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Origins and History of the Passions of War Essay

Ever since from the ancient times, war has been a great part of out history, many tribes and nations have engaged in war to seclude their territories, protect their culture and fellowmen and extend their domain. Many writers have tried to define war from its origin to enlighten the society about it; one of them is the renowned Barbara Ehrenreich, a social critic and a Time Magazine essayist. In her book Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War, Barbara Ehrenreich, focused on war and it close relation to religion.

She turned her attention into anthropology and investigating into the causes of man’s ancient interest in war; in this book, she blamed the social scientists in their lack of sufficient knowledge about war. She sought ethnological evidences to support her arguments and the evolution of war from the ancient times to the present. Ehrenreich didn’t look for the exact explanation for war but instead; she looked for the emotional responses that the people have brought to the killings making it sacred. Furthermore, she said that war had been sacralized by the society for them to shift from being the preys into predators.

According to her, war and religion are almost the same in terms of ritual sacrifice, although she believed that killing the enemies are less noble than offering one’s life in a community-sanctioned matrix; because of this, war becomes impenetrable to moral reprimand. She said that war deludes people’s minds that make them worship war as a tool for survival, war seems to revivify in every millennia, making it harder to regress. War, even though quite risky is used by men to acquire their collective interests for the improvement of their lives.

War has been merely accepted by the modern era and is used by some nations to gain something from the other mostly for the material needs. War is too complex and affects a person so much that it becomes his passion; the passion of war envelopes a person and kindles the fire of violence within an individual. The book was basically about the uncanny human attraction to violence, the story was entitled to show the violence in war that started from the ancient times to the present, Barbara Ehrenreich was able to raise issues about war and its emotional and moral effects on the society.

It is a major socio-economic condition that widely affects the modern society. Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War showed the big scale domestic and international violence and civil turbulence, it also informs the readers about the roots of violence to help them understand the existence of war in the modern day. It was a journey from the human sacrifices in the ancient world to the total wars in the twentieth century. Blood Rites is an eye-opener for the readers because it discusses why the shedding of blood seems to attract humans and performs a great significance in the improvement of the society.

Although many wars have resulted various improvements in the political, moral and social conditions, war remains unwanted. Today, countries that engage in competitive arms race, is a source of great concern. Ehrenriech also emphasizes that mankind must concentrate all known resources on ensuring the greater welfare and socio-economic progress of all the countries in the world and insist that war must not serve as a means for setting international disputes. Barbara Ehrenriech displayed a good assessment towards war and religion in her book although she sounds quite provocative and persuasive sometimes.

Also, she raised arguments about various social issues including her dismay towards the social scientists whom she addressed to lack appropriate knowledge about war. Unfortunately, she missed or either failed in examining other relevant social science literature making the book a little bit one-sided; but paying more attention and examining the pertinent literature could then easily fix this flaw. Works Cited Content Cafe. 2004. Blood Rites: Origin and History of the Passions of War. 01 November 2008. <http://contentcafe. btol. com>.

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