War, as opposed to personal violence, is a product of group cohesion, which is in turn a product of needing other people in order to survive. War is encouraged by the development of group identity and of hatred, both of which are encouraged by having a bad and hard life.
We are on the cusp of the introduction of productive technologies that have the potential to make every individual rich without needing to obey another human being, at which point we might notice that our only real enemy is anyone who tries to force us to do something with the threat of force (physical or economic or emotional or spiritual).
At that point, the ability to get people to get together to fight wars will be strongly diminished. Some people will still probably arrange them because they are at heart bastards who enjoy other people's suffering, but I think this will be the exception rather than the rule it has been ever since we ran out of enough land to live well as hunter-gatherers (modern h-gs live on the margins in areas with very limited resources---their constant warring has nothing to do with how all our ancestors lived back before our success back-fired).
Jerome M. Martinez
There will be war! If war was outlawed, which country not go to war? Can the UN prevent war, or will they sign off on war! In the real world of real politik, there will be war. Just look at the USA, they don't want Iran to have any nuclear weapons, but they themselves have 10,000 nuclear weapons. Why? To bully the weaker nations with the answer that war is inevitable.
War has never been a particularly effective tool and more people are realizing that every day. More importantly, we are learning to see through the ways we've traditionally been manipulated into war to serve the short term interests of a relative few. People who communicate through modern media are more challenging to divide and conquer. Militaries are more challenged to recruit. Universal nonparticipation in war is becoming a recognized common standard of humanity.
No, it is not. We are an evolving specie. It may be that we create a different society in another 3,000 years, it may not. We have recently enjoyed outgrowths, tendrils of societies that are fully engaged and simultaneously creating peaceful links where people who desire to do so emigrage to other cultures. The biggest contrainsts, cultural differences in small geographic areas, may then be moot, as people will no longer force oppression on others, whether that is Sharia or tollerance.
War is inevitable so long as questions such as this is posed, as if there were no will and decision process that brings about war. It is not even a question of style or type of government. It is a question of the state of mind of those who are empowered to start wars. To ascribe it to some sort of inevitability is to absolve culpability and to deny civilization.
Growing up, I was always taught by my environmental lawyer father that yes; war is inevitable. He was deeply influenced by overpopulation books like "The population bomb", by Paul Elrich. The predictions in that book did not pan out(I think it said we would've all been dead by now, or at least living in a ghastly, overpopulated world).
My father always taught me that war was a natural population control; that however unpleasant, it acted to reduce population and ease competition for resources.
In adulthood, I think of this a lot. While it might be true that war is a natural control for an unhealthily large population, aren't there other, more logical ways to curb the growth?
Yes. It is in man's nature to identify an "other", whether that is based upon skin color, beliefs, gender or whatever. We do this from the time we are children (bullying for example) to adults. We do it on an everyday petty scale to a grand scale. We have a tribal mentality that remains with us even though modern man likes to believe that he has shed that tendency. Any objective look at office politics for example would reveal that we have not.
It is this tribal mentality, this tendency to always define an "other" to oppose for whatever reason big or small, that is the reason that War (be it in conventional terms or a more metaphorical one) is inevitable. It is human nature.
Sadly I don't believe that human self-interest will ever subordinate itself to the welfare of others on a large enough scale to prevent the political, geographical, economic & racial divisions which eventually lead to violent conflict. For a true society of peace to exist, only a universal attitude of regarding others as being equal in human value w/ ourselves, despite whatever differences we observe, can sustain such a utopian environment.
War is inevitable as long as there are religions.
The idea that one person would sacrifice his life for another is what keeps war from total obsolescence. The people who benefit from war are glorified by the sacrifice, and the people who do the fighting are ennobled by it. Valor, sacrifice, honor. Now that the USA wages war by remote control, all three values have been removed from the equation, and war is just murder. Now if we Americans can ever get over our craving for violence, war will fade into history. War is not inevitable.
You ask two different questions, which have two answers. Is war inevitable? No, I don't think so. In every relationship, no matter the complexity, there are many ways to solve a dispute. Violent action is only one of these. However, as to whether we will ever stop fighting wars, I also say no. This saddens me, as I have two little kids, and I'd love to think that the world has figured out how to develop without killing. The truth it, however, we haven't. And the economic bonding and expansion that's taken place over the last few decades has only increased the likelihood of war, because our interests have expanded as well. Isolation may be debated, but it's also impossible, at least for countries like ours. And even if the largest nations develop tools for solving crises without bullets, smaller nations will also see military power as a sure fire way into the conversation. And why wouldn't they? Poorer countries are treated like charity cases, at best, until we become afraid of them. And sadly, this military build up almost always comes at the expense of their own people.
War is an organized activity. Unlike the heated argument between individuals that might lead to violence, war requires someone, or some group, to gather, persuade, and organize a larger group of people to engage in violence against another group of people(s). The question then becomes; what is it that inspires or drives the 'someone,' or 'some group' to organize others for war? The answer is status seeking.
Can you imagine that Henry V, King of England, did not have enough people genuflecting and humbling themselves to him? That he did not have sufficient castles and keeps, land and lords to be content? War with France was not for him a matter of insufficient wealth, it solely a matter of pride and status. He took his people to was so he could prove that he personally was superior to the King of France.
This same lust for, and pursuit of status is what drives American CEO's, with already obscene and unspendable wealth, to constantly seek more. The mantra is if so-and-so makes so much, I must make more.
We will have war so long as we maintain as a necessity, the creation of heirarchical structures of organization. Such structures inevitably reward the status-hungry internally, and subsequently demand a similar competitive relationship with other similar organizations. That is why, irrespective of the type or stated purpose of an organization, e.g. religious organizations, political organizations, etc, there will be conflict, and between nations, war.
The solution is to move from our current paradigm of organizing people to achieve common aims, from large to small. Smaller groups tend to work more cooperatively, whereas large groups appear to require specialization, and heirarchy. Eliminate the latter and you go a long way to eliminating war.
War is inevitable when we have political 'leaders' and 'journalists' and 'experts' who either have convinced themselves that it is or actually want war because they think it aids reelection or serves special interests who lust for war or who just lust for war themselves. Watch the network news or listen to NPR or read the Times, and it's clear that many 'experts' today view war as a video game, much as drone operators sitting in Virginia must.
War is inevitable because so many Americans _like_ war.
Perhaps, but not until all of humanity has the same common interests. Until then, Nations will continue to do what is best for their survival and war is an unfortunate but often necessary mean.
So long as there are scarce resources and national borders, there will be conflicts. So, absent some supply of cheap, unlimited energy, you'll always have at least the threat of war and the necessity to maintain armed forces.
War is a human invention to solve their conflic in the old days. This means continues throughout history and in modern society because of religious dominance. If laws in society are based on reality, there'll be no need to fight other nations.
Conflict is inevitable. War is a choice to resolve conflict.
As the world approaches world-wide democracy, war wanes leaving in its wake a way to resolve differences with non-lethal methods not involving bullets.
War is certainly not inevitable. It results from decisions made by human beings, and human beings can choose different options for dealing with problems. Unfortunately, US policy and culture has become so militarized that many cannot even imagine alternatives to war and ways of preventing it. What we need is greater investment and creative thinking about alternatives to war, and a real political commitment to ending war, and we could build a world without war. See http://fcnl.org/ for more info.
If the question is outlawing war, that happened with the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, but that doesn't mean that war has ended. Same with slavery, outlawed in the 19th century but it still exists.
If the question is ridding ourselves of war, that depends on how you define war. The million man army wars of World War II are over--most probably--but can we rid ourselves of all outbreaks of violence inside or among countries? Now that it's generally considered that the only just wars are those of humanitarian intervention with the support of the UN--should those be outlawed?
The question might also be asked as to what is war, which assumes there are two states--complete war or complete peace, and that we can define exactly who starts the war and when. What if the good samaritan, ploughshare in hand, had arrived to see guerrilla warriors beating up on a defenseless enemy person, should the samaritan try to protect the victim using his ploughshare (a weapon certainly as vicious as the sword), or should he walk by and let the victim die? I would wager that the best action involves the least violence--but no one can know what that is. Gandhi would have said that it was the samaritan's responsibility to protect the victim--so although he's universally considered a pacifist, pacifists who believe in the total abdication of arms would disagree. Joseph Allen Baker, who worked for years to halt the build up in arms before World War I and galvanize religious and political leaders into making peace, decided after the War had begun to ask President Wilson to have the US enter the war, because of information supplied to him by a German friend about the dangers of Germany winning. Some say World War II might have been forestalled had pacifists not been so persuasive in preventing a vigorous response to Hitler, although socialist and pacifist A. J. Muste insisted that World War II could have been prevented on the eve of the war by the US making an apology to Hitler for treating Germany badly after World War I.
Since it really takes only one person to instigate a group to start a conflict, while it takes at least two people who are not working together to make peace is there any way to ever ensure peace.
Looking at defense spending and the military industrial complex assumes that only militaries create war, which many pacifists seem to consider as true. It's not simply the building up of arms which necessarily causes war. Even if the US and other countries were to totally disarm, there would always be armed individuals or groups ready to take up arms, And what if, during the 1990s, Clinton had stop focussing Pentagon funding on star wars and putting military spending into preventing terrorist attacks inside US borders the act of war that was September 11, 2001 might not have occurred. Like many, he considered the star wars defense as very important, as he told me in a very polite letter in response to my advice as to where his focus should be. Much of the work now done by our military is, ironically, relief work--which pacifists oppose in that they look at it militarization, even though it really involves civilianization of the military, and even though, throughout history, rebuilding countries has been the task of the military as wars end.
On defense spending, Gandhi once wrote, "Man for man, the strength of non-violence is in exact proportion to the ability, not the will, of the non-violent person to inflict violence." He probably wasn't thinking of military strength there, but the principle still applies--at times, though not always.
Two of the wisest suggestions I have found on defense spending were posted on Small Wars Journal (www.smallwarsjournal.com) in a discussion on defense spending--one guy pointing out that it's time we restored defense to the place it was given in the preamble to the constitution (4th), and another suggesting that all of our federal cabinets, not just defense, should include the provision of security as one of their goals--recognizing it's not just weapons that provide security, it's diplomacy, good roads, good education....