of war. Women don’t do war, don’t like war, don’t fantasize about war. They put up with it. Lysistrata, though written by a man, captures the distaff mind well.

These days every war is said to have some justification of the most solemn import, but it’s just Crips and Bloods. Among primitive peoples a young man becomes a warrior through some curious rite, and then goes on raids to steal horses and women. With us it’s boot camp, jump wings, Ranger patch, and raids to impose democracy. The essential difference is as follows:

What we call statesmanship is, emotionally and morally, indistinguishable from gang war in South Chicago. The scale is more imposing and, under some administrations, the grammar better. Aggressive males rise to power in heavily armed countries of many millions. Then they push and shove, bark and bow-wow at others like themselves in other countries. The tribal trappings remain, particularly among the warriors: Baubles and medals and patches and different hats, talk of honor and duty and valor. Nah. Males dogs in an alley.

Of course, if we can only manage to eradicate religious faith, that will eliminate male aggression, right? Seriously, how does anyone who has either a) read any military history, or, b) celebrated more than ten birthdays manage to read Harris or Dawkins with a straight face?

It doesn’t matter which military philosopher one selects. In every instance, the New Atheist creed is punctured and deflated. If war is the continuation of politics by other means, then religion can only be a bit player at best. And if war is the only right and proper object of a prince’s meditation, that leaves little room for religious contemplation or even motivation. One will likewise peruse the works of Vegetius and Sun Tzu in vain to discover any means of making use of religion in pursuit of the general’s art.

If religion was so useful for making war, one would expect at least one of the authors of the classic military texts to have noticed at some point in time. The truth is that religious fanaticism is not a particularly useful aspect of war on either a tactical or strategic basis.

The leading New Atheists aren’t merely intellectual buffoons, they are poorly-educated, ignorant, intellectual buffoons, Dawkins’ genuine achievements in other fields notwithstanding. They are a public testimony to the failure of Oxford and Stanford as educational institutions.