23 Mar’15 ~QofDay~ War Necessary?

Is WAR a necessary EVIL?

Short answer – No.

War is a common outcome of societies.

When societies develop a belief set or a technology set that allows them to dominate other societies, then warfare is a likely outcome.

If societies are largely driven by market values, and military technology companies enjoy a position of power, there is a strong incentive to at least keep the threat of war ever present, and to do that some minor wars are required on a continual basis.

It is possible to create peace through cooperation, and it is difficult to do so when most people believe in the productive power of competition (through markets); and fail to see the lessons of biology of the power of cooperation to deliver new levels of complexity and security.

So it is clear to me that it is possible to create peace, and leave war as a footnote in history, and it cannot be done in a business as usual model in the political sphere, nor as the natural outgrowth of business as usual in market based economies.

It seems clear to me that such lasting peace requires a step change, simple enough in a sense, yet requiring substantial technology behind it to make it stable for all.

And it seems clear that we will need to use the market systems we have, and the political systems we have, to achieve that outcome.

[followed by]

Hi Kathy

That is probably true, and it ignores the fact that people are only rarely rational.


We are all far more habitual and intuitive than we are rational (however rational we may think ourselves to be) – just try walking by rationally controlling your muscles – doesn’t work – reason is too slow. Similarly reason is too slow for speech.

Reason (fully conscious rational thought) is very slow.

What passes for reason in most of us is a set of shorthand intuitive heuristics – that work for us very well in most situations.

Very few people allow reason to challenge cherished beliefs.

[followed by]

Hi Kathy

You did indeed write NATIONAL, and I read rational – look what such a small substitution can do to the direction of a discussion 😉 (Note this Bhatta 😉 ) .

Put it down to late at night and my glasses needing cleaning 😉

Nations are a big part of the problem – the concept is used to the advantage of a few, rather than to the advantage of the many. The sooner we go universal (beyond national, beyond global, beyond galactic) the better.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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