War and Man’s Nature

On the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies website, History Professor Dr. Howard Zinn offers his perspective regarding man’s “nature” and war. In your opinion, is it man’s nature to be aggressive, to fight, and to wage war? Or, is man peaceful by nature and his participation in war the product of government coercion, manipulation, and policies?

5 thoughts on “War and Man’s Nature

  1. I think it’s in our nature to be logical. Sometimes logic happens at the expense of others.

    For instance a small size tribe, having had some disaster in their homeland encounters another small tribe in their quest for sustenance. They are desperate and beg for assistance. The tribe is in a position to help but these outsiders are not trusted. They may not be a threat. They are vulnerable. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt are the name of the game. The pathos blinds whatever good temper might exist and the conscious mind talks in circles until violence occurs. It doesn’t take a cheiftain egging on an uncertain crowd. Fear of inaction is enough in and of itself.

    In today’s world it’s more complicated. It’s easier to hear the truths of situations, but the propaganda machines, both pro-war and anti-war, cloud the issues. I see war as a sometimes necessary evil, in today’s world. Until humanity evolves to a point where peaceful coexistence can be a reality, I fear we are stuck with that sad reality.

    Today we are still arguing over what the peace should look like. It seems to me to be primarily in two factions. One side bases it’s theories on self ownership and the non aggression principle. The other side tends toward utilitarian logic, where violation of personal sovereignty and aggression (taxation) are logical for minimal-suffering and ok. Even after all the wars over historical particulars, religious insanity, and mineral rights are long past, wars will be fought over self-ownership.

  2. Both of course, because the world is not black and white. Some people are aggressive and some people are not. It’s just that aggressive people tend to find their way to the top of the food chain which is why the world is run by psychopathic lunatics as Paul stated in his farewell speech. These sociopaths are expert manipulators as well, which is why you have clueless citizens screaming for blood the whole time.

    NYU and Stanford recently did a study demonstrating how 50 innocent people are murdered for every 1 alleged “terrorist” killed in our terror drone war. Yet most people are completely unaware of what is going on outside of their televisions. The ones who do know either refuse to believe that our Dear Leader — paragon of virtue and progressivism — would be capable of ordering the death of women and children, or they eagerly endorse the wholesale slaughter of “the bad guys” (Muslims).

    Governments manipulate men into war, but let’s not forget the fact that they are willing participants.

    • Your heart is in the right place. Agreed, the reason we see so much police misconduct (injusticeeverywhere.org) is psychopaths are drawn to positions of power like being a police officer, and the police unions lobby for policies and legislation that protects them. Protection in many cases that prevents even genuine bad actors from harm until they kill someone. Tazer a woman to death who tried to peacefully resist an illegal search and you get a paid vacation, for instance.

      I believe the 1:50 ratio you are referring to is for high value targets. Certainly there are a large number of woman and children, as many of these attacks are on compounds where these individuals are living. I agree, these are terrible and unjustifiable casualties reminiscent of the carpet bombing of WWII. I believe there is a large percentage of militant types in the 50 as well. I can’t recall the exact number but they were not all “innocent”. It was a ratio of high value targets (ie, the targets they were “shooting” for.)

  3. I don’t believe that humankind is aggressive, to the point of the devastation of war, by its own nature. I think war is the consequence of unmet need and un-addressed abuse that rises to a scale beyond the individual. Both the individual and society require a societal and cultural responsiveness to these. Responsiveness comes from responsibility and sensitivity, both of these must be learned, and they must be valued over self interest. Unfortunately,once you trek down the path of force and neglect it’s a long road back. These concepts can easily be proven in one’s own home.

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