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PRINT April 1983

UNCIVIL WAR

War is the father of all and the king of all.

—Heraclitus, Fragment 53

But Agamemnon, King and Lord, was not infallible. He was fallible. He had sacrificed Iphigenia for the sake of glory in war, for the fulfillment of the superb idea of self, but on the other hand he had made cruel dissension for the sake of the concubines captured in war. The paternal flesh was fallible, ungodlike.

—D. H. Lawrence, “The Theatre,” Twilight in Italy

THE EDITORS OF TIME-LIFE Books (those masters of the popular) inform us that war, which a psychoanalyst tells us establishes “death as a criterion of truth,”1—is one of the “great themes.”2 It embodies the basic issues of life, from love to death, from power to selfhood. War is one of those recurrent, ugly, indisputable facts of life that make overwhelming demands on us and threaten to take command of our lives; it dominates and destroys our potential for freedom,

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