The theory of war is, for me, like the theory of evolution. If you believe in the idea of ‘survival of the fittest’, then, war makes sense. If, on the other hand you believe in evolution through co-operation then, war becomes a meaningless act of stupidity. The human dilemma seems to be co-operation versus competition. When football players take to the pitch, each team with their own followers, it is like a mini war with the victors and the vanquished. The creation of the United Nations, the European Community, the Pan African Congress and so on are examples of co-operation. The same is true about families that are either at war or in co-operation. This is also true for corporations, companies, public utilities, institutions etc, not to mention religions.
It seems that there are always wars or rumours of wars at any time somewhere in the world. Can we say that war is a natural state of being for human kind? Well it is once we abandon the concept of co-operation. Currently their are conflicts in Palestine, Israel, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Iraq, Kurdistan, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Hong Kong, Yemen, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Ukraine, Venezuela and they are only those that I am aware of. It would seem that us humans are potentially a violent and warlike lot.
Of course other animals do have conflicts and fights. Troops of chimpanzees live in a territory that they will defend. They may also attempt to take away territory from a neighbouring troop and create a conflict between the troops. Primates steal, attack, mug, rape and assault just like humans. When do such acts, fights, conflicts, or battles become a war?
War, as opposed to a conflict, involves an extended period of fighting between, ethnic groups, regions, countries or other groups of people. A war generally involves the use of serious weapons, with organised military or militia with planned intent and goals. This may include terrorist or guerrilla actions. War is when a nation, or a belief group, be they political or religious enforces its rights, beliefs or demands on others by use of force. The force or threat maybe implied or actual, just like in bullying or coercion.
Sometime war is well intentioned. I am sure that when the knights of the crusade went off to fight in the ‘Holy Land’ they believed that they were enacting the will of God and that is was a ‘good’ thing to do. The same is probably true for the members of ISIS or conflicts such as the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Island. When Britain declared war on the Nazis it was done to stop something not to gain something. Wars of liberation seem to be different to wars of conflict, colonisation, greed or psychopathy.
War, to me, is a stupid waste of time, money and energy that creates pain torment and suffering. However, war has driven great inventions and scientific breakthroughs that would never have happened otherwise. The drive to discover the science that created the atomic bomb led to power stations providing energy and radioactive treatments in medical science that are becoming ever more refined.
To me it is all about awake-ness. When people lack awareness and are consciously deep asleep conflict, war and violence make sense to them. That is how they get what they want. When people are more aware and awake communication, cooperation and resolution makes sense.
I experience the deep asleep people to go for evolution through conflict, the survival of the fittest, while the more awake people go for evolution through cooperation. Therefore the deep asleep people attempt to resolve their challenges through conflict while the more awake people attempt to resolve their conflicts through communication.
When people come together in cooperation and communication we create peace, harmony and wellbeing. When people move apart in disagreement or an inability to communicate and compromise we create instability, insecurity and distrust. Doesn’t say a lot for Brexit and our deep asleep politicians.
I am left with the idea that until human beings wake up enough to realise that mutual cooperation, happiness and prosperity are available to all of us, if we choose to accept it, then conflict and war will be our natural default position.
Take care, be happy and create love not war