Do any philosophers argue for a state of constant war? Not as a state that needs to be prevented, but an ideal state. I don't think that's Marx, but it may be some variants of Marxism. Does Machiavelli argue for this in some way?

  • 1
    Heraclitus might, but I'd have to re-read his fragments. He certainly saw war as a type of "justice."
    – Hokon
    Sep 17 at 19:08
  • interesting @Hokon i don't mean murder and looting and rape and all that bloody nonsense.
    – user67675
    Sep 17 at 19:10
  • Ideal how, for whom? If you're running an empire powered by a slave economy for whom idle standing military forces are a constant threat of a coup, it's obviously ideal in short-term economic terms for your ruling class for your military to be off conquering and enslaving your neighbors - and pretty good for your military's short term utility, too, since they get to loot and rape and all that bloody nonsense. Not so ideal for your working poor, and definitely not ideal for your conquered, enslaved, looted, and raped neighbors, but are any of those guys really people?
    – g s
    Sep 18 at 4:07
  • hmm yeah i think they are @gs thanks
    – user67675
    Sep 18 at 4:18

1 Answer 1


Maybe not what you are looking for...

If our definition of war extends beyond direct military conflict to include conflicts such as the arms race and its doctrine of mutually assured destruction, then military strategists have developed and adopted a philosophy based on mathematical game theory and its concept of Nash equilibrium.

Nash equilibrium has a technical definition which roughly says that given a strategy adopted by one side, neither side could do strictly better (i.e., increase their payoff) by adopting another strategy. This gives rise to an infinite game where it is in the interest of both sides to keep the game going. Particular conflicts, such as direct military conflicts (e.g., Ukraine), may come and go but the game continues indefinitely.

  • hmm. so it's just me
    – user67675
    Sep 17 at 22:47

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