Is War Something We Can't Live Without?
War. War is most commonly defined as a period of conflict between two opposite sides, with an aim, which can be conquer a territory or demonstrate an idea. The first thing that comes to our minds when we think of war is basically weapons, two sides, a landscape full of soldiers, etc. However, we have seen a lot of different kinds of wars, they don’t only change in locations, participants and technology used, they change much deeply, they change on the reason.
On the very beginning, when the first humans barely settled themselves in a cave, small tribes fought for survival, to get all the food, for example. The palaeolithic, which is this human’s very beginning, had the characteristic of humans moving along territories to find better food sources, since scarcity was constantly seen, as they only took from the environment and didn’t plant for instance, which would make them consume less and make animals run away. Due to this is that the war between the tribes was seen: scarcity.
Then, the neolithic period came. The tribes finally truly settled, created villages, planted, hunted less and scarcity was hardly seen because of man made causes. So this was the core of what a nation is now called, we see how by settling we create limits of our own, and don’t want anyone to interfere with them.
From then to a few centuries ago, this small villages became towns, they changed their ways of ruling, they changed a lot, but still, the concept is still there. During the middle ages, money wasn’t something that showed power, but so did land. The king was the person who possessed the most land, then there was the nobility who possessed land but not as much as the king did. The workers, who were the vast majority, were the ones who had to pay because they were using the land of the nobility, and since money was quite nothing, they paid with food they planted. The wars in this period were different than they were during Prehistory, this wars were do to the most important thing then: land.
Until the Second World War, mid 20th Century, land was one of the many reasons for war. More than land the proper term would be territory. Of course, as I mentioned right before, this was not the only cause to start a war. For example, WWI destroyed one of the most powerful economies in Europe, Germany, along with many, many other. When the second war arrived, Nazi Germany not only had its reasons to start the war, it also had that inner pounding feeling of disgrace toward the nations that made the country collapse.
For almost the entire second half of the 20th Century, the Cold War took place, some say it is still going, but that is subject of debate. The Cold War was different, contrastive, distinct. For instance, it almost took the entire second half of the 20th century! WWI was expected to last 1 or 2 years, but it actually lasted much more, and so did WWII. Despite the fact of lasting more, it didn’t even came close to what the Cold War did last. Additionally, as much as we can debate the Cold in Cold War, we know it was extremely different in some cases than any other traditional war –for those unfamiliar with why it is called Cold War, it is not because it was fought in cold places or anything like that; but most of the conflicts and ways to ‘win’ the war were focused on Propaganda and technological development rather than open fire conflicts.
So now lets answer the question, is war something we can’t live without? Lets think of how we humans work, our main attributes, the ones we are born with and if we don’t polish them during our life they won’t change. First, we are selfish. Yes, we are, if we don’t learn how not to be, we most certainly are. As much as we share things and do the opposite of selfish, we still are. On life threatening situations we rather saves ourselves than anyone else, or subconsciously pick the bigger slice of the cake. If we order pizza we expect for someone else to pay, or at least to offer to. We are selfish, we want the best for us. Well, there is the problem, if everyone wants the best, there is one thing everyone wants, since the best thing is usually the most limited. Nations during wars fight, an A-nation wants land number 114 (using random numbers) but so does B-nation and C- and D- and X- nation. That is because land 114 is the best thing there is. One person thinks that the best solution is to share the land, avoid conflict. All but one nation think it is a good idea, so they proceed to divide the land. But as soon as that ‘but one’ nation dislikes a tiny aspect, conflict starts. That is the core of why conflicts are generated, including wars.
Many people since they started reading this, or when randomly talking about this during dinner or wherever, would disagree from the very first start. “War is so unnecessary”, “Why would we even need war if we know how to solve this stuff just by talking”,… well, that is the thing, we clearly know war is destructive, we do, but again, there are millions of reasons why we do things and that lead us to conflict.
Personally speaking, War, as destructive as it might be, it is one of the key aspects that have made humanity advance. Think for just a second, be unbiased: War is one of the key factors for technology to be developed. During the middle ages, catapults were designed, they are one single object, that consists of many little inventions and concepts. During the first and second World War, cars were designed to be tougher, weapons were developed, techniques of protection were as well, there are thousands of things that were created. Many would ask now, “If we could live in a world without war, why would we need the technology that was required to build a catapult, or a bullet, or a missile or a bioweapon?” Well, the point is not really what is created but how it is that something is created. Inventors are well known because of their creations, but they are not inventors just for thinking of something amazing. They are acclaimed for creating that something amazing, a weapon is the invention, the thing that makes the inventor amazing is the process of creating it. A weapon functions of hundreds of smaller parts, and they work on thousands of physics calculations and construction. So basically is like playing Sim City: having the Empire State Building in your city is great, but having the ESB in your city means that you have created a system that allows you to create such building, in the simulation game it would be making parks, offering services, getting the materials required, but in real life, having the Empire State Building implied that the United States had the technology, the architects (knowledge), engineers, and much more to create such thing. Based on this, apply this to all of the inventions that exist. If you make a little research, you could be amazed by how many things were discovered by creating destructive objects.
Sometimes it is the other way around, Einstein proposed a theory for good, for science, and the nuclear bomb was created. That being said, the US had the one thing that was missing to create a destructive invention. But even though that destructive invention was created, a new source of energy was developed. The point is that something created for war, created another thing, something that is used all around the world, nuclear energy.
That is the world with war, how it is, the facts. But to fully answer the title’s question we have to also think of the world without war.
Thinking about something that doesn’t yet exists is terribly difficult, there are millions of possibilities and alternate ways that things could have gone. Especially as this would go back from the very beginning of humans! We would not really know what the would could be now. Based on the fact that in the very start there was scarcity every once in a while, if nomads weren’t killed by other tribes, many of them would have died due to the lack of food. Of course that wouldn’t have made us extinct, would it?
But assuming that that was no problem and that we would have made it until today without any issues, what would the world look like? As I was telling you: Millions of possible ways. I tried to write a few scenarios, but my mind kept bursting because I couldn't really find logic on how things would have gone.
Personally, I think we could live without war, we certainly, but thinking of a detailed world where this was the case is extremely hard. For me, a world without war is almost impossible to achieve, at least from where we stand right now. Try for yourself, post your thoughts, are there any countries? How does everything work? Is war something we can’t live without?
Can you imagine the world without wars and conflicts?
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