Sunday, April 17, 2022

the course of history....................

 CHANGES IN THE TECHNIQUE OF WAR HAVE HAD more influence upon the course of history than is supposed by those whose attention is mainly centred upon economic causation. There has been, since the beginning of organized fighting, an oscillation between superiority of the defensive and superiority of the offensive. Broadly speaking, when the defensive is strong civilization makes progress, and when the offensive is strong men revert towards barbarism. Another oscillation has been between the importance of mere numbers and the importance of skill and elaborate equipment. In the Middle Ages, the knight in armour was an expensive unit, and the world was aristocratic; gunpowder abolished chivalry, and led by slow stages to citizen armies and democracy.

-Bertrand Russell, as extracted from this 1936 essay

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