Myth: War Is Inevitable (summary)

foodWar is not in our genes:
War has only been around for the most recent fraction of the existence of our species. We did not evolve with it. During this most recent 10,000 years, war has been sporadic. Some societies have not known war. Some have known it and then abandoned it.

Quite a few nations have chosen to have no military.
War is not “natural”:

A great deal of conditioning is needed to prepare most people to take part in war, and a great deal of mental suffering is common among those who have taken part. In contrast, not a single person is known to have suffered deep moral regret or post-traumatic stress disorder from war deprivation.

War is not a permanent part of our culture:

Any feature of a society that necessitates war can be changed and is not itself inevitable. The military-industrial complex is not an eternal and invincible force. Environmental destructiveness and economic structures based on greed are not immutable.

War is not created by crises beyond our control:

War in human history up to this point has not correlated with population density or resource scarcity. The idea that climate change and resulting catastrophes will inevitably generate wars could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is not a prediction based on facts.

Ending war Is possible:

Human societies have been known to abolish institutions that were widely considered permanent. These have included human sacrifice, blood feuds, duelling, slavery, the death penalty, and many others.

Ending all war is an idea that has found great acceptance in various times and places. It was more popular in the United States, for example, in the 1920s and 1930s. In recent decades, the notion has been propogated that war is permanent. That notion is new, radical, and without basis in fact.

Read More.

Resources with additional information.

Other Myths:

War is necessary.

War is beneficial.

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  2. Pingback: Building a Global Movement to End All War by David Swanson | Dandelion Salad

  3. . Religion fuels all the wars…
    RELIGION = ADDICTION to being LIED TO, an ENFORCED PSYCHOSIS, and desire to MURDER EVERYONE in the universe… i.e. Noah’s Ark (99.9999% killed), Armageddon (100% killed), Left Behind books & movies (100% killed)… religics love that stuff…

    • Sufi Shaikh says:

      Religion fuels all the wars…

      Not necessarily. I think that the ideology of tribal conflict fuels wars i.e. blue vs red.

      Religion can also be used to dampen conflict e.g. 2 warring tribes united under the banner of the same religion.

      There are many elements of the Golden Rule within religions that promote peace.

      The society has to expend effort in order to fuel that instead of conflict resolution by violence.

      Even our societies today have the Military-Industrial Complex & lionise it.

  4. Michael Dowling says:

    I would love world wide peace,but then how do you deal with the likes of ISIS,or the rise of dictators such as Hitler? Peace marches would not have placated Hitler.

  5. I believe very strongly in this vision of a world without war.

    I do, however, want everything to be accurate. Slavery has not ended.
    There are still at least 35 million people in some sort of slavery on this planet every year.

    War is a huge factor in human trafficking, as evidenced by the refugees fleeing current war torn regions and being abused by traffickers in the Middle East, Europe, Central America, Mexico, and The U.S.

    War leaves a population vulnerable to exploitation. Women and children are kidnapped and forced to become sex slaves or marry their attackers during times of war. This is currently happening at an alarming rate in South Sudan.

    Please update this as we can not claim we have abolished slavery completely.

    Thank you. And thank you for all that you do. May we all one day live in peace.

  6. the problem with this ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) supporters and symphatizers is that most of them are too blind to follow false ideology (religious dictatorship). and there’s the endless fanaticism of glorifying a collective sense of brainwashed new world order belief concept which is just so plainly annoying. if we could only battle this war without the use of artillery and deadly weapons instead of wasting lives for the sake of false religion, false politics, & false pride then everything would surely be sensible in this world. it’s a sad and brutal truth that this all just caused by unjustified greed of resource (oil), revenge (casualties of war) and political stance of both nations. nobody wants another World War to happen again but everyone seems to be too focused on killing each other. Let’s just hope that we won’t end up a collateral damage to our own ignorance, history keeps on repeating and humanity never ever learns.

  7. Sorry, but societies have been waging war since the dawn of humanity. There is evidence that stone-age tribes fought each other over hunting grounds, to say nothing of the war of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Medieval Europe, and basically everyone else. There’s ancient Mesopotamian records of a war from 3200 BC for crying out loud. So yeah. Not saying war is good, but it has been around since before civilization. Read “War Before Civilization” for more info.

    • Naivety is a hell of a drug.

      Keep lying to yourselves. War is terrible, but so are many other things under the sun. The only way to rid of war is to exterminate all humanity. Even that isn’t an escape because there are animals that participate is war and violence. Or, maybe you’d just like to see all life extinguished? That’s bordering on psychopathic behaviour.

      Just face it. We all have to die some day – some young, some old. May as well die doing something you see fit.

      • Kyle Van der Panck says:

        1) War is not inevitable.
        2) The very rich profit from war, the very poor loose, mostly their lives;
        3) Animals do not wage war except chimps, and then on a very limited basis;
        4) Your logic falls into the classic fallacy of all or nothing.
        5) We have no idea of how many wars have been averted by negotiation.
        6) Another fallacy of your logic is that if we accept your first assumption that we’d like life extinguished by abolishing war then we must exterminate life: The fallacy of the un-substantiated connection. Your arguments against war are as illogical as war itself. You must work for an arms dealer.

    • Archeological records demonstrate that not all civilizations who flourished in the past knew war, and the argument can be equally made that “advanced” civilization without war existed and thus can exist today.

      For example, the Indus Valley civilization – which lasted 4000 years, or 2000 years depending on which period one consider, with a peak cities-dwelling population estimated to a whopping 5 millions – shows no trace of violence or defensive work.

      In such topics as War and Peace, beware of ideology-motivated and culturally-impregnated interpretative bias.

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