Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

War, What Is It Good for For? These Four Things, Actually
defenseone.com ^ | 4/14/2014 | Ian Morris

Posted on 04/18/2014 6:29:51 PM PDT by RoosterRedux

There are four parts to the case I will make. The first is that by fighting wars, people have created larger, more organized societies that have reduced the risk that their members will die violently.

This observation rests on one of the major findings of archaeologists and anthropologists over the last century: that Stone Age societies were typically tiny. Chiefly because of the challenges of finding food, people lived in bands of a few dozen, villages of a few hundred, or (very occasionally) towns of a few thousand members. These communities did not need much in the way of internal organization and tended to live on terms of suspicion or even hostility with outsiders.

*SNIP*

My second claim is that while war is the worst imaginable way to create larger, more peaceful societies, it is pretty much the only way humans have found. “Lord knows, there’s got to be a better way,” Edwin Starr sang, but apparently there isn’t. If the Roman Empire could have been created without killing millions of Gauls and Greeks, if the United States could have been built without killing millions of Native Americans—in these cases and countless others, if conflicts could have been resolved by discussion instead of force, humanity could have had the benefits of larger societies without paying such a high cost. But that did not happen. It is a depressing thought, but the evidence again seems clear. People hardly ever give up their freedom, including their rights to kill and impoverish each other, unless forced to do so, and virtually the only force strong enough to bring this about has been defeat in war or fear that such a defeat is imminent.

(Excerpt) Read more at defenseone.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/18/2014 6:29:51 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

War is also good at disabusing the idea that people are basically good


2 posted on 04/18/2014 6:41:48 PM PDT by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fai Mao
Or at least it is good at extracting the kind of good that people have.

In my experience, the good of men comes to the surface in danger. They care about each other only when life becomes precious.

3 posted on 04/18/2014 6:44:49 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux
I forget who said it, but a British statesman replied to this perennial question with, “What we gain by war is everything we would have lost by not fighting.”
4 posted on 04/18/2014 6:57:33 PM PDT by VietVet (I am old enough to know who I am and what I believe, and I 'm not inclined to apologize for any of)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VietVet

Well, we can eliminate Chamberlain.


5 posted on 04/18/2014 7:04:00 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: VietVet
Actually...that might have been a quote from "Fight Club"...one of my favorite movies.

I believe much is solved by violence.

When we are willing to fight for what we believe and what we want.

Society changes...and obeys.

6 posted on 04/18/2014 7:07:45 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux
War is all hell and we should never fall into the trap of glorifying it or viewing it as anything but an unfortunately necessary evil.
At best, it is an expansion of the principle that there are folks in this world in dire need of killing.
7 posted on 04/18/2014 7:09:35 PM PDT by stormhill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stormhill
I completely agree. But we do not control it.

It arises when it wants and then we are drawn into it.

I am afraid that it comes again...and we must get ready.

Yes, it is horrible. But it is real.

8 posted on 04/18/2014 7:16:09 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

Millions of Gauls and Greeks? Millions of Native Americans? Well, so much for credibility Morris.


9 posted on 04/18/2014 7:20:01 PM PDT by Rockpile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux
My point exactly, that's the whole thing; if you hate war, as decent people should, the best shot at preventing it is to be constantly ready for it. Make it so costly that any potential enemy will seriously reconsider a provocation.

While it's obvious that we as a society simply do not have the stomach for it, the best response to terrorism is to launch such a devastating blow to societies that harbor terrorists that whenever any fool even talks about attacking us, his own mother will spit in his face.

10 posted on 04/18/2014 7:24:42 PM PDT by stormhill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Rockpile
And millions of French and English...and English and Americans and Germans and Russians and Japanese.

Don't just whine...state your point.

11 posted on 04/18/2014 7:25:54 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux; Gamecock; F15Eagle

Ahem!


12 posted on 04/18/2014 7:25:57 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux; Rockpile
The author of the article does not seem to have a particularly strong grasp of historical populations.

Considerably fewer than a million Greeks lived in Greece and Macedonia when Rome conquered it.

There were fewer than a million Gauls at the time as well.

Native America was much less densely populated in the 1600s than Greece or Gaul were in 250 or 75 BC.

13 posted on 04/18/2014 7:40:36 PM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

No more invading, occupying and rebuilding poor uncivilized Muslim crapholes.(then leaving them anyway and getting nothing for it)

Invading and occupying Iraq in 2003 was completely different than what happened in Germany and Japan in 1945.


14 posted on 04/18/2014 7:51:12 PM PDT by sickoflibs (Obama : 'You can keep your doctor if you want. I never tell a lie ')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

Two people can live by compromise. When a third person is added, eventually two will come together against the one. That is why there will always be war.


15 posted on 04/18/2014 7:51:12 PM PDT by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

If this guy is fabricating bullshit numbers then why should anyone believe anything else he says.


16 posted on 04/18/2014 8:19:33 PM PDT by Rockpile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

#5) Reduces population of fit males in the breeding pool. Another factor in the ‘wussification’ of a population.


17 posted on 04/18/2014 8:32:10 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Had Enough Yet ? ........................ Enforce the Bill of Rights ......... It's the LAW !!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rockpile
If this guy is fabricating bullshit numbers then why should anyone believe anything else he says.

You do have a point there. He definitely exaggerated a bit too much.

18 posted on 04/19/2014 4:41:02 AM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux
if the United States could have been built without killing millions of Native Americans

It is extremely unlike the USA and its colonial foreruners killed even 1M Indians. Due mainly to the fact that there just weren't enough Indians around. Even the larger tribes were usually well under 50,000 in number.

Total number of Indians killed by the USA is probably somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000.

It is quite possible, BTW, that more "Americans" were killed by Indians.

19 posted on 04/19/2014 5:10:56 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
Considerably fewer than a million Greeks lived in Greece and Macedonia when Rome conquered it.

I don't know where you get these numbers. Population of Athens alone is estimated at over 250,000. During the Macedonian Wars the kings were able to support formal armies around 50,000 in number. Given the low level of economic productivity at the time, this implies a population of at least several millions.

There were fewer than a million Gauls at the time as well.

Numbers I've seen are in the 3M to 6M range, of whom about 1/3 died, JC sold 1/3 into slavery, and 1/3 survived the conquest. At Alesia, the Gallic Army numbered between 100,000 and 250,000. Supplying such numbers, not that the Gauls were very good at it, requires a pretty hefty population base.

Native America was much less densely populated in the 1600s than Greece or Gaul were in 250 or 75 BC.

True. We have accurate numbers as to the Indian population. The Comanche probably never numbered more than 30,000. The Cherokee, one of the larger tribes, had 16,542 removed on the Trail of Tears. The Navajo had around 10,000 undergo the Long Walk, probably a majority of the tribe at the time. The Lakota population at its peak around 1880 was probably a little less than 20,000. The Iroquois probably numbered about 25,000 at their peak around 1660.

One of the more amusing claims out there is that America ever had a conscious national policy of genocide against the Indians. If so, why didn't it succeed in killing off such rather small numbers?

The Argentines, at around the same time, DID have such a policy, and Argentina today doesn't have an Indian problem. Or Indians.

20 posted on 04/19/2014 5:46:43 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
Armies of the late classical period often included plenty of mercenaries and colonists - again, there were not "millions" of Greeks killed by the Romans.

If the Greeks had low economic productivity, the Gauls were even lower. The largest academic estimate I've seen for pre-Roman Gaul is 2.5mm - and a lot of the estimates depend on the Romans not exaggerating the size of the armies they defeated.

Your point about Native America is well-taken: least successful "genocide" ever.

21 posted on 04/19/2014 6:49:42 AM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

Hi RR. Oh this isn’t worth hassling over. What got me reacting is the kind of stuff like you see about when for instance the ecofreaks put out numbers about trees being destroyed or how the evil white man has killed off all the animals somewhere.

My wifes family is part Chickasaw from southern Oklahoma so I had looked up some info on them when they were pushed west back in the 1830 era. The gooberment had a fairly good idea of population numbers—the eastern tribes in particular-—especially since they were paying some monies to the tribes per person and you can gather a real sense of how lightly populated the American continent was north of central Mexico.


22 posted on 04/19/2014 9:34:55 AM PDT by Rockpile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: stormhill

The Romans had a nifty saying: Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you want peace, prepare for war.)


23 posted on 04/19/2014 10:32:22 AM PDT by Ban Draoi Marbh Draoi ( Gen. 12:3: a warning to all anti-semites.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Rockpile

Hey Rocky: I looked up the numbers re: American Indians and they were all over the place. Got me thoroughly confused.;-)


24 posted on 04/19/2014 10:36:56 AM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: RoosterRedux

A pretty detailed “Injun” book I have says there were about 19,000 Cherokee, 14,000 Choctaw and 5,000 Chickasaw. I believe that in the whole of the continental US there were about a million Indians. (My speculation)

The amount of politicing, lawyering, contracts and nrgotiations during the removals is surprising.

I think the discovery of gold in the southern Appalachins had a lot to do with our ever benevolent gooberment wanting to bestow a new homeland on the earlier locals.


You know, there was some guy a century ago who claimed that there were 60 million bison; 10 million elk; and 40 million antelope pre-white man. Those numbers have been regurgitated endlessly even though they are clearly nonsense.


25 posted on 04/19/2014 2:15:03 PM PDT by Rockpile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson