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Br Cornelius

War is not inevitable

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…research, however, led to a key discovery: The chimps who invaded their neighbors were suffering from shrinking territory and food sources. They were struggling for survival. Groups with adequate resources didn’t raid other colonies. The aggression wasn’t a behavioral constant but was caused by the stress they were under. Their genes gave them the capacity for violence, but the stress factor had to be there to trigger it into combat. This new research showed that war is not inevitable but rather a function of the stress a society is under. Our biological nature doesn’t force us to war, it just gives us the potential for it. Without stress to provoke it, violence can remain one of the many unexpressed capacities our human evolution has given us. Studies by professors Douglas Fry, Frans de Waal, and Robert Sapolsky present the evidence for this.

Militarists point to history and say it’s just one war after another. But that’s the history only of our patriarchal civilization. The early matriarchal civilization of south-eastern Europe enjoyed centuries of peace. UCLA anthropologist Marija Gimbutas describes the archeological research in
. No trace of warfare has been found in excavations of the Minoan, Harappa, and Caral cultures. Many of the Pacific islands were pacifistic. The ancient Vedic civilization of India had meditation techniques that preserved the peace, and those are being revived today to
in society..
.

Our society, though, has a deeply entrenched assumption that stress is essential to life. Many of our social and economic structures are based on conflict. Capitalism’s need for continually expanding profits generates stress in all of us. We’ve been indoctrinated to think this is normal and natural, but it’s really pathological. It damages life in ways we can barely perceive because they’re so built into us…

…We can create a society that meets human needs and distributes the world’s resources more evenly… But that’s going to take basic changes…

These changes threaten the power holders of our society. Since capitalism is a predatory social and economic system, predatory personalities rise to power. They view the world through a lens of aggression. But it’s not merely a view. They really are surrounded by enemies. So they believe this false axiom they are propagating that wars are inevitable.

In the past their predecessors defended their power by propagating other nonsense: kings had a divine right to rule over us, Blacks were inferior to Whites, women should obey men. We’ve outgrown those humbugs, and we can outgrow this one.

.............

Of course, as Gail of ‘Wit’s End’ pointed out, we will inevitably need to address the problem of overpopulation:

…although once upon a time some tribes (arguably) may have lived cooperatively and harmoniously (although the opposite is certainly more common) the only reason they could do so is because their numbers were so low and food was plentiful and relatively easy to obtain. Once human population outstrips resources, things get ugly no matter what social or cultural system is in place. And I don’t know of a place where human population didn’t eventually overrun the environment, with the possible exception of cultures that practiced infanticide, or had the ability to export people willing to emigrate.

It seems to me the problem is that we have filled every corner of the globe that is remotely habitable, and then some, and yet our population and levels of consumption continue to increase. There is no place left to emigrate to. It can’t last.

http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/

Br Cornelius

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Interesting article, even in education, stress is said to be a good thing, but having a certain level of stress that maximises work efficiency and study effectiveness.

War, in this day and age isn't inevitable. The threat of terrorism isn't actually that high to us but it is perceived as much through the media. This apparent threat which could happen at "anytime, anywhere". You could imagine the stress this would instill in the populace and get them behind a war.

Even the WMD threat which has a reach to kill anyone on the planet no matter where they were is fear instilling into the populace.

These could only increase levels of stress. Also somewhat make them feel like the chimps who felt their land was being taken away and threats slowly enroaching into their lives. Much like the threat of WMDs closing up the problem of long distance threat and terrorism a threat right at their doorstep.

Perfect way to get people to hop on the war machine.

Edited by Orcseeker

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A wise man has said that if wars can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth.

Another wise man, H.L. Mencken observed that the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of the imaginary.

At least the chimps are hungry when they go pillaging....

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Meh.

More Kumbaya bull****.

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Meh.

More Kumbaya bull****.

It is the growth imperative which forces societies to come into direct conflict - there is nothing imperative about the need for growth - its simply a facet of the particular economic model we choose to follow. That's not bull**** - that's a fact.

Br Cornelius

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In the professional field, this is known as a crack pot. Stress is a natural part of our biology. One doesn’t need anyone else to say it is (or isn’t). We all experience it. Stress is induced by a lack of something or the desire to gain something. In its most basic form, it finds the family provider trying to do so. Food just doesn’t lie in one’s lap and there are life threatening dangers every time one when looking for food.

Given that as the definition of Capitalism, then even the Soviet Union was Capitalist. Just because one can find evidence that a culture or two had no war, doesn’t mean that it didn’t. Archaeology is finding out new sites all the time or deciphering their secrets and they are rewriting the history books. But those cultures aren’t around any more to ask now are they.

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Brother C, I think it's quite a leap to go from raiding for food to ensure survival to "Capitalism causes all wars."

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Brother C, I think it's quite a leap to go from raiding for food to ensure survival to "Capitalism causes all wars."

Capitalism is the embodiment of Growth as an organizing principle - endless growth requires endless resources (find me an example where it doesn't). That is not possible in a finite world. When we build a society on the principle of endless growth we inevitably have to acquire new resource bases in order to feed it. Wars will become more brutal and more far reaching as essential resources become in short supply. Already we have many examples of wars triggered by resource stress - this can only get worse.

The basic reality is that we are going to have to come to terms with the fact that our resource base is finite and live within the ability of the planetary system to provide those resources on a sustainable basis, or we are going to have to get used constant war. Until we address the driver (growth) we cannot prevent the proliferation of wars.

The Bronze age was a period in archaeology which is noted for have long period without significant wars. It had low populations and a very benign climate - it is generally recognized that this allowed for a high standard of living without the recourse to resource conflicts and is generally considered a golden age for mankind. Climate change collapsed those cultures and the Iron age sprang out of this collapse and was noted for high levels of conflict and the emergence of widespread recourse to slavery and the need for raiding parties to feed that slave trade. The stress in this case was a collapse of agriculture.

Stress cannot be avoided on a day to day basis - but the degree to which it plays a role in our everyday lives is detrimental to civil society and personal health. Those countries which have a less competitive civil society generally have less social violence (think Scandinavia compared to America). There is nothing inevitable or desirable about burdening ourselves with so much stress and it is generally only good for those of a highly competitive and acquisitive nature - which is needless to say a tiny fraction of society.

Ultimately the worship of growth/wealth goes or it will cost us dearly in quality of life.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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It sounds as though we need to invite a substantial number of those currently alive to not remain so. Tricky thing, that. My father in law is 84 and has for years been an advocate of limiting populations globally. He recently received a certificate acknowledging his support for Negative Population Growth. We often discuss the idea of limiting populations but the reality is that human beings are driven by a biological imperative to act contrary to these ideas. As harsh as it seems to casually say it - nature will always thin the herd. If war is not inevitable in this generation then we would be the first in human history that this did not hold true for...

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The contention that we are biological driven to expand our population, compete with others for resources, fight for high status is just BS. All of these things we have chosen to do because of the lifestyle choices we have made. There are many examples of peoples across the globe and across history who have chosen not to take this path.

We have choices if we are wise enough to take them.

However at this moment it seems likely that nature will indeed force our hand and constrain our activities to some degree before we decide to do it ourselves.

Br Cornelius

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War is not inevitable

Its a response to the stress of capitalism.

Capitalism and 9,999 other variables. Where ever any two humans are in close proximity there will be stress.

War also is brought about by individual leadership, who can be ambitious, greedy, corrupt, or simply stupid.

Blaming war on Capitalism is a giant naive statement.

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Capitalism is the embodiment of Growth as an organizing principle - endless growth requires endless resources (find me an example where it doesn't). That is not possible in a finite world. When we build a society on the principle of endless growth we inevitably have to acquire new resource bases in order to feed it. Wars will become more brutal and more far reaching as essential resources become in short supply. Already we have many examples of wars triggered by resource stress - this can only get worse.

I’m only going to respond to this part real quickly because I have to fly…

This is not a finite world when it comes to resources. What we have is limited access to these resources. That is what causes wars. That is what makes us strong and the reason Man survives.

Before Einstein, we were far more limited in our resources. What discoveries are yet to come? We have unlimited resources and that base always changes. That resource is Man himself. We just need the stress to unlock the awesome power of Man. And wars are just one expression of that. And the Invisible Hand is part of that.

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interesting discussion. I've always thought that most wars were over resources , no matter what sort of excuses and speeches are made over them.

I get Cornelius' point about many cultures being content with sufficiency. That is just the only way it works for many. Self sufficiency is the best kind.

Ya, economic 'systems' promote Expansion.

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If having enough was enough to prevent violence/war, then we'd see those in poverty, who get just enough not turning to violence or crime. Gangs form regardless of the financial situations. War is not just economic, it it cultural and societal. And has 9,999 other causes, like I said earlier.

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The first rule of economics is scarcity. The first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics. --Thomas Sowell

Good luck getting anything to change without destroying liberty in the process.

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I'm only going to respond to this part real quickly because I have to fly…

This is not a finite world when it comes to resources. What we have is limited access to these resources. That is what causes wars. That is what makes us strong and the reason Man survives.

Before Einstein, we were far more limited in our resources. What discoveries are yet to come? We have unlimited resources and that base always changes. That resource is Man himself. We just need the stress to unlock the awesome power of Man. And wars are just one expression of that. And the Invisible Hand is part of that.

The highlighted bit is the fundamental flaw in your position - there is a finite amount of everything and everything has a bell shaped production curve. We may never extract the last bit of oil, coal, Uranium or clean water but that doesn't mean we can extract it at a cost which is economically manageable.

The most pressing finite resource is soil which is been eroded by modern farming practices - the problem been that we need modern farming practices to feed the population - but it destroys the resource that it depends on to create our food. Soil cannot readily and affordably be replaced once it is destroyed. Coupled to this is the fact that our food is dependent on oil to create the fertilizers and drive the energy intensive machinery to extract it. Look at the fertile cresent to understand what happens when you don't respect the soil - its not as fertile as it was.

The infinite accessablility of resources if we just apply our brains to it is an illusion - there are always limits and many of them are been reached. The consequence is likely to be, as it has been in the past, that when our agriculture collapses we will attempt to invade another country to access their land. This is what China is doing, though it is buying land at the moment. Eventually the foreign agricultural lands run out also.

Br Cornelius

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Let me just say - I make no distinction between capitalism and communism/socialism in this regard. They are functionally the same in their outcomes and both are dependent on growth as a core principle.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius
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The highlighted bit is the fundamental flaw in your position –

But it is not a flaw, but one of my key points, or I wouldn’t have stated it.

there is a finite amount of everything and everything has a bell shaped production curve.

That is certainly subjective. Raw resources are only limited to the size of planet Earth and soon, the resources of the solar system – comets, asteroids, moons, and planets. All will be determined by the greatest resource – Man’s mind and sweat.

We may never extract the last bit of oil, coal, Uranium or clean water but that doesn't mean we can extract it at a cost which is economically manageable.

This is partially true, but man will find a way to do it or provide an alternative. They predict that sweet crude will run out in 50 years or so, but other techniques like fracking is producing oil. Some say that that causes Earthquakes, it may or may not but we’ll either learn a way to reduce the Earthquakes or live with them. We may find out that these minor Earthquakes release the tension of bigger ones and keep them from happening. Knowing the nature of plate tectonics, I don’t see how many minor Earthquakes would build up stress. We wouldn’t have the power to actually move a plate, but we can ring it softly.

The most pressing finite resource is soil which is been eroded by modern farming practices - the problem been that we need modern farming practices to feed the population - but it destroys the resource that it depends on to create our food. Soil cannot readily and affordably be replaced once it is destroyed. Coupled to this is the fact that our food is dependent on oil to create the fertilizers and drive the energy intensive machinery to extract it. Look at the fertile cresent to understand what happens when you don't respect the soil - its not as fertile as it was.

The reason it is not as fertile is because of thousands of years of human existence. This is normal and to be expected. Not respecting it is certainly a cause of it losing some of its fertility, but natural factors probably have more affect. It’s believed that the Sahara is on a cycle that becomes fertile every 26,000 years. Perhaps the Fertile Crescent is a diminishing remnant of that and it is “cycling down”. In the Southern Plains of the United States in the 20s and 30s over farming lead to the Dust Bowl, but land conservation brought that land back. Israel is turning their desert into productive lands. Affordability may be a temporary limiting factor but the enabling factor is Man’s mind and back. There are things we cannot control but what we cannot control, we get around. We are custodians of the land. That doesn’t mean that we can’t exploit for our benefit. There are just better ways to do so than others. This is what we need to learn.

The infinite accessablility of resources if we just apply our brains to it is an illusion –

Not an illusion. It just takes hard work. We can’t expect the government to be there for everything.

there are always limits and many of them are been reached.

Yes, there are limits, but they haven’t been reached yet. Limits are not insurmountable. We haven’t reached Maximum Entropy yet.

The consequence is likely to be, as it has been in the past, that when our agriculture collapses we will attempt to invade another country to access their land. This is what China is doing, though it is buying land at the moment. Eventually the foreign agricultural lands run out also.

That is very possible. The result will be war and famine and a culling of the heard, like has happened in history. And life will improve for those that remain. Perhaps those that has the CCR5-Δ32 gene will pass it on? We hopefully learn from mistakes and learn how to stretch the resources we have, find new ones, or create them. Perhaps a society without instrumentality?

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Solar storms are caused by capitalism too. I read a study where monkeys said so.

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Solar storms are caused by capitalism too. I read a study where monkeys said so.

Irony Ha Ha

Br Cornelius

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War is caused by stress which is caused by capitalism? No.

War is caused by stress which is caused by competition for resources. Capitalism is just a way of equitably competing for those resources. Can war result from conflicts from the practice of capitalism? Of course, there is no economic or political system that's immune to violence.

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No beaurocrat ever solved a problem without creating more in the process.

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War is caused by stress which is caused by capitalism? No.

War is caused by stress which is caused by competition for resources. Capitalism is just a way of equitably competing for those resources. Can war result from conflicts from the practice of capitalism? Of course, there is no economic or political system that's immune to violence.

Capitalism, or should I say materialism, is the problem because it has the growth (profit) principle at its core. The imperative to produce a surplus (profit) creates a constant draw on basic raw materials - which is the biosphere.

Capitalism/communism/socialism cannot be made compatible with a finite resource base. Some other economic system which respects the finite nature of the planet has to replace it or we will continue to destroy our environment and eventually the system which supports our basic life support mechanism.

Living within your means is not possible when growth is your goal. Ditch the profit/growth motive in order to replace it with a steady state model of economics.

Br Cornelius

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No beaurocrat ever solved a problem without creating more in the process.

It is our aquiecence to an unsustainable model which is at issue. The problem is caused by us as individuals and should be solved by us as individuals by behaving in a sustainable way and insisting that our institutions do likewise.

Br Cornelius

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Capitalism, or should I say materialism, is the problem because it has the growth (profit) principle at its core. The imperative to produce a surplus (profit) creates a constant draw on basic raw materials - which is the biosphere.

Capitalism/communism/socialism cannot be made compatible with a finite resource base. Some other economic system which respects the finite nature of the planet has to replace it or we will continue to destroy our environment and eventually the system which supports our basic life support mechanism.

Living within your means is not possible when growth is your goal. Ditch the profit/growth motive in order to replace it with a steady state model of economics.

Br Cornelius

Profit incentive is the reason for so much advancement in our world. In saying that, I'm also not sure that advancement is morally superior to stagnation. I read in a journal that world knowledge has more than doubled since the 1970s. Societal advancement and its wonderful products and services may ultimately prove catastrophically worse than living off the land like the the Amish. Much of the technological advancement that makes our worlds so dramatically better comes from the "survival of the fittest" games mankind plays on itself. World War 2 for example. Look at the massive gains in technology made between 1939-1945. Who was it that said "Necessity is the mother of invention" is right. Non-capitalistic systems don't have incentive to profit (produce, trade, and consume) but they do nothing to remove the incentives to violence. War becomes commercialized like it has in US foreign policy over the past 10 years.

I'm not game for a protracted discussion about economic models here. Not without the calculus and the research behind them at least.

But I will pose a take home question: Do we accept war as a morally acceptable form of economic stimulus (Keynesianism?), or population control (environmentalism?)?

Edited by Yamato

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