BURKE'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY OF THE MILITARY AS THE SOCIAL INSTITUTION

Срђан Старчевић, Илија Кајтез

DOI Number
https://doi.org/10.22190/TEME1803779S
First page
779
Last page
797

Abstract


Criticizing the social events in France during the French Revolution, Edmund Burke also dealt with military issues. He criticized the changes that the Revolution brought in the military organization in order to demonstrate the futility and harmfulness of the revolution. In this paper we have analyzed three types of his arguments against the reform of the army in France in order to check if those aspects of Burke's views on military are still valid. These are arguments against electing military officers for officers' duties, the arguments against a weak supreme commander and the arguments against interfering of political parties in the military and against political engagement of the soldiers. As a key social relationship that must prevail in the military, Berk emphasized discipline (as an internal functional relationship) and subordination (an external functional relationship, which refers to subordination to civil authorities). He underlined singularity and political neutrality of the military as its essential characteristics. He was the first to unequivocally point to the connection between officers and soldiers as the central point of the structure of a military. He proved that the military reform in France during the revolution would lead to a military dictatorship, but he failed to note that the reform also meant the abandonment of feudal mercenary military as a form of organization, as well as creating conditions for the introduction of a mass military based on general conscription. His understanding of the relations between military and civilian spheres, makes him one of the forerunners of the modern theories of civil-military relations.


Keywords

Edmund Burke, revolution, military, civil-military relations.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/TEME1803779S

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