So why do history faculties, which accept the need to study other great forces in history, such as changes in the means of production or systems of belief, shy from war? I suspect that horror at the phenomenon itself has affected universities’ willingness to treat it as a subject for scholarship. Years ago, when I proposed a new course on war and society, an education consultant asked me, “Why don’t you call it peace studies?”
I have since met with incomprehension, even hostility, when I have pointed out that wars can bring unintended benefits. However much I say that we would not choose to make war in order to improve our societies, I am charged with loving war. Yet nobody would say that the study of imperialism, racism or famine means that we think those are good things.