Violence and Civilization (Paperback)Roderick Campbell
Paperback Published: 15/06/2011
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Hobbes famously stated that life before civilisation was nasty, brutish and short. Rousseau countered that civilisation has only brought violence and war to what was once a state of natural grace. While in the intervening centuries, these opposing positions have served as framing paradigms, contemporary social theorists have increasingly argued for a more nuanced relationship between violence and civilisation: one that is fundamentally social and cultural. The implication of this idea for history is that time leads neither away from nor towards violence but rather tracks its mutating, camouflaging form and that violence, broadly conceived, is ambivalently implicated in the constitution of history, society, humanity and self. The papers collected in this volume range in time and space from ancient China to the modern US and from relatively egalitarian societies to some of the largest and most hierarchical social orders the world has known. No attempt is made at comprehensive or even systematic coverage of violence and civilisation's deep history, but rather this volume is intended, like a Zen painting, to evoke with a few deft strokes, a vast hidden landscape.
Publisher: Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World