Sunday, May 04, 2014

Paradoxes of War - Coursera

An introduction into the historical, psychological, and sociological analysis of organized conflict.

Enroll Today at :

Starts on June 1st , 2014 

About the Course

The Paradox of War teaches us to understand that war is not only a normal part of human existence, but is arguably one of the most important factors in making us who we are. Through this course, I hope that you will come to appreciate that war is both a natural expression of common human emotions and interactions and a constitutive part of how we cohere as groups. 

That is, war is paradoxically an expression of our basest animal nature and the exemplar of our most vaunted and valued civilized virtues. You will learn some basic military history and sociology in this course as a lens for the more important purpose of seeing the broader social themes and issues related to war. 

I want you to both learn about war, but more importantly, use it as way of understanding your everyday social world So, for example, the discussion of war and gender will serve to start you thinking about how expectations of masculinity are created and our discussion of nationalism will make clear how easy “us-them” dichotomies can be established and (ab)used. 

I will suggest some readings for you to complement the class and assign some activities through which you will be able to apply the theoretical insights from the course to your observations of everyday life. 

At the end of the course, you will start to see war everywhere and come to appreciate how much it defines our life.

Course Syllabus

The Warrior's War
  • Is War Natural?
  • Warriors in Battle
  • Why Not Run Away?
  • What Do Soldiers Believe In?
  • Brutality
  • Discipline
From Wars of Armies to Wars of Societies
  • Wars of Armies
  • Progress of Battle 
  • Gunpowder 
  • Industrialization of War
  • Technowar 
War and Society
  • Social Aspects of War
  • States
  • Nationalism
  • Soldiers and Citizens
  • War and Equality
  • Conquest. Genocide, and Armageddon
The Future of War
  • The Rise of the Rest
  • New Challenges
  • Conclusions: Empire and the Western Way of War

Recommended Background

No prior background is required.

Suggested Readings

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Book 1, 2.1, 2.2-6, 2.7-24, 2.34-46, 2.47-54, 2.59-65, 2.71-78, 3.20-24, 3.35-50, 3.52-68, 3.81-84, 4.3-4.41, 4.46-484, 4.90-101, 4.117-11, 5.6-11, 5.14-24, 5.25-26, 5.42-48, 5.76-83, 5.85-116, Books 6 and 7
  • Homer, Iliad, Books 1,3, 7, 9, 24
  • Virgil Aeneid, Books 2, 4
  • Thomas E. Ricks, Making the Corps
  • E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed,  Chaps 1-4, 10-15.
  • John Keegan, The Face of Battle, Chs. 2-4.
  • US Grant, Memoirs , Chs. 21-22, 24-25, 30-31, 33-37, 39, 42-44, 49-51, 55-57, 59, 62, 65, 67-68.
  • Michael Gordin, Red Cloud at Dawn, Chs. 1, 2,6, 7, Epilogue
  • Reviel Netz, Barbed Wire. Part III
  • Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture, Chs. 1, 6, 8, 10, Afterword.
  • Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, “Concernign Violence, Colonial War and Mental disorders, Conclusion.
  • Keith Lowe, Savage Continent, Part I (All), Chs. 8-10, 18-20, 22-24.
  • Ian Buruma, Year Zero

Course Format

This course will consist of lecture videos, activities and various reading assignments.  Students will also be encouraged to participate in the discussion forums.


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  2. Storm Indian Parliament, All Netas are corrupted. Hang them and storm the fake democracy. Demolish all to rebuild all. We want true democracy. New Constitution. Equal and Simple Justice. No Vote Bank Politics. Only Two Major organizations will contest election. Stop Panchayati Raj. Start Villege Organization. Without Party Patronization. Start Independent Police Force, Police is No Chamcha of Netas. CBI /CID or Other Invstigating Agency Should be under one independent command. So, Hit Big, Let the Dream Come True. Jai Hind!

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  11. Narendra Modi Government has not reduced Fuel Prices in large margin so Naxalites should Kidnap a BJP MP and put pressure on the Narendra Modi Government to reduce Fuel Prices in large margin.

  12. In Karnataka Naxalism is very poor by comparing to Chattisgarh and Orissa so I request CPI Moist to take help of Dawood Ibrahim and supply more weapons to the Karnataka Naxalites because Karnataka Naxalites are not able to face the Police and My Second suggestion is Naxalites should oppose Film Stars,T V Serial Stars and Sports persons entering into the Politics.

  13. Respected CPI Moist there is a Family councelling centre called Vanitha Sahay Vani is there in Bangalore and there is a Family councillor called Saraswathi she is tapping Naxalites Mobile numbers and she is informing the Police about Naxalites so Naxalites should keep on eye on her and her Address is Vanitha Sahay Vani office Infantry road Bangalore.

  14. Actually fuel prices have been reduced in Opec then also today Modi Government has reduced Petrol prices only 1 rupee and it has hiked Diesel price 50 paise so this is not a good news for common man and the Government has also said that it will Decontrol Diesel and Gas prices so Naxalites should plan to Kidnap a BJP MP and put pressure on the Narendra Modi Government to reduce Petrol,Diesel,Gas and Kerosene prices in large margin.

  15. Sir govt is intended in making profit rather then centric towards public interest. These Oil PSUs in itself is a junk and Oil Prices should be decided by Govt but they can't do it now as the Oil PSUs got a tag of Maharatna and fielded greater autonomy in terms of operations. modi govt is still starving from policy structure which congress made in favor of political jihad by some anti hindu outfit.

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  20. I wish that suddenly i become invisible & start killing those who takes bribe. I wish - I have a ready-made poison for easy death. I am a weak person with family & filled with corruption but I never like the idea of a hunter-man standing in front of me. I know nothing about how to defend myself but I got ideas which can fuck all fuckers.

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    I dont know which government official is tracking me.....but 1 thing is for sure.....if u cannot kill the snake...don't harm it......THIS IS NOTHING PERSONAL.....AS I AM USING MY RIGHT TO SPEACH .......& I AM DRUNK.....& I AM A CRAZY PERSON TOO......i MAY START CRYING OR URINATE IF U PUT A GUN ON MY FACE.....BUT IF U DON'T KILL ME "NEXT" U R A FOOL......many life has spoilt like mine..doesn't matter if there is 1 more.....but I am satisfied to write here...........remember........before accusing anyone....have a full proof vedio recording that he was guilty & now a days that's easy................& hit that media who spoils it........

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  21. We dont want war against Pakistan now we want a War against Indian Police and Army because we have more enemies inside India more than Pakistan.

  22. If Suba Karthikeyan is a Naxalite I am ready to call him and our Indian Police are arresting Innocent Naxalites and also they are Arresting innocent peoples in the name of Naxalites so we want a war against Indian Police and Army.

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  40. land acquisition ,,, now its a big topic ... the govt who ever may be .. acuire all the land legitimate owner of the former ... and handed over to big industrialists who gives financial support to there party .. land acquisition is a official crime under constitution ...

    1. particularly in state of andhrapradesh for capital city

  41. nice songs from Catalan communists:
    lyrics translated in english :
    in following posts

  42. --------------------------------------
    La Planificacio d un setge
    Hebe from Bonafini
    VALENTINA Tereshkova
    TANIA the warrior
    We have closed our doors
    Before any siege
    To resist we open minds
    We have learned to fly in the air
    Before brooms and now aircraft
    We are Pilots
    Assuming the challenges we encounter
    Breaking all the sieges imposed on us
    Bloomed white rose
    Has bottomed beast that we cannot convince
    If it harassed us, it has nothing to win
    If we are treasure,it don't want to wipe us with force
    It wants us to surrender, and we open like roses do
    But we will blossom, when we know that monster is sleeping
    The is no pilot who make shadow on us the night
    We want fly at shave clod, in the dark and engines off
    When they hear us, they know we have already launched the bomb
    Assuming the challenges we encounter
    Breaking all the sieges imposed on us
    Bloomed white rose
    Better witches than virgins
    No means no!
    We do not want protection to always be the sweet sleep of others
    We are rebels in three ways, we will fly to the sky
    As a woman, as a land and class
    We are the night witches who make fear to the enemy
    When they hear our engines starting
    Breaking all sieges resisting like Leningrad
    The harsh winter opens new paths in frozen lakes
    We have made the networks, they unite us
    From isolation cut bars
    We have learned to fly in the air
    Opening the wing, destroying the enemy when fighting
    Assuming the challenges we encounter
    Breaking all the sieges imposed on us
    Bloomed white rose
    Better witches than virgins
    Lilya Litvyak
    Anna Yegorova
    Valeria Khomyakova
    Natalya Myeklin
    Marina Raskova
    Katya Budanova
    Klavdia Nechayeva
    All Night Witches

  43. --------------------------------------
    Sobres les nou classes de terreny
    I fought behind closed doors, with the cannibal living with me
    I will seek unity, i will seek unity...
    As a child I fled with rage
    Hoping they find me when it became night
    Better not stop me,better not stop me...
    I just want someone to listen tome
    The problem is how to make me heard
    I will win the words,i will win the words
    History is full of experiences
    With songs to enjoy and to suffer
    I will learn collecting them, I will learn collecting them...
    He earned money as a result of work
    Where doors where closed, now it's open roads
    I will make good contacts, I will make good contacts...
    I have come so far that I do not know who to comeback
    Trapped in pleasures with my new friends
    THE BEST is to plunder them, THE BEST is to plunder them!
    Do not forget wells where we grew up
    On the future for children is nothing more than uneasiness
    I keep fighting, ikeep fighting...
    Now I am in the land surrounded by traps
    Awarenesson the back andthe system in front
    I have to make plans,I have to make plans...
    I take out my head upper than clouds
    Rooted feeton the ground
    I am atrunk, flexible towind
    All we are one, nothing canbeat us
    I took advantage of every loophole which passes a ray of sunshine
    Maybe I twisted looking for it...
    I wanted to live eternally in the forest
    But if I go, don't cry for me...
    Don't cry for me...
    I'ma trunk, with roots and fruit...

  44. --------------------------------------
    Al Mig De La Batalla
    A ray fall sand opens a gap
    That breaks the unity between the sky and the sea
    Deaf awake by the sound of thunder, or awaken by the light of the lightning?
    We don't see its gross looting
    But hear the barking of banks
    Beyond love and hate
    Avoiding entering into fight
    The market sells banking waiting bounty of booty
    Speculating, and grows sales
    living closer to the Executioner as he can
    We feel under cover,under the western sky
    Coerced to ensure military spending
    But the nuclear umbrella cannot stop this hurricane
    Our luxuries rain down like stones
    In the roofs constructed of misery
    The exchange enter in crisis, the Storm begin
    No one can hide,from the water who already affects us
    The epicenter moves
    under the influence of euro-axis
    The storm affects us
    when it relocates work-sack
    The trenches dug in beaches
    Where the sea spits us lives
    The tide has broken the fence
    Denouncing our lies
    [Our luxuries ...]
    In the eye of the hurricane
    We export our weapons,democracy and technology
    And steal their food, their labour and raw materials
    As battle lasts a short time
    or the war is long and hard
    It is better to convince people
    to forming part of the large structure
    The trenches dug in beaches
    Where the sea spits us lives
    The tide has broken the fence
    Denouncing our lies
    Don't let them fool you, now nothing is away
    His war stimulates our consumption
    Races are not separate us, languages are not separate us,
    Classes separate us over the borders
    [Our luxuries ...] [Ei ...]

  45. Hi,
    I just want you to know that in Catalonia, we are working on independence from Spain, by a non violent movement, people lead big protest with more than 1 million people since 2010. Regional government not longer follow some of the state laws, because they are violating the autonomy of the region. Now more than half of the autonomy parliament is for independence, and 48% of population (39 are against independence, and 13% want a referendum on this questions without taking position). They try all to make us seen badly saying we are Nazi, or that every Spanish have to vote... But we are just asking to vote, and they don't move at all to solve thinks.

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  58. Isn't naxalism a terrorist extremist group? I tend to propagate scientific curiosity and humanitarianism. Correct me if iam wrong what do you provide to common people other than violence and extremism
    I would love to help you propagate your socialist and humanist ideas, if any in a peaceful democratic manner. Also I would like to know more about why you think an armed rebellion is necessary to address the oppressed??...


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