To wage war, one must learn to speak a uniquely volatile language of authority. In the early nineteenth century, success in this endeavor meant confirming one's ability to sentence one's foes to death. In the first section of this talk, I discuss Clausewitz’s influential model of conflict and the problems that arise when he attempts to explain the interdependence of warring parties. I then turn to Kleist’s dramas, in which warfare is shaped by a clash of linguistic paradigms. In the final section, I consider how the interplay of militarized tongues informs the modern concept of revolution.
March 14, 10-12 in Comenius