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Synopsis

In war, and in the time which precedes war, the social construction of meaning constantly reaffirms the worst fears of those Nations at odds with one another. War is a system of primitive thought and projection, which is worsened by each new phase in enmity. It is a function of witchcraft accusations to define group boundaries and solidarity. The fears and hostilities of conflict and war work in a similar war.

This is a classic paper, which looks at the social anthropology of war and explains how the human tendency of projection forms a self-fulfilling cybernetic loop in conflict situations. Although written about the arms race before Glasnost it is highly relevant to the contemporary world, in particular the relationship between the West and Iran.

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