Masculinity and Human Nature: How Martin van Creveld's values become universal human characteristics in The Transformation of War
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This thesis is contains a close reading and criticism of one of Martin van Creveld's most important books, The Transformation of War. In the book, his stated objective is to explore the principles of warfare. He presents a way of thinking about the fundamental questions concerning war that is different from Carl von Clausewitz'. Clausewitz' famous dictum becomes the centre of van Creveld's criticism of the Prussian's thinking, and as an alternative to it, van Creveld presents the idea that war is an end in itself. The idea that this thesis will defend is that van Creveld does not, as he states in his introduction, ask questions concerning the nature of war as part of an investigation of the relation between the nature of warfare and human nature. Rather, what he does in is to justify a certain conception of war as the activity which allows men to assert themselves as the quintessential traditional male. This is problematic because, in the process, he claims universality for his ethically unadequate view of what war means to mankind.