How War Makes Politics Impossible

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This book provides an English translation of philosopher Heimo Hofmeister’s book, Der Wille zum Krieg, oder die Ohnmacht der Politik, which traces the connection between war and the individual or group awareness of differences among ‘others’ which leads to inevitable and serious disagreement. Analyzing the relations of strength, force and power on the one hand and state, politics and war on the other, Hofmeister shows that while conflict is inevitable, war is not. Ironically, the same diversity that exists among humanity and the conflicts that arise from the awareness of such are just as much the foundation of harmony, friendship and love as they are that of war and hate.


“This book is offered to English-speaking readers as the first serious attempt, in Müller’s words, to ‘lay bare the ontological structure of war,” that is, to see war not in terms of the horrendous misery it engenders or the geo-political changes it occasions, nor in the events that causes this or that particular war, but rather in terms of its connection to what it means for a human being to be at all and how that connection shapes the meaning of war.” - Dr. David B. Greene, Professor of Arts Studies, North Carolina State University

“As the title of his book suggests, Hofmeister opposes Clausewitz’s motto with his own theory: war is not a means of politics, but the negation of politics; it is non-politics, the powerlessness of politics. The highest goal of politics is peace; the goal of war is never more than victory.” - Tim B. Müller, Feuillton Editor, Süddeutsche Zeitung

“In this philosophical-political tract, Heimo Hofmeister ... develops, step by step, a clear ontology of war. He draws in the familiar philosophical considerations for the origin, evaluation and justification of war, including those from the Church. Heraclitus, Plato, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Kant, Hegel and others enter the dialogue.” - Elisabeth Schwarz, Amt und Gemeinde

"An accessible and faithful translation." - SciTech Book News

Table of Contents

Translator’s Preface
1 The Problem
2 Force
3 Battle
4 War as an Instrument
5 War as Possible Impossibility
6 Basic Forms of War
7 Sovereignty and Peace
8 War without God
Supplement: Terrorist Warfare

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