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Why War Is Inevitable: Part II

Updated on September 30, 2008

Deep inside every human lurks a warrior. These urges are most prevalent in young men, who in the act of “rubbing the velvet off their antlers” actively and willingly engage in violent and semi-violent play. Synthesized warfare surrounds young men today in every phase of their lives. It is everywhere, from the competition for grades, mates, trophies, scores, all the way to sports that effectively recreate fields of battle surrounded by the cheering throngs.

That pressure build-up is only partially released through the involvement in organized sports and other competitions, some of which verge on violence so blatant that to call them sport is a measure of utter naivete. Has anyone who has watched a U.S. National Football League or British-style rugby game doubted that this is nothing more than team-based hand to hand combat?

But the pressure build-up within our young men cannot be fully satisfied by sports. It is imperative to engage in blood-sports. And thus they do.

Libraries are filled with books analyzing inner-city gang behavior. They can basically be summed up in one line: The gangs are tribal warriors in their purest modern urban form. Everything about the gangs, from their wearing of “colors” for identification on their “territory,” their unquenchable devotion to their “own” and their endless antagonism towards the “others,” and enough other observations to fill this and several other books, show that all of this is little different from tribal confrontations, except moved to jungles of concrete rather than flora.

Yet inner-city gangs are only one, and relatively minor, manifestation of the warrior spirit being unleashed domestically. In a way they are a simple way to demonstrate the urban warrior concept since they have divided themselves into distinct, although purely arbitrary, antagonistic tribes. The crux of the modern warrior instinct falls one further step away from neo-tribalism. The very essence, the very nature of violent crime speaks to the displacement of this instinct upon members of our own tribe. When the violence which is an integral, and proper evolutionary survival mechanism which is as ingrained into our bodies as our very bloodstream is suppressed, it turns upon its own. Thus a warrior’s instinct which was developed to be expressed in a form to preserve, protect and empower the tribe, turns to prey on that very community. The urges that inspire the warrior to take the enemy’s life with his bare hands become tools to demolish his own tribe by injuring and killing his own peers.

When “official” war is taken away, when an “artificial” standard of community is created where we must respect and keep from injuring all people regardless of tribe, then that innate instinct invariably surfaces, and it randomly takes aim on its own people. Injury must be inflicted. It now matters not on whom that injury is inflicted.

Warfare takes into consideration all forms of injury. It is a common tribal ritual for young warriors to band together and kidnap women from enemy tribes in order to rape them. In some tribes this is actually part of the “coming of age” ritual for nascent warriors.

Rape bears countless benefits in the world of tribal warfare. It demoralizes the warrior whose mate is raped. It impregnates women with seed from another tribe, leading to the shunning of that woman and thus decreasing the gene pool of that enemy tribe. Each rape victimizes the enemy tribe, weakening it and leading the way for the time when direct violent interaction will defeat it totally. Rape has always been accepted as not only a perk of war, but an important weapon. Moses himself chided his armies for not raping enough women on their campaigns.

In the millennia since then, little has changed. Except that now this urge is directed towards one’s own tribe.

By some estimates rape in Britain, even on a per capita basis, is over 100 times more frequent now than before World War II. Some statistics indicate that it may be more than 1000 times more frequent. Murders and other violent crimes have also skyrocketed. But the violent crime explosion is not limited to Britain. Almost every single European country is facing violent crime orders of magnitude above what has historically been the case. We are all aware of the Cambodian killing fields, but atrocities are not limited to Khmer Rouge fanatics. Throughout much of Africa and southeast Asia, situations bloom into bloodbaths. Algerian death squads regularly slit the throats of dozens of villagers while they sleep, lately massacring an entire schoolroom of children. The Americas are not immune. The United States’ violent crime statistics have increased logarithmically since WWII. Even quiet, placid Canada is reporting drastic increases in crime. On a recent weekend in Venezuela more people were murdered than in an entire year a few decades back. Next door in Columbia mutilation kidnapping leading to murder has become a cottage industry.

So why are we killing and rampaging on our own people at such an unprecedented rate?


Because we have no enemies to kill.

The elimination of formal, traditional warfare has drastically damaged our social structure and domestic safety. The demonization of the enemy found in Western civilization as late as World War II has disappeared. There is no longer a universally recognized enemy whose public persona can be reviled and whose destruction can be made an act of national protection and honor. The warrior urges that were once channeled into “honorable” pursuits of war against intractable inhuman enemies, are now divested of all honor. There is no way for a young man to justify his innate desire to disembowel someone. It cannot be performed on a field of battle, in the heat of combat, therefore there is no honorable channel to vent that urge.

In our codification of morals and laws we have banned all forms of violence, we do not and cannot condone one person doing harm to another, therefore we leave the young warrior no choice. We have placed him in a legal and social straitjacket that runs completely counter to what his biology is telling him. It is virtually tantamount to banning all forms of sexual conduct by the same young man. Sooner or later, the pressures will build up to such an intolerable level that he must, by biological imperative, break the taboo.

Thus he breaks the taboos. He murders, he maims, he rapes. So we then arrest the individual and place him in confinement for years with other men who have also broken the same taboos in order to rehabilitate him.

At any given time one out of ten young men in the U.S.A. are in prison or on parole.

Am I the only one that finds this whole situation fully ridiculous?

This is one of the foremost cases where conventional human morality is fully at odds with our own biology. Biology simply looks at this warrior animal, evolved over millions of years to be extremely efficient and skilled in the art of killing and fully expects him to continue performing the task he is exquisitely designed for. Human morality through the ascetic purification of the “higher cause” forces its adherents to refrain from all of these ingrained activities and to deny one’s own nature.

Is it any wonder that most religions basically concern themselves with denying one’s own nature, purifying the soul of “impure” urges and refrain from committing “sins?”

In this upside down world of theological morality, the functions that the body is designed to perform are sins, horrible, wrongful, shameful acts to be shunned and punished. However, the function of denying every iota of natural tendency is worthy of righteous praise and beatification.

If our desktop computer, upon the installation of all necessary software and hardware, refused to access the Internet would we praise its saintly asceticism and its conscious decision to not pollute its memory with the more unsavory aspects of the World Wide Web? Would we sanctify the act that saw it take a dedicated action to not perform its prescribed function?

Or would we bash it on the side of the case and call in a technician to wipe its hard drive memory clean and install something that works?

How can we possibly rationalize the glorification of malfunction? How can we look at a finely designed, admirable machine and reward its failure?

I am well aware that it is virtually inconceivable in the 21st century to advocate open warfare. However, it is undeniable that even after the most prolonged, idyllic, peaceful, utopian period imaginable in human history, the warrior within must always be ready to resurface to butcher the enemy on blood-spattered fields of war.

For the enemy will always be there. He may be subdued or submerged for a wink in human history, but he will always be back. Without fail. If biological imperative did not keep the flame burning within the hearts of the warriors during those sporadic, aberrantly rare times of peace, then it would fail at its duty to preserve the race, leading to its extermination.

We are living in a time when many of us have temporarily convinced ourselves of an unnatural illusion. That the aggressive tendencies to wreak havoc on an enemy can be channeled onto an organized pitch where grown men toss balls around. That, we have told ourselves, will suffice to appease our hunger for bloodsport, and thus we can all live happily and peacefully in a world without war, strife or conflict.

That is an illusion. It is a transitory chimera at best. Just another mirage in a long list of human delusions. For this short and fleeting moment where most warriors are forbidden their rightful task, then they will just have to prey on each other.

It really doesn’t matter. As long as the flame always keeps burning for the time when it is needed to save the race.


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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      10 years ago from Toronto

      Throughout history warriors have not been able to bring themselves to see their adversaries as essentially good people with families like themselves. It is unfortunately a prerequisite to murder.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      We know that war is a wasteful way to get our way, but since we simply must have our way, we go to war.

      In a way, war is the legalized allowance of murder, pillage and rape.  In even the most disciplined armies some individuals practice these things, even if we are not generally aware of it.

      Unfortunately, I agree, that unless the human species finds it too wasteful and hurtful to go to war, it will continue as a way to beat down people who are not like us, and therefore are, in our eyes, sub-human.

      Look at the posters the British made in WWI using gorilla faces on baby-eating "Huns", and our own posters of squinty-eyed "Japs" in WWII.  Nazi posters made Jews look like rats or sub-humans.  It is a popular and useful tool to berate and therefore dehumanize one's foe.


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