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The nations of the earth are mostly swayed by fear—fear of the sort that a little cheap oratory turns easily to rage,... Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The nations of the earth are mostly swayed by fear—fear of the sort that a little cheap oratory turns easily to rage, hate, and violence.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Jimbob
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 4:50:42 AM
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The Mirror of The Sea (1904-06) : by Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Of course, it may be argued that battles have shaped the destiny of mankind. The question whether they have shaped it well would remain open, however. But it would be hardly worth discussing. It is very probable that, had the battle of Salamis never been fought, the face of the world would have been much as we behold it now, fashioned by the mediocre inspiration and the short-sighted labours of men. From a long and miserable experience of suffering, injustice, disgrace and aggression the nations of the earth are mostly swayed by fear-fear of the sort that a little cheap oratory turns easily to rage, hate, and violence. Innocent, guileless fear has been the cause of many wars. Not, of course, the fear of war itself, which, in the evolution of sentiments and ideas, has come to be regarded at last as a half-mystic and glorious ceremony certain fashionable rites and preliminary in-cantations, wherein the conception of its true nature has been lost.
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I would agree with battles/wars have shaped destiny of mankind particularly in historical times as it would not have taken long to cotton on to the fact that there are substantial gains to be made by invasion/war and safety. So it's probably in our genetics the survivors. Of course the worlds population is 7 billion nowadays and this gives war a new (technological) dimension. The good thing I like about historical writers is that they were closer to the times of interest, and act as an intermediate historian with a certain amount of intelligence whether one agrees or not.
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The Battle of Salamis was fought between an Alliance of Greek city-states and the Persian Empire in September 480 BCE, in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens. It marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece which had begun in 480 BCE.

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