Today, as we mark Randolph Bourne’s 130th birthday, it seems an especially appropriate time to step back from the noisy distractions of the ongoing public debate over American foreign policy and reflect quietly for a few moments on the larger picture. For what larger picture do we see when we contemplate war, peace, and the institution of coercive government – the State – and what we have learned over the past century about their myriad interconnections and interrelations?

I think we see the same thing one of America’s most remarkable public intellectuals, Randolph Bourne, saw when he looked at the involvement of the American State in World War I nearly a hundred years ago. We see that, as Bourne famously put it in his last and greatest essay, "war is the health of the State." It is this insight, that the condition of war, in addition to the death, injury, and destruction it brings with it by its very nature, also builds up the warmakers – the States that fight the wars – leaving the victorious ones, at least (and not infrequently even the losers), larger and more powerful in their dealings with their home populations, so that they are better positioned not only to fight yet another war but also to hire more effective warmongers to sell it for them. It is this insight of Bourne’s that inspires our work here at, as it is after Bourne that our parent organization, the Randolph Bourne Institute, is named. On this day, Randolph Bourne’s 130th birthday, please join me in honoring his timeless insight by supporting as generously as you can (matching funds are still in effect).

Please make your tax-deductible contribution today*

*Donors of $100 or more receive their choice of a book – America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by Andrew J. Bacevich, Chaos and Caliphate: Jihadis and the West in the Struggle for the Middle East by Patrick Cockburn, or Big Israel: How Israel's Lobby Moves America by Grant Smith. Indicate your choice when donating, send an email, or call 323-512-7095.
Original Blog US Casualties Iraqi Casualties Contact Donate
Updated May 31, 2016 - 11:23 PM EDT
Iraq Announces 'Final Assault' on Fallujah
  Obama Emphasizes Troops Killed in Iraq Died in 'Combat'
  259 Killed in Iraq; Bombers Back in Baghdad
US-Backed Syrian Kurds Expand Anti-ISIS Push
  Syrian, Russian Warplanes Pound al-Qaeda Territory in Idlib
Netanyahu Open to Discuss Arab Peace Initiative
  As Israel Moves Right, Many Annoyed Military Isn't Going With Them
Taliban Kills 57 Cops as Province Nears Collapse
NATO Plans Yet More Troops in Eastern Europe
Libya Forces Capture Town From ISIS After Heavy Fighting
Snowden Leaks Were 'Public Service,' Says Ex-Attorney Gen.
S. Korea Says N. Korea Attempted Missile Launch Failed
We Must Restore Congressional Authority on Declaring War  by Sen. Rand Paul
Memorial Day Should Make Us Rethink Platitudes About Military  by Ivan Eland
Phony Kurds in Syria  by Paul R. Pillar
The Sociology of War  by Dan Sanchez
A Very Belated Decision on Cluster Bombs and the Saudis  by Daniel Larison
New Nukes for a New Cold War  by Chuck Spinney

More Viewpoints

Yemen Rebels Launch Missile Into Saudi Arabia
Machete Attack Brings Israeli Arab Restauranteur in Ohio to Close Shop
Tusk Comes Out Against Too Much EU Integration
Obama Defends Human Rights Effort in Vietnam
Guantánamo Is Planning for Prison After Obama
259 Killed in Iraq; Bombers Back in Baghdad
Turkey Suggests Joint Operations With US, but No Kurds
Inmates in Syrian Prison Fear Reprisal After Revolt
Syria: New Photo of Japanese Hostage Appears With Message Pleading for Help
Six Killed, Many Injured, by Roadside Bombs in SE Turkey
Turkey's Erdogan Accuses Russia of Arming PKK Militants
Erdogan Says No Muslim Family Should Engage in Birth Control
Leadership Row in Turkey's Nationalist Opposition Helps Erdogan
Sunni Hawk Wins Lebanon Vote, Risking New Tensions
Hezbollah Deputy: No War This Summer 'Unless Israel Chooses'
Lieberman Sworn in as DM After Stormy Knesset Session
Israeli MPs Clear Far-Reaching Anti-Terror Bill for Knesset Vote
Ya'alon Reaches Out to US Donors in Preparation for Potential PM Run
Israel Intercepts Communication Equipment En Route to Gaza
Israeli Soldier Stabbed in Tel Aviv in Suspected Terror Attack
Israeli Army Charges Palestinian Astrophysicist With Incitement to Violence and Terrorism
Israeli Arab Student Leader Describes 'Humiliating' Strip Search at Prime Minister's Office
Middle East
UAE Acquits Two Libyan-Americans and Canadian of Militancy Charges
Yemen Parties Review 6390 Detainees List
Saudi Human Rights Activist Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison
Bahrain Court Extends Prison Term for Shiite Opposition Leader
Retired Military Officer Close to Chavez Slain in Venezuela
Second Airline Suspends Flights to Venezuela
Seized Mexico Footballer Freed
Haiti Panel Recommends Throwing Out Results of Disputed Vote
Second Minister in New Brazil Government Quits
1 Killed, 3 Missing in Pirate Attack Near Guyana
In Egyptian Village, Attack on Christian Grandmother Fuels Anger
Egyptian Court Sentences 36 Islamists to Life in Prison
Egypt Journalist Union Chiefs Charged With Harboring Wanted Colleagues
Chad Ex-Dictator Habre Sentenced to Life in Prison for War Crimes
Victims Cheer Chad Ex-Dictator's Life Sentence
Chad's Habre: Desert Warlord Turned Brutal Tyrant
Suspected Al Shabaab Fighters Kill 3 Village Elders in Kenya
Nigeria: Security Forces Kill Oil Militants, Separatists
Two Tunisians Killed in Landmine Blast Near Algerian Border: Ministry
Mauritius Raises Security Level After Gunshots Fired on French Embassy
Burkina Faso Provisionally Frees Ex-Ruling Party Head
Tony Blair Will Refute Criticism in New Report; Could Be Investigated for War Crimes
Germany Considers Easing of Russia Sanctions
Brother of Paris Attacker on Trial Over Militant Training
Refugee Crisis
Turkey Threatens Deal Unless Their 80 Million Citizens Are Allowed Free Travel Into the EU

Mediterranean Shipwreck Survivors Haunted by Cries of Kids

As US Admits Migrants in a Trickle, Critics Urge Obama to Pick Up the Pace
Hopes and Fears for Jobs as Afghan Cement Factory Reopens
Reconstruction of Ruined Palace Begins in Afghan Capital
Philippine Troops Kill 54 Islamist Militants in the South
Mother China: a 'Chinese Revolution' Sweeps Across Pakistan
Indonesian Navy Fires Shots, Seizes Chinese Fishing Boat
Thai Junta Lifts Ban on Overseas Travel by Politicians
Read more

Justin Raimondo
Abolish Memorial Day

Ivan Eland
Memorial Day Should Make Us Rethink Platitudes About the US Military

Dan Sanchez
The Sociology of War

Nebojsa Malic
NATO in Montenegro: Securing the Rear Before Barbarossa II?

Lucy Steigerwald
Do Clinton Voters Care About War?

Sheldon Richman
What Do Terrorists Want?

Ran HaCohen
What Israel Is Up To in Jerusalem

David R. Henderson
Questioning the Powerful

Additional Contributors
Reproduction of material from any original pages
without written permission is strictly prohibited.
Copyright 2016