Are Wars Inevitable?

Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Government, Military with 35 Comments


“We’ve always had wars. Humans are a warring species. Without an army to defend us, someone will always try to conquer us.”

These assumptions have become axioms of our culture. They generate despair but also a certain comfort because they relieve us of the responsibility to change.

Many politicians and pundits declare that human nature makes peace impossible, war is built into our genes. They point to research by evolutionary biologists that indicates our closest genetic relatives, the chimpanzees, make war. Therefore war must be part of our heredity.

It’s true that in certain situations chimpanzees do raid neighboring colonies and kill other chimps. Those studies on killer apes got enormous publicity because they implied that war is hardwired into human nature. Most scientists didn’t draw those conclusions from the evidence, but the mass media kept reinforcing that message.

Further 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 THE CIVILIZATION OF THE GODDESS. 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 reduce stress 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 don’t have to live this way. We can reduce the stress humanity suffers under. We can create a society that meets human needs and distributes the world’s resources more evenly. We can live at peace with one another. 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.


hathaway_300About The Author:

William T. Hathaway’s new book, Lila, the Revolutionary, is a fable for adults. It features an eight-year-old girl who sparks a world revolution for social justice. Chapters are posted at A selection of his writing is also available at

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  1.' Innocent Teens says:

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  2.' Gary Baechle says:

    Life is about grappling duality and dominant-subordinate relationships……..Someone has to be the bitch but “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”…..

  3.' Aston Tea says:

    Does the bee not love every flower? Does the bird not sing for all to hear? Does the artist make art only for art collectors? Does the farmer farm only for yuppies?

  4.' Peter Tesla says:

    No but Truth is.

  5.' Joseph Rapp says:

    Also people want payback and those who work for the ones dominant tend to abuse their power or flaunt it in ways that only aggravate others

  6.' Chad Watson says:

    How else do you expect to thin the herd

  7.' Russ Ridlington says:

    No, they are contrived to make us believe.

  8.' Francisco J Camargo says:

    Do not be a turd is an option for u(?) O.o

  9.' Brandon Broach says:

    If not, would we evolve?

  10.' Brigitta Szőcs says:

    Nope that doesn’t happen here on our planet … not a chance

  11.' Wade Crum says:

    no it’s for leaders who the the emotional maturity of a 5 year old.

  12.' Israel Jordan says:

    War/crime is a very lucrative business.. There are few countries that manufacture weapons.. Check the jobs created by weapons manufacturers and check the jobs created by the people they sell to!….

  13.' Petter Olesen says:

    Put the generals on the battlefield, see how they like it, maybe not so fun anymore ?? Out of the bunkers they will probably scream/cry of fear …

    •' Sheena Findlay says:

      Something to be said for the old dualing system whereby folk who couldn’t agree/offended one another faced each other with gun or sword to the death/injury this should be used by Kings, Queens, Emperors, Moguls, Politicians, Military Warmongerers, Criminal Gang Leaders, Religious Extremeistist etc etc and their families instead of them using civilian populations as pawns in their disputes etc!!!

    •' Petter Olesen says:

      This “old” dualing system is still in full operation, Young soldiers doing the hardest part, unfortunately this is the world we created, it will be here for a long time, I don’t expect any changes soon, even if many more are waking up ….

  14.' Ken Armstrong says:

    yes, it’s in our nature to destroy ourselves –

  15.' Arleen Valencia says:

    Of course. Merica’ is just a big bully. Who are we gonna fight again now? ‘WE’ are bombing innocent children and starving the others…

  16.' Vincent Tan says:

    Peace… Prince Of… Peace… Love… Truth… Way… (Y) CLN…

  17.' Len Frankenstone says:

    Don’t start them
    No problems

  18.' Dave Marriott says:

    for america it is a way of life.. 🙁

  19.' Glendon Nickerson says:

    When men and women learn that they can share territory, children and work equally within an evolutionary context… then perhaps we won’t feel such a need to destroy each other.

  20.' Catherine Lethcoe says:

    There have been long periods of peace in pockets of earth’s history but then meaness had to run amok..

  21.' Brian Cox says:

    It would be nice to think we can live without conflict …but that is a big ask …. Living without wars? Just Bigger conficts ….

  22.' Maria Stephanie Strong Abella says:

    Wars are not inevitable…man is not made to destroy…
    If there is no greed for power or territory there shld be no conflict or war…

  23.' Maurice van Marle says:

    Peace is not profitable for the cabal.

  24.' Patricia McCarthy says:

    When certain people love the whole aspect of war …… then no. It is epigenetics. Perhaps killing all those people obsessed with war and the business of it, the world of humans may have a chance to change.

  25.' Brandon Broach says:

    this may sound horrible but doesn’t war spur invention?

  26.' Terence Cook says:

    Violence is engineered for profit by those who finance them.

  27.' Lori Camacho says:

    As long as there is a human on this earth that wants what I have, wants to kill me and my people I will defend myself. And if you think defending yourself from agression and death begets war, then so be it. I will guarantee I will be on the winning side. Peace through might. It is the only peace that works.

  28.' Waking Times says:

    As long as the bankers reign… yes.

  29.' Alex Brooks says:

    Simple answer is no.

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