Sarsential 17: Center of Gravtity [ Identity ]

"The creation of any modern nation state is characterised by the elaboration of an official history, a legendary narrative produced for purposes of unification, an ideological construct that glorifies a more or less imaginary ethnic group and encourages the rejection of any kind of otherness, regarded as inferior, indeed contemptible. Given that no-one escapes such cultural tensions [...] our intention is not to stigmatise these artefacts of identity, but rather to minimise them, in order to highlight the multicultural and multiconfessional profusion [...]"

French qānūn performer and conducter Julien Jalaleddin Weiss, in accompanying booklet to double CD recording of 'Ensemble Al Kindi Perfums Ottomans', first published in France by Zamzama Productions, Paris, 2006

"Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian military theorist who thought of the center of gravity as a focal point,  the one element within a combatant's entire structure or system that has the necessary centripetal force to hold that structure together: "The CoGs of Alexander the Great, Gustavus Adolphus, Charles XII of Sweden, and Frederick the Great, for instance, resided in their respective armies. In different circumstances, the personalities of key leaders, a state’s capital, or its network of allies and their community of interest might serve as CoGs. What all of these various elements have in common is not that they are sources of power, but that they perform a centripetal or centralizing function that holds power systems together and, in some cases, even gives them purpose and direction. Strictly speaking, an armed force is not a “source” of power. Rather, it serves as a focal point that draws and organizes power from a variety of sources: a population base (recruits); an industrial base (weapons and materiel); and an agricultural base (foodstuffs). The same holds true for the personalities of key leaders, state capitals, or alliance networks. These things draw raw power from different sources and refine, organize, and redirect it."

Read and download 'Clausewitz's Center of Gravity' on the Strategic Studies Institute website:

Ensemble Al Kindi website:

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