Warfare: An Original Sin? Is Warring Hard-wired in our Brains?
|January 7, 2014||Posted by Staff under Editorials|
Book Review: War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views. Douglas P. Fry. Oxford University Press. April 2013.
Have humans always waged war? Is warring an ancient evolutionary adaptation or a relatively recent behaviour? In this book, editor Douglas P. Fry brings together leading experts in evolutionary biology, archaeology, anthropology, and primatology to find answers to fundamental questions about peace, conflict, and human nature in an evolutionary context. Anthony Oruna-Goriaïnoff finds it a comforting thought that our ancestors, at their most primitive, and for a long time after, were happier living in peace and avoided war even though the preconditions for war have been part of humanity from the start.
This book is as fascinating as it is long. The subject matter, as distasteful as it is, is certainly presented in a well thought-out and straightforward manner. If war and peace studies are your target then this book will serve you well. And if they are not, you may be surprised at what you can learn.
Ed. Notes: Does the book include raiding parties as acts of war, such as American Plains Indians committed? And what about ritual war, as in Papa New Guinea? And what about the difference between original wars when even the commonest soldier stood gain something: some land or furniture or jewels or slaves or women? Now the grunts don’t get that from whom they kill but instead kill just for ideology. How bizarre is that?
Bizarre, but familiar. States operate above the law. States pump out propaganda and treat citizens like serfs, taxing them willy-nilly and spending the revenue to favor insiders: the military contractors, the Wall Street bankers, the agri-businesses, etc. By this analysis, war is seen as a consequence of illegitimate hierarchy. Topple the hierarchy and you’d put an end to ideological warfare.
How to topple the hierarchy? You’d have to invalidate taxation and subsidization and replace both with dues and dividends. Then people would not see themselves as taxpayers so much as citizens, and not as losers lucky to get the crumbs of one or another government program but winners worthy of a fair share of society’s surplus. Of course, this is all conjecture, but if it means an end to war as we know it, then it’s another good reason to geonomize society.