Steven Pressfield Blog
This week’s Mashup features jumps back and forth, between the past and present.
In the videos (and posts) on this site, we’ve talked about the characteristics of tribes and the tribal mindset. Among these are respect for elders, hostility to outsiders, the obligation of revenge, a code of honor rather than a system of laws, hospitality, capacity to endure hardship and the suppression of women. These qualities appear to be universal, or nearly so, across all continents during all periods of history. They seem to hold true for Native Americans, Africans and Amazonians, ancient Celts and Gauls, Scottish highlanders and the savage tribes that fought Alexander, Cyrus and Xenophon.
Announced this morning: Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti will be awarded the Medal of Honor.
I’m going to try something new on Wednesdays from now on, which is to post pieces that are not about tribalism or Afghanistan, but about writing. This is #1. The subject is professionalism. If you’ve read my book The War of Art, you know that I view professionalism not only as an asset and obligation commercially and artistically (or even as a sign of respect for yourself and your readers), but almost as a spiritual practice. It’s my mantra and my touchstone. It has saved my life, personally as well as professionally.
Thank you for your Weekend Mashup suggestions. A few of the blogs I’ve been introduced to this week include Global Guerrillas, Ink Spots, Sosh-P and Building Peace. When I saw T.X. Hammes mentioned in Building Peace’s July 13 post, I was sold. All four are great blogs. Suggest you visit if they are new to you.
By Mark Safranski—aka “Zenpundit” Steven Pressfield invited me to do a guest post here at “Tribes” and give my assessment of the vigorous debate that greeted the entry of “It’s the Tribes, Stupid: War & Reality in Afghanistan” into the blogosphere. Or, at least the corner of the blogosphere that is concerned with COIN, military affairs, foreign policy, terrorism, Afghanistan and Iraq. The following opinion is my own and does not necessarily reflect that of Mr. Pressfield.
The “It’s the Tribes, Stupid” series launched just over a month ago.
It’s been one month since the June 8th launch of “It’s the Tribes, Stupid.” One month since I stepped into the blogosphere, sent my first “tweet” and was introduced to more sites, blogs, and social media participants than I knew existed. It has been a real education. As I move forward, every Friday I’d like to offer a mashup of what I’ve been introduced to and learned during the previous week. I’d like to see what you’ve learned too—spread the education wealth.
One of my favorite writers, Patrick Devenny, wrote an article recently for Foreign Policy that’s not only fascinating and fun, but also has much to teach us about, in Mr. Devenny’s words, “one of the most complicated problems in Afghanistan today: the training and oversight of local defense forces.”
A week ago I ran a post about two young Army captains—Jim Gant and Michael Harrison—who served in the same valley in Konar province, Afghanistan. Their service was six years apart, yet the two were linked by their bonds with a tribal chief named Noorafzhal and by a gift of honor—a shotgun that Capt. Gant and his Special Forces ODA 316 had presented to the tribal elder in August 2003. Just three weeks ago, June 2009, Noorafzhal was still showing that gun off—this time to Capt. Harrison.
The Warrior Archetype
A New Video Series from Steven Pressfield
Subscribe here for the full series.
FREE MINI COURSE
Start with this War of Art [27-minute] mini-course. It's free. The course's five audio lessons will ground you in the principles and characteristics of the artist's inner battle.