The Face of Wars

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Wars expose man's ultimate inhumanity to Man. Wars are an innate but obsolete part of human nature. Wars reflect man's basest instincts, untamed by rationality.
 

Excerpt from Book: "How Life Really Works"

Book II: Man and Society

Chapter 11.00: War

 

Due to space limitations, sections in Red are accessible only in the Book or CD "How Life Really Works".

 

War

QUOTATIONS

Chapter 11.01 THE NATURE OF WAR

Chapter 11.02 THE VICTOR ALWAYS WRITES THE HISTORY

Chapter 11.03 WARS AND THE EVOLUTION OF MAN

Chapter 11.04 HOW TO START A WAR

Chapter 11.05 ALL WARS ARE ECONOMIC IN NATURE

Chapter 11.06 WARS INVOLVING THE UNITED STATES SINCE 1776

Chapter 11.07 THE FUTURE OF WARS

Chapter 11.08 WARS AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

 

 

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QUOTATIONS

 

All the talk of history is of nothing almost but fighting and killing, and the honor and renown which are bestowed on conquerors, who, for the most part, are mere butchers of mankind, mislead growing youth, who, by these means, come to think slaughter the most laudable business of mankind, and the most heroic of virtue

John Locke (1632-1704)

 

For what are the triumphs of war, planned by ambition, executed by violence and consummated by devastation? The means are the sacrifice of many, the end, the bloated aggrandizement of the few

Charles Colton

 

There was never a good war, or a bad peace

Benjamin Franklin

 

As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters

Edward Gibbon

 

Political history is largely an account of mass violence and of the expenditure of vast resources to cope with mythical fears and hopes.

M. Edelman

 

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad distraction of war is wrought under the name of totalitarianism, or the holy name of liberty or democracy?

M. K. Ghandi

 

People who are vigorous and brutal often find war enjoyable; provided that it is a victorious war and that there is no too much interference with rape and plunder. This is a great help in persuading people that war is righteous.

Bertrand Russell

 

The butter to be sacrificed always turns out to be the margarine of the poor.

James Tobin

 

He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.

Thomas Paine

 

Patriotism is the last refuge of every scoundrel.

Samuel Johnson

 

In all history there is no war, which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.

Leo Tolstoy

 

 

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Chapter 11.01 THE NATURE OF WAR

A war is not a border-skirmish or a confrontation between drunken sailors. There is nothing heroic about war. War involves the killing and maiming of thousands or millions of people, including many innocent bystanders. War is not about heroes and glorious death. War is nothing but blood and gore. War shreds people into bloody little pieces, it tears them limb from limb, or it burns them alive. War is the ultimate horror that man inflicts upon man.

Wars are armed conflicts between countries or states. Wars are not conflicts between the individual people of warring countries. Wars are conflicts between the governments of countries. All wars are instigated by power hungry megalomaniacs, the politicians; managed by professional killers, the military; and fought by the brainwashed members of their respective populations, the canon-fodder.

Politicians wearing top hats and striped pants no longer formally declare wars. Any big bully, who feels confident that he can win the war, can start a war at any time. Euphemistic expressions have replaced the word war. Politicians now euphemistically refer to wars as police actions, or border alignments, or expeditions, or air campaigns.

The latest euphemism is a reference to a regime change in Iraq. In this instance, one country determines to liberate another country from its politicians. If euphemisms are clearly inappropriate, politicians merely declare that the war is morally just and necessary to straighten out morally inferior miscreants.

George W. Bush probably provided the least imaginative reason for starting a war when he did away with euphemistic niceties altogether. He could not think of a reasonable subterfuge and simply waged war for what he called preemptive reasons. However, no matter what excuse politicians dream up for waging war, the underlying cause of all wars is economic in nature.

 

 

Chapter 11.02 THE VICTOR ALWAYS WRITES THE HISTORY

 

So little trouble do men take in the search after truth, so readily do they accept whatever comes first to hand.

                                Thucidides, The Peloponnesian War

 

In analyzing the history of wars, it is extremely difficult to obtain a clear picture of the causes and the conduct of any war that has not yet faded from our memory. This dilemma rests in the fact that the victor always writes the history of the war. The resulting, inevitable prejudice renders all history questionable as to veracity and accuracy.

There is always more than one version of any important event in history. It is essential for the attainment of human happiness to perceive reality as objectively as possible. Therefore, we must be willing to scrutinize closely the pronouncements of any potentially prejudiced politician, spin-doctor, general, author or historian. The history of war is rife with propaganda and purposefully disseminated misinformation.

In the case of a major war, it may require at least 200 years before objective and rational perspectives can replace inherently biased views of events. Most nations involved in a war do not open their secret archives until 50 or 100 years after the event. Participants who are emotionally involved in the war need to disappear from the stage in order to avoid embarrassment or trials for war crimes.

Some examples serve to illustrate this point: American history books agree with the statement that Hitler started WW II. They depict Hitler as a bloodthirsty dictator who severely mistreated the Jews in prewar Germany. When he invaded Poland in 1939, England declared war on Hitler to stop him before he could wreak more havoc in Europe. In order to defeat Hitler, England, France and the United States allied themselves with the USSR under the leadership of Stalin. Most people within the Allied Nations agree with this version of history.

However, most people ignore the following irrefutable facts: Hitler had mistreated Jews during the thirties but their extermination did not start until 1942. There was no extermination of Jews until after the Allies had killed more than one million German civilians by their terror bombing of German cities, in violation of the Geneva Convention.

Stalin, one of the principal allies of the United States and Britain, murdered 30 million Russians from 1934 to 1939 in the greatest mass murder of all times. When it comes to mass murder, Hitler was a piker in comparison to Stalin. Yet, the United States allied itself with Stalin, the greatest mass murderer of history, with the purpose of defeating Hitler, who was not even a mass-murderer at that time.

When Hitler invaded Poland from the West in September 1939, Stalin, the future ally of the United States and Britain, simultaneously invaded Poland from the East. Britain declared war only on Germany, not on the USSR.

In 1939, Stalin annexed vast areas of Poland and absorbed all Baltic Nations (Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia) into the Soviet Union. Stalin then proceeded to attack and conquer Finland.

In view of the fact that Stalin was infinitely worse than Hitler was in any humanitarian or moral concept, why did England and France declare war on Germany instead of on the Soviet Union? How many people could Hitler have killed in his aggressions in Europe? Certainly not as many as the 50 million people who died in WW II or the 30 million that Stalin had killed already.

The history of WW II presents a large number of conflicts that are subject to interpretation and can thus serve as an example of the distortions inherent in the history of wars. Clearly, these questions and contradictions indicate that the actual dynamics that triggered WW II were very different from those stated by the victors and from what Americans now consider an accurate history of WW II.

Such inaccurate and biased recording of history, especially the history that pertains to emotionally overwhelming events like wars, is very common throughout the entire range of human history. The history written by the victor of a war appears first and predominates. The other side of the coin often requires centuries to surface. When it eventually does surface, it often factually refutes many of the original statements and assertions made by the victor.

Thucydides, 460 to 400 BC, was one of the first historians to appreciate this distortion of facts by the victor in a war. His History of the Peloponnesian War reflects his concern with objectivity and had a beneficial influence on later Roman historians such as Polybius. Since he was an Athenian participant in this war himself, his writings reflect his constant struggle to achieve an objective view of events. We still do not know if he actually succeeded in being unbiased.

It is a common self-deception to assume that apparently neutral or scholarly authors dealing with historic themes can be truly unbiased in their recording of history. Every historian, being human, is always influenced by his own preconceived notions of how life should be, based on his educational background or his upbringing. It appears inconceivable that an undercurrent of such prejudices will not seep into to his view of history.

Therefore, any historian may subconsciously give his version of history a subtle, subjective flavor by the choice and shading of specific words. He can describe a certain event as unfriendly behavior, or as a provocation. The underlying event remains the same but the subconscious inclination of the historian filters and shades his perspective of the underlying event.

School textbooks are prime examples of this human tendency to slant the reporting of history. A German historian and an English historian will almost certainly display bias in their view of the German terror bombing of English cities and the English terror bombing of German cities.

Therefore, it is premature to discuss the cause or the conduct of either one of the World Wars, except in rather general terms. We lack the perspective that accrues with the passage of time. Just as the appreciation of art depends on the progress of time to separate the chaff from the wheat, history must wait for the lapse of time to separate truth from propaganda and ignorance.

 

 

Chapter 11.03 WARS AND THE EVOLUTION OF MAN

 

War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.

                                                    H. L. Mencken

 

As far as the catastrophic wars of the 20th century are concerned, our current perspective is still too limited and distorted. Japan is still the most powerful nation in Asia and the second most powerful economy in the world. Germany is still the most powerful nation in Europe and the third most powerful economy in the world.

The events at Pearl Harbor signified the entrance of Japan into World War II and resulted in the disastrous loss of its empire in Asia. However, the Japanese have benefited from WW II by realizing that it is more efficacious to conquer the world by production and trade, than by war.

Instead of conquering Hawaii, the Japanese have bought Hawaii; Japanese interests own many, if not most, major hotels on Oahu. The Japanese learned to view their miscalculations in the Pacific as an evolutionary enhancement that cleansed their society of militaristic adventurers. The war disposed of those elements in Japan government that disastrously tried to wrest power from the American Empire by the use of brute force, instead of with their intellect and their trade.

The same attitude and result holds true for the Germans and the Russians: Their bloodletting during World War II resulted in the elimination or reduction of those members of their society that advocated aggression, of those who lacked the insight to resist government propaganda, and of those who were not smart enough to escape their fate as canon fodder.

The Jews can also serve as an example of a similar situation: They evolved into a super-race by keeping themselves separate from and by thus aggravating their host societies. Their financial success generated envy and set them up as scapegoats throughout their long history. The inevitable pogroms reduced the irrational and incompetent elements in the Jewish society. These persecutions elevated the average IQ of Jews to a point where their intellectual accomplishment in their host society far exceeds their percentage representation within the same society.

The Holocaust, the ultimate evolutionary price the Jews paid for their rapid intellectual advancement, was a blunt tool, but the evolution of man does not concern itself with the concept of morality or the suffering of individuals. Casualties in WWII: Russians 30 Million (20% of population); Germans 10 Million (15% of population); Jews 6 Million (50% of population); Americans 350,000 (0.25% of population).

Unlike the Russians, the Germans and the Jews, Americans have not been subject to the same evolutionary bloodletting. As a result, the gene pool of the United States is slowly degenerating while the American government is constantly playing the role of the big bully in international affairs.

No other nation has been involved in as many wars as the United States since its inception in 1776 but, due to small losses, the population of the United States has not been subject to evolutionary upgrading. Current successes of the American hegemony have occurred despite the degeneration of its masses. The large numbers of Americans (300 Million) represent a large pool that has generated a proportionately small, but very powerful economic, intellectual and scientific elite.

When we look at war from a long-range perspective, it also becomes clear that, as destructive as wars are, their very destructiveness has served as the primary force for the evolution of the human race. By mercilessly eliminating those who were unable to survive in the theater of war, wars resulted in a constant upgrading of both the physiological and intellectual acuity of man.

Although many bright people perish accidentally in wars, the preponderance of the casualties occur among people with the limited intellectual capacity to understand the mechanics of wars and who are thus unable to avoid becoming casualties.

During the evolutionary development of man, wars were the driving force for the intellectual advancement of mankind. Man is forever evolving towards higher intelligence and rationality because high intelligence is essential for high health standards and for financial survival.

Who would seriously dispute the fact that smart people have higher living standards than intellectually less endowed persons do? War eliminates the intellectually less fit and thus, in the end, raises the average intelligence and the living standards of a society as a whole.

In conjunction with sexual reproduction, which provides for the vast variety of changes essential for evolution to occur, evolution relies on the survival of those organisms that adapt most efficiently to their environment. Since the advent of Homo sapiens, the evolution of the human species has thrived on the elimination of the less fit to survive. Throughout the ages, evolution took advantage of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, war, natural disasters, disease and famine.

We have previously concerned ourselves with the effects of wars on the upgrading of the human race as the result of the constant survival pressures generated by warlike situations. We were using the term upgrading in the sense of an improved ability to cope with a changing environment. Another beneficial aspect of wars and other scourges of humanity has been their effectiveness in balancing the total world population with natural resources while constantly eliminating those individuals that do not adapt to new environments.

In technologically advanced societies, man has severely reduced the effect of famine and disease by utilizing the resources of his rational mind. As a result, the world population is growing at an exponential rate and adds 100 million people to the world each year.

If we succeed in eliminating the horrors of war, we are also eliminating war in its capacity as a powerful contributor to evolution by keeping the world population in check, while upgrading the ability of man to cope with his environment.

At the beginning of the third millennium, the world population has grown to 6 billion humans. Scientific projections of population growth predict a world population of 10 billion within the next 50 years. Most of this growth is occurring in under-developed countries with large uneducated populations that are impervious to intellectual stimulation.

Due to the elimination of catastrophic wars and the subsequent population explosion, an important evolutionary shift is becoming evident in industrialized nation of the world: The higher intellect and education exhibited by members of industrialized nations has brought on astonishing demographic changes.

The seemingly unstoppable population increase in such nations has reversed itself because people in these countries were sufficiently perceptive to reduce their reproductive rate.

Two factors appear to be responsible for this change in attitude. It has become prohibitively expensive to bring up and educate more than one or two children per family. The higher level of education necessary for competition in a technologically advanced society demands increasingly larger financial investments in the education of children.

Furthermore, social safety nets alleviated the need to produce the large numbers of children that were previously necessary to support the elderly and disabled within a family unit.

Humanity will reach the limits of available resources when its masses peak at 9 to 12 billion people. However, this level is not sustainable, because the permanent carrying capacity of the earth allows for a maximum of about 2-3 billion people. Within the next fifty years, nonrenewable resources such as oil, iron and many other raw materials will cease to exist. We will have to subsist exclusively on renewable resources, such as organically produced materials. Nuclear energy will replace fossil-fuel energy.

We can only speculate as to which path evolution will take in reducing the world population from 10 billion people to 3 billion people

In the ensuing battle for resources, evolution will continue to favor those who exhibit the highest levels of intelligence and rationality. Evolution never recedes to irrationality, superstition and stupidity. Evolution always strives for higher rationality because rationality enhances survival.

The world population will restore itself to its natural, sustainable limits by cataclysmic wars, famines or other evolutionary processes. Population density may even diminish in a benign manner due to natural attrition and a decline in the birthrate.

Regardless of the actual means of reducing the world population, during this radical evolutionary process man will evolve to a higher level of rationality. He may even advance sufficiently to eliminate all war.

 

Due to space limitations, sections in Red are accessible only in the Book or CD "How Life Really Works".

 

Chapter 11.04 How to Start a War

Chapter 11.05 All Wars are Economic in Nature

Chapter 11.06 Wars involving the United States since 1776

 

Chapter 11.07 THE FUTURE OF WARS

In the future, only a population enlightened by rationality and knowledge will avoid war. Evolution always points humanity in the direction of higher rationality. As in the past, rational and aggressive persons will survive and prosper in a war while irrational persons are more apt to perish. In the process, evolution will elevate the human race as a whole on its inexorable path towards higher intelligence and rationality.

As an interim step in the abolishment of wars, we can depend on the self-interest of politicians who will prefer not to bring about their own incineration by starting a war. American politicians are very careful not to engage in warfare with nations that possess nuclear weapons.

Wars will cease when it is no longer in the best interest of one government to attack another government because the aggressor government will face total destruction by nuclear weapons. Wars will cease when politicians realize that their canon fodder can no longer fight their wars.

Suddenly, the politicians find themselves exposed to the devastating power of weapons of mass destruction and will be the first ones to be vaporized. After a few governments accidentally self-destruct in this manner, government will restructure itself.

As democracies evolve in this fashion, people will no longer be governed by vast, centralized bureaucracies but by small, decentralized governmental centers. It will become extremely dangerous to be part of a huge, bureaucratic governmental behemoth that is concentrated in one city, such as Washington. Being small and relatively powerless, decentralized government may pose less of a threat to itself and to its citizens. The advent of smaller and less powerful governmental institutions in the political arena of the future will inevitably invigorate global trade and enhance the continued evolution of democracy.

However, the final elimination of wars from the future of humanity will come about only when the nature of man changes, when manís intelligence has increased and when man has become sufficiently rational to understand that he can gain more by trading than by warring. This insight is of limited advantage for current practical purposes. However, it is important for us to understand the difficulty in eradicating war. It behooves us not to waste our time by trying to stop wars.

Evolution is a very slow process. The inevitable evolutionary change in the psychological structure of man requires long periods of time: Under the most violent circumstances, which are also the most productive ones from an evolutionary standpoint, it will require hundreds of years to change the nature of man. Without cataclysmic upheavals, it may take thousands of years to upgrade man. In the meantime, the best we can hope for is the Mexican Standoff in the nature of MAD: Mutual Assured Destruction. There will be no more wars when wars cease to be profitable.

The horrors of past wars may have been the rungs man needed to climb up the ladder to higher rationality. In the near future, we will see the end of conventional warfare, not because the nature of man has changed, but because it will be no longer in the self-interest of human beings to start and conduct a war.

 

Sometime they will give a war and nobody will come

                                                Carl Sandburg

 

 

Chapter 11.08 WAR AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Wars can only start when the larger and less mentally astute segment of the population succumbs to the spurious emotional appeals of government-sponsored propaganda. Wars inevitably demand sacrifices from the common man but benefit exclusively the political and economic leadership of the nation. Self-serving politicians start wars and the common man serves as the canon fodder.

There has been no basic change in this pattern since the appearance of Cro-Magnon man 50,000 years ago. During the intervening time span, the emotions and the psychology of modern man have not changed any more than his physical attributes have changed. As long as man continues to look upon warfare as a tool for achieving or securing economic advantage, he will suffer the winds of war.

However, humanity as a whole will benefit from the continued elimination of the mentally challenged persons who put themselves at peril in wars. People who perish in wars have allowed themselves to be manipulated into becoming the slaves of their emotions, rather than the masters of their rational minds.

Sooner, rather than later, wars will become obsolete because politicians will be the first ones to be vaporized in a potential nuclear war in the future. In the meantime, a smart person recognizes wars for the danger and nuisance they represent. He stays clear of them or he profits from them from a safe distance. It is extremely counterproductive and dangerous to obstruct the government in its pursuit of a war. We, as individuals, need merely pursue our enlightened self-interest in order to promote our own individual advantage and prosperity. Smart people do not participate in a war, they profit from a war.

If we want to achieve happiness, we must realize that wars are always counterproductive to happiness and extremely destructive to wealth. Only if we understand the true nature of wars can we, as individuals, benefit from war.

We need to understand, how arrogant and power-hungry megalomaniacs would have us destroy ourselves and other innocent people for the furtherance of their own objectives. We need to understand that we can profit and prosper from mutual trade with other peace loving individuals, instead of inflicting war upon them, enslaving them or plundering their wealth.

It is neither human nature, nor is it in our best self-interest, to kill for financial advantage or for elusive patriotic mirages. Instead, it is human nature to profit from mutually beneficial trade with free and peace-loving individuals.

We must personally avoid all physical involvement in any war whatsoever, including wars that our government considers "morally justified" or wars that our government proclaims as self-defense. All activities aimed at avoiding our participation in a war, fall into the survival category. Such safeguards are a form of self-defense and permit the use of any means at our disposal, even the most drastic.

We can profit from any war if we keep our distance from actual hostilities. There are quiet refuges even in the midst of the turmoil of war. We will always find a tranquil place if we look for it. No politician or general is going to waste bombs or nuclear devices on small towns or cow pastures.

If circumstances beyond our control suck us into the vortex of a war, we must use the White Flag Principle: We must surrender as soon as we can safely do so. After surrendering, we no longer have to worry about being killed in action. The opposite is true: Our former enemy now has the legal obligation to feed us and to take good care of us to assure that we are free from the dangers of war.

It is in the best self-interest of the warring parties to take good care of their prisoners in order to protect their own soldiers who may face capture by the enemy. Unfortunately, this procedure will not work in a situation where the mutual protection is ineffective because the opponent has no regard for the welfare of his own captured soldiers. In that case, run for your life.

Never, ever, should we confront a government head-on. The best way to deal with governments, especially in times of war, is not to rock the boat, to pay lip service to its demands and then merrily circumvent its restrictions. There are no moral restrictions on your part because your government acts as a coercive agency and you can use all and any means at your disposal to avoid disaster. An agile citizen can always outmaneuver the government.

Do not fall in the patriotism trap. People may say, if everybody would do what you are suggesting, the nation would suffer. Many people fall into this trap. They have to pay the price for their misguided patriotism. Why should we sacrifice our health and wealth for a cause that can only be destructive to our welfare?

Conclusion: In order to achieve lasting happiness we must clearly understand the nature of wars and the absolute necessity to avoid any contact or involvement with wars.

 

I prefer the most unjust peace to the most righteous war

                                                                Cicero

 

 

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