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There is no single Marxist theory of war because Marxists debate among themselves when, if ever, war is appropriate and justified. Marxism is primarily a critique of capitalism, a vision of an alternative, and an attempt to find a strategy to realize that alternative. Hence, a Marxist discussion of war would focus on wars within capitalism or wars against capitalism.

On the other hand, most academic schools of international relations strive to aid the state, the capitalist class, or both, in remaining dominant. A paradigm, which descends from Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Carl von Clausewitz, proclaims itself as “realist.” It views human nature as violent, aggressive, and selfish and believes nations act like people. Consequently, wars are natural and inevitable, and nations must always prepare ...

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