Monday, February 25, 2008

"We Will Abolish War"

This writer discusses the nature of organized violence and how to have less of it.

As far back as anthropologists have peered into human history and pre-history, they have found evidence of group bloodshed. [But] History offers many other examples of warlike societies that became peaceful very rapidly.

A key section is about Jared Diamond's latest book:

In his book, Collapse, the anthropologist Jared Diamond argues that many wars, both ancient and modern, spring from mismanagement of environmental resources. He notes, for example, that ethnic conflicts are only the proximate causes of the conflicts that have ravaged Rwanda, Somalia, and other African nations in the last decade. The ultimate cause is that overpopulation has led to deforestation, overgrazing and soil depletion and, hence, a Hobbesian struggle over dwindling resources.

Obviously there are some examples of wars not directly sparked by a fight over a natural resource. But Jared Diamond's book Collapse [Google Books] is about much more than that and I really don't know how to recommend it thoroughly enough. Watch this 74 minute lecture on it. If you in any way find the contents of this blog interesting, you will worship Jared Diamond's books. This isn't the first nor the last time I have linked to an article mentioning Diamond - try clicking the tag below. After reading John Horgan optimistic anti-war piece.

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