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Old Friday, March 27, 2020
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Arrow Challenging Precis

Dear All,

Please help me evaluate the following precis

Original Passage from P&C 2015

“In studying the breakdowns of civilizations, the writer has subscribed to the conclusion – no new discovery! – that war has proved to have been the proximate cause of the breakdown of every civilization which is known for certain to have broken down, in so far as it has been possible to analyze the nature of these breakdowns and to account for their occurrence. Like other evils, war has an insidious way of appearing not intolerable until it has secured such a stranglehold upon the lives of its addicts that they no longer have the power to escape from its grip when its deadliness has become manifest. In the early stages of a civilization’s growth, the cost of wars in suffering and destruction might seem to be exceeded by the benefits accruing from the winning of wealth and power and the cultivation of the “military virtues”; and, in this phase of history, states have often found themselves able to indulge in war with one another with something like impunity even for the defeated party. War does not begin to reveal its malignity till the war-making society has begun to increase its economic ability to exploit physical nature and its political ability to organize manpower; but, as soon as this happens, the god of war to which the growing society has long since been dedicated proves himself a Moloch by devouring an ever larger share of the increasing fruits of man’s industry and intelligence in the process of taking an ever larger toll of life and happiness; and, when the society’s growth in efficiency reaches a point at which it becomes capable of mobilizing a lethal quantum of its energies and resources for military use, then war reveals itself as being a cancer which is bound to prove fatal to its victim unless he can cut it out and cast it from him, since its malignant tissues have now learnt to grow faster that the healthy tissues on which they feed.
In the past, when this danger-point in the history of the relations between war and civilization has been reached and recognized, serious efforts have sometimes been made to get rid of war in time to save society, and these endeavours have been apt to take one or other of two alternative directions. Salvation cannot, of course, be sought anywhere except in the working of the consciences of individual human beings; but individuals have a choice between trying to achieve their aims through direct action as private citizens and trying to achieve them through indirect action as citizens of states. A personal refusal to lend himself in any way to any war waged by his state for any purpose and in any circumstances is a line of attack against the institution of war that is likely to appeal to an ardent and self-sacrificing nature; by comparison, the alternative peace strategy of seeking to persuade and accustom governments to combine in jointly resisting aggression when it comes and in trying to remove its stimuli before hand may seem a circuitous and unheroic line of attack on the problem. Yet experience up to date indicates unmistakably, in the present writer’s opinion, that the second of these two hard roads is by far the more promising.”

My Precis

"The author is convinced that the subtle cause of war, therefore its mitigation, is rooted in the breakdown of a civilization. The war first seduces, then causes delusion that its apostles become unable to extricate themselves from its circle. In early stages of civilization, the material fortunes, power and military virtues blind the states so much so that the gruesome bearings of the war are ignored. It all beings with an ignition of material growth that the society entraps herself in a vicious circle; more wealth means more military prowess and political maneuvering, thus resulting in war. In the end, it eats up all societal energy, causes sever toll on human empathy and becomes cancerous.
Nevertheless, efforts have been made to get the society rid of war’s malice through two alternative strategies. The first one is the individuals’ conscious choice, manifested either as private or public individuals, to refuse taking part in a war. The other is to sustain persuasion and mutual efforts of citizens and governments against the aggression to the point where the necessity of war becomes dormant. To the author, the latter strategy, though unheroic, is more effective than the former."


(please note that copying your own or from other sources would do no help as everyone has different take from the the same passage) (and also no two people read and perceive the same).

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2015 css, english, precis, war

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