30 October 2014

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Is war inevitable in history?

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Is war inevitable in history?

No doubt war is part of the survival process of human beings as
biological systems. Wars have always been waged for territorial
purposes, in other words to gain resources or living space, or
ideological purposes, to spread religious beliefs most of all. The cold
war, fought in SE Asia, the Middle East and Africa and South America to
an extent, was a war for ideological influence as a way to gain access
to resources. Although some might even argue that the Cold War was a
conflict to establish who is top dog, but even top dogs needs a
prosperous economy to support their spending habits.

Thus, the use of violence has been a well proven method to persuade
people or to capture people to exploit them. We now know, however, that
violence works only on a small scale; we can bomb a village, or even a
town, but this seems to be very inefficient. Look at the campaigns
during the Second World War; the ineffectiveness of carpet bombing of
the allies was matched by the illogical weapons programmes of the Axis.
Today violence is equally limited in scope, a terrorist's bomb exploded
in a city centre is as ineffective as dropping laser guided bombs on a
mud hut.

We should, however, be in no doubt that war or conflict violence does
hurt and kill people and does change to course of history. But this does
not mean that the course of history will be changed to the one we went
to war for in the first place. The 100 hour war in Iraq of George Bush
senior did not change history in the way it envisaged in the Oval office.

If by war we mean the use of violence for an end, then maybe some wars
are avoidable but this does not mean that wars are not inevitable. Even
with the limited effectiveness of violent wars, these are inevitable
even if we try to limit present conflicts to only the unavoidable
conflicts. The problem with violence is that the results are immediate
but the unintended consequences are endless.

If, however, by war we extend our concept to the suffering or even
enslavement of people then this is indeed inevitable because we are
still much closer to the mind set of biological systems with reactive
impulses than the rational contemplation of philosophical kings. Today,
effective wars are more likely to be based on economic power and

Today, not only the methods used to kill and enslave people have
changed, but also who is killed and who is enslaved. The reparations
Germany had to pay after the First world war were not only meant to be
compensation and humiliation but also to reduce the economic power of
Germany. For a long time now, we have used natural resources, and
especially energy resources, as a means to control and manipulate other
people. In the twenty first century the shift is now more towards
expropriating information rather than merely pilfering natural resources.

However, the biggest shift in modern warfare, in the wider meaning of
war, rather than mere violence, is that this kind of war is being waged
not against other nations, but against social classes. Today we accept
the money and contracts of corrupt dictators, governments or organised
criminals in a country, but use legitimate immigrants for that same
country as examples for racial policies for immigration controls. People
from all over the world are welcomed to buy luxury properties in the top
city centres of Europe with their ill gotten money, but others are
prevented from accessing health care despite being law abiding people.

As I have already said, war, of the violent kind, is inevitable although
many wars, past, present and future, were and are avoidable.
Exploitative wars, that enslave people or deprive them of just economic
rewards, are today more common, and as oppressive as ever. For example,
these past few weeks it has been officially recognised that average
salary earners in the UK cannot afford to buy a house; tertiary
education in many English speaking countries will cost students close to
50,000 Euros for an average degree of little value, not to mention that
in many countries people have to pay directly for health care in the
same way they have to pay for a kilo of potatoes.

Why would a system demand such exorbitant payment from individuals when
collectively paying for these services would be more efficient and
cheaper? If we had to pay 50 Euros every time we made a search on
Google, the company wouldn't exist, but because the search is free
Google is the richest company on Earth. Sure, some might argue that we
still pay for the success of Google in the prices we pay. We've always
had to pay for advertising costs is the same way that we still have to
pay for health care with our taxes. However, thing I buy from suppliers
who advertise on Google are not life saving services. If we are not
given the individual bill for every bullet fired in war, why are we
given the bill for emergency treatment we might need so that we can go
to work in the morning to pay the taxes to buy the bullets in the first

If violent wars are avoidable in history it is not because violence has
all of a sudden become more effective, although it might have become
more cruel, but probably because something more efficient and more
profitable have been invented to replace them. For example, the
overdraft, credit cards or even the most effective weapon of all, the
limited special offer.

Best Lawrence

In the meantime Ruel has sent us a link to his essay:

Hi Lawrence,
Here is the link to the essay I wrote on Sunday's PhiloMadrid topic.

See you on Sunday.


Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every Thursday from 19:30 to 21h at
Irish Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Is war inevitable
in history?

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