Conflict: Is It Necessary?
I will focus this article on Thomas Hobbes and some of his ideas, using the bullet points below I will attempt to explain what I think he means.
The writings of Thomas Hobbes
◦ Individuals are prior to society- I think right here he's saying that although society does not exist without individuals and individuals came first, we will not exist without a society or a working team (Individuals exist in a “state of nature.”). In other words when it comes to survival in this world, a team is more valuable than any single person. Take the "X-Men" for example, Wolverine can take care of himself but when he decides to stop being hardheaded and become part of the team he ends up doing more good than he could possibly do on his own. In addition it changes him in a good way. The loner ends up making friends.
◦ Conflict arises as separate individuals seek the same thing- If you think about it peace is a catalyst for war. Two different sides are looking for their version of peace whatever that may be. Depending on how bad these two sides want to accomplish this goal a conflict will arise. In "The Matrix," Zion wanted to be free from The System and The System needed human bodies to survive. At the end Neo makes a deal with the system that momentarily ends the war. It kills me how idiots don't get the ending, but anyway Neo gives his life (like Jesus) in order to defeat the greater evil (Smith/The Devil) and save his people. At the same time the system is saved from total takeover by the virus Smith. The problem here is that peace will not last forever as the Architect said. Which raises the other question; can there ever be a united peace between two sides when the necessities of their peace negatively affects the other?
◦ The state of nature is one of war – all against all- We are all biologically Egoistic. We are pre-programmed to ensure our own survival. Again with The Matrix. The System needed human bodies to survive and humans would not offer to be enslaved who would. This resulted in The System aggressively taking what it needed. Morpheus and the resistance wanted to ensure their survival as well so they fought back.
◦ The solution is peace- I agree that peace is the solution, but is total peace a rationally attainable goal? You have to wonder if a particular side ever "won" and peace was accomplished, would there then be a faction inside the side that won who wants something else? After all it is in our nature to war. No matter how hard we try it seems that nature is more powerful than anything we as man can ever create. Also who's to say one person's definition of peace is the same as another. When peace is allegedly accomplished I think people will start to think of their own individual needs. Look at a movie like "Demolition Man." They allowed cursing and physical sex and claimed that society ran better that way. No curses equaled less violence, No sex equaled no STD's. On the surface it seemed like society was functioning perfectly but if you have seen the movie you know what happens.
◦ The contract is the agreement to give up certain items to gain one’s own self-interest.- I think Hobbes may be on to something here. It seems like the only way for everyone to be happy is for each party to eventually give up some of their individual wants for the good of everyone. But is this logically possible considering human nature?