War as metaphor

The use of war as metaphor is a longstanding literary and rhetorical trope. In political usage, war metaphors are used to manage a perceived societal problem, with the concept taking the place of an individual or state enemy in true war.
Philosopher James Childress describes the use of war as a metaphor as a dilemma: "In debating social policy through the language of war, we often forget the moral reality of war." One fundamental problem is that it is often unclear when the "war" is over.
The Cultural Revolution in China 1966−1976, which initially was launched as a "War against Revisionism", is a discouraging example of a metaphorical war against "-isms".


Examples of war used as a metaphor, often on the form "War on..." or "War against...":
Some "wars" are not proclaimed but rather a label used by adversaries:

Further reading