Not a day goes by without news of conflicts in our immediate vicinity or further afield, conflicts which can only aptly be called war. War can be understood as a conflict in which the parties concerned risk their survival. This is not only valid for conflicts between nations, but also for other social units such as companies, organisations, tribes, gangs etc., and even for individuals. Examples are duels or conflicts between married couples ending in murder and manslaughter.
In this book, Fritz Simon analyses the developmental conditions for war from the perspective of systems theory. The author covers biological and psycho-analytical models as well as sociological findings. The result is that, in general, these conflicts are not about economic or impulse-driven interests, but seem to be about such antiquated values as honour, pride and status.
In the author’s opinion, then, wars should be understood as a continuation of sport with other means and, a fact we should not ignore, as the ultimate form of entertainment – at least for observers who are not directly affected.
September 11, 2001 and subsequent reactions have proved to be the example for the book, published shortly before. With fascination and horror, we discover that what followed was the war that followed this book to a “T”. The analysis of developments from the attack on the Twin Towers to the war against Iraq, which has been added to this new edition, confirms the logic of deadly conflict demonstrated in this book.