Talk:Endemic warfare

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It should be noted that 'Kalahari Bushmen' are "Band society" instead of "tribal society", and that difference might have something to do with subsistence and organization (tribe vs. band, agriculture vs. foraging).

What about early Japanese Samurai Society before the late sixteenth century?. I am honestly not sure about this, but it seems a good example of high threshold endemic warfare. It was constant clan warfare between various rival factions, though the country has been an empire for an incredibly long time (a thousand years or five thousand depending on who you ask) it hadn't actually been ruled by said Emperor in five hundred years or so by the late sixteenth cuntury and hadn't had a controlled by a Shogunate in a couple hundred. The Various Samurai clans were in a state of constant fratricidal warfare. Samurai Society was clearly a warrior Society despite its extreme level of advancement and cultural refinement, but the fighting could not be be considered low threshold in any case. The battles were highly ritualized yes, but some were quite large, involving thousands (or arguably tens of thousands) of men. Even in the smaller battles invloving hundreds or even dozens of men the battles were not low threshold since they always involved ritualized single combat to the death on a large scale. Since the ritual for honourable combat involved however many men figting one on one until one side had killed off the other side (usually the larger army, though subterfuge, spies and the ability to choose favorable terrain were factors, then as know). This seems to me a clear example of high intensity endemic warfare among a warrior people, but I am not an expert and wouldn't know where to start in adding citable facts on the point. It is an interesting side note that a more capable contributor might look into, I Don't think that adding an internal link on the Sengoku Period would be a problem though.Colin 8 18:50, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree -- the Sengoku period should not be on here. I'm not too familiar with Japanese history, but that was ... well, real warfare. --GenkiNeko 19:24, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


Most of this edit appears to be a copyvio from this website.

I don't have time to pursue this matter further at the moment, I think I will simply delete the offending material for the time being. Gatoclass 19:13, 19 August 2007 (UTC)


This article is biassed towards describing tribal warfare as ritualized and less lethal than modern warfare; e.g., the first paragraph states that "Endemic warfare is often highly ritualized to minimise fatalities". This view is rejected by many scholars who have studied tribal warfare, including works by scholars in the list of references in this article. E.g. Keeley argues in his monograph "War before civilization", listed in the references, that tribal warfare was often much more lethal than modern warfare, as far as death tolls are viewed against total polulation size. This problem needs to be addressed, and hence I added the POV tag. -- (talk) 14:10, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree, although tribal warfare certainly was ritualized and had strong connections to spirituality, it wasn't to reduce casualty's. In many cases the rituals were preformed before battle to ask the "spirits" for victory. In some cases it did, however, prevent a group of people from ganging up on one person as this was perceived as very dishonorable and could wave the deal that was made with the spirits/gods/what have you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:08, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Citations Needed and general misinformation[edit]

The bias towards non-violence in this article is very misleading and (I think) sets the wrong tone for endemic warfare in general. Perhaps it was low-threshold due to the ritualistic aspects of the warfare, or maybe it was simply dependent on the moral values (superstitions) of the tribes themselves -- I don't know, that's why I visited wikipedia -- but statements like endemic warfare was a "healthy psycho-social exercise" and "Endemic warfare is often highly ritualized and plays an important function in assisting the formation of a social structure among the tribes' men by proving themselves in battle" sound like observations from an omniscient author who wants to provide a made-up, modernized function for how current nation-state society formed. Could you imagine describing endemic warfare in late 20th century Los Angeles between the Bloods and the Crips as a healthy way for the African American community to develop psycho-socially? Who knows, maybe your deluded Wikipedia progeny in the 23rd century will think so. It's simply not enough to believe an idea is true because it fits our theories for how everything came about.

Writing "Citation Needed" after an unfounded statement is NOT enough. Half the truth is far worse than a total lie. How many fools do you think read this article, then go on to write that down or pass it along word of mouth? It's not enough that we should expect people to check the sources of what they read, it's damaging to society in general when your audience is as large as the whole-fucking-English speaking world. I've watched TED Talks and other similar videos/articles writing about how good Wikipedia is and that there are so-called specialists to check facts... Absolute rubbish. Those Citations Needed should be REMOVED along with the statements themselves.

Jimmy Wales, get your objectivist ass in here. Is this the "selective reproduction of reality" that Ayn Rand called you to this Earth to distort? --dystopiapedia

somebody did use the {{fact}} tag a little much, it seems. I mean, wth, "may represent a party and engage in ritual single combat[citation needed] after the manner of David and Goliath[citation needed]." What the hell is the second "citation needed" for? A citation that David and Goliath engaged in single combat? You may argue that it is superfluous to provide a random example of a famous single combat, but to slap multiple fact tags on a single statement does smell of WP:POINT a little bit.
I am not defending this article. It is an unfinished stub that has been left lying around for too long. But this isn't because the information is "unsourced". The material we have represents a valid aspect of endemic warfare, and is direclty based on Halsall (1989) which happened to be the reference in front of me when I first began this stub, and which in turn cites the relevant ethnological standard literature. It isn't a matter of {{fact}} (but one of {{expand}} or {{sofixit}}) that this article should so far neglect to provide details on questions of "psycho-social development of the African American community". --dab (𒁳) 15:10, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

"Thus one can view the practice as a standard form of conflict-resolution and/or as a healthy psycho-social exercise. Native Americans often engaged in this activity but warfare occurs or occurred much more rarely in most hunter-gatherer cultures." is neither stated nor implied in the article on the site. If it doesn't get replaced with a better source in 24hrs, I will delete it. I would also challenge as a reliable source.

Also, endemic warfare does not necessarily refer to primitive warfare, but rather to any condition of warfare that has remained in place for an extended period of time e.g. "the paper examines what happens to the police, policing and enforcement when low intensity conflict (LIC) is endemic." Thus we should differentiate the hunter-gatherer condition within endemic warfare with other kinds of endemic conflict.

I propose the following definition: "Endemic Warfare is a situation existing between two or more participants in which the credible threat of armed conflict is present long-term, and this threat materializes into actual violence periodically." (talk) 09:09, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

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