Essay, Research Paper
War or Peace
Causes of War and Threats to Peace
War is one of the responses by which one society tries to reduce the capacity of another society to obtain its objectives, when one or several of these are conflicting with those of the first society. By this response, society A tries to get the society B to do what is not convenient for B, but of convenience to A. In other words, A tries to get B to do something unnatural, namely NOT to try to reach its own objectives. This is in direct contradiction with the definition of an intelligent system of a human being, and resisted by B.
Societies, since they are intelligent systems (IS), always act as best they see fit to reach their objectives. When there is a conflict, the first thing they do is to appeal to a super society. If such a super society does not exist, it is inevitable that the societies do what they consider best to reach their objectives. Sometimes this will be a war. A society, by waging war, takes a natural response, namely trying to reach its objectives.
We see that it is no wonder that two societies with conflicting objectives go to war. In a nation, the governing sub society makes the decision to attack or cooperate according to how it sees the best way to reach its objectives. Once it has taken the decision, the general population acts according to the emotions evoked by the governing subsociety and according to existing habits and regulations for civilians and the military forces. The governing subsociety will present the adversary as cruel, greedy, barbarian, and nasty. It will appeal to patriotism and ideals. For all this it will use existing communications media that appeal to emotions and preexisting mental inclinations.
Below we mention subjective causes for war that have their root in human nature and the present culture:
? Belief by the governing subsociety that, in the long run, the war will be beneficial to itself or its society.
? Errors of appreciation of the political, economical and social situation of its own society and of the adversary.
? Accidents, where a critical situation gets out of hand, against the wishes of the governing subsociety.
? A fight over resources.
? Emotions and attitudes that cause wars: Greed, trying to increase prestige or power, the wish to participate in a heroic undertaking, the aggressive impulse, frustrations, insecurity.
? All these are often given a helpful hand by the producers of military material.
We have to take into account that in a war nearly always someone gains: some nation, a social class, an enterprise or a political society; even if most of the involved IS’s lose .
“WAR IS NATURAL” Theories (Theories of natural causes of war)
Wars have natural causes, reasons. These causes are built-in human and/or social nature. Causes are indestructible, thus wars are unavoidable.
HUMAN NATURE as a main cause of war.
In-born, instinctive aggressiveness in an individual is an unavoidable parameter of human nature. War is biologically approved. It is a continutation and a development of a “struggle of species for survival’ from a biological world to a social world. (Freudism, neo-Freudism, etology, Social-Darwinism, sociobiology, etc.)
SOCIAL NATURE is a main cause of war.
Structure of social relations, group contradictions, division and sub-division of humankind into ethnic entities, nation-states, alliances and empires presuppose wars as one of “natural” and functional ways of social interaction between them. Some wars are more justified and functional, some less, but as a whole wars are a “dialectical” way of resolving contradictions. Progress and social development sometime occurs in the form of wars. Wars could be modified, controlled, but could not and even should not be eliminated as a social phenomenon.
(Hegelianism, Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, national liberation ideologies. Modern structural-functionalism and system theories in political science)
TECHNICAL (MAN-MADE) NATURE is a main cause of modern and future wars.
Scientific and technological progress, industrialization and post-industrial development created, firstly, great demand for resources and redistribution of them, and secondly, huge arsenals of modern means of destruction and fantastic abilities of a modern man to influence through technology (weaponry, computers, communication & propaganda) other men and states. Scientific thought couldn’t be stopped. Weapons and dual-use technologies couldn’t be dis-invented. Modern technologically supported wars (as well as futuristic nuclear, space, electronic and so on wars) are a “natural” and unavoidable companion of a scientific and technological progress.
PACIFISM Theories (Theories of unnatural essence of war)
War has no “eternal” or natural causes. War is a violation of human and social nature. It could and should be abandoned.
Wars and rumors of war are the most serious symptom of the developing global crisis. If it involves weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, chemical or exotic) global war presents the most obvious threat to human survival, and the most serious need for “informed democracy,” since citizens are less able to reach wise decisions about good foreign policy if they must rely mainly on propaganda from governments for their information. No aspect of the developing global crisis is more heavily propagandized than issues of national and international security.
There are two fundamentally different types of peace efforts and agencies: those funded by governments (including the United Nations) and those driven by grassroots groups. The latter are highly fragmented due to severe lack of funding and other factors, but they are rich in ideas and sometimes energy. The former are compromised, since their funders prohibit looking too closely at the fundamental causes of war, for which governments are so often responsible. But, they have the power to change events.
Human survival “as we know it” depends, in our view, on increasing the effectiveness of both kinds of peace groups before the next world war comes, despite their sometimes antagonistic biases. Lacking success there, we expect that there will be survivors even of a World War III, and that they will build a better civilization. The scale of modern weaponry and the exotic redundancy of biological, nuclear, chemical and even more secret weapons does, however, raise the prospect for the first time in human history of actual extinction of the species.