Barbara Ehenreich’s essay “The Roots of War” primarily employs the cause/effect rhetorical model in seeking the root causes of war. She intelligently employs a chain of events through which a number of causes and effects unfolds which gives us some original insights on the insights of war. …
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Here, the chain of events elucidated in the writing is closely related to the notion of warfare by human beings. By drawing many cause and effects of warfare, Ehenreich attempts to challenge many of the prevailing understandings of war. In the very introductory paragraph of her paper itself, she negates some of the widespread misunderstandings on war such as the ideas that ‘war is essentially human’, war is essentially modern capitalist’ and war is instinctual’. War is mysterious. It stems from mysteries and it mystifies. There exist hundreds of misconceptions about war. Many people think that war is unique to human species. The proverbial saying goes that even animals do not kill except for food. According to Barbara Ehenreich, “there are [o]nly three types of creatures engage in warfare- humans, chimpanzees and ants”(598). Is tendency to go for war part of our genome make up? Feminists for long thought that it is testosterone that makes men war prone. War is not new to the human society. War prevails in all kinds of societies from primitive hunter-gatherers to modern capitalist ones. The first cause/effect assertion by the writer is that war is not equal to violence because violence is just part of it. It is a reductionism to say that war is equal to violence. No, war is greater than violence.
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