The Rationality of Violence

Why are we so aggressive?

war[1]When we consider that war and violence have been a significant trait throughout modern history and as we live in a world at war today, it’s a question that everyone should consider at some point in their life.

From the perspective of yoga and the thoughtfulness that gave rise to Sanatana Dharma, knowing oneself as a part of life and a part of existence produces a human society and indeed a civilisation to know life and further.

This is about having a population of individuals who take what they absolutely from nature and do what must be done in terms of environmental protection and living harmoniously with each other.

It is from a position of ignorance that any individual or group of individuals take more than what they need or seek to gain external pleasure at the cost of others or the environment. So we can say that any human propensity for violence is not inherent within human beings or any species but it is an aspect of weakness stemming from the ignorance of not knowing oneself.

Suffering this human weakness is bad enough but what is even worse, it is socialised and portrayed as normal within the struggle for the survival, a capitalist ideal that one has to win and become top of the heap economically, politically or socially; and dominant whatever the cost. The socialisation embedded in all the violent movies and social constructs that normalise and so often glorify violence. This is a mass psychosis.

An article in new scientist asks if war is in our blood and violence an integral part of the human character? Then it goes on to say. “In recent years, many anthropologists and evolutionary biologists have come to believe that warfare arose deep in humans’ evolutionary past. In part that is because even chimpanzees exhibit this kind of intergroup violence, which suggests the trait shares a common origin. Proponents of this view also point to the occurrence of war in traditional hunter-gatherer societies today, such as some notoriously quarrelsome groups in the Amazon, and hence to its likely prevalence in early human societies.” New Scientist.

What we know about our ancient past is very limited, but if we take chimpanzees as an example, we know they can be fiercely territorial as are many other species who inhabit a world of eat or be eaten. We know from the 30,000-year-old cave paintings in France that our early ancestors closely studied animal behaviour and probably shared similar instinctive territorial and social habits.

It is instinctive for any living organism to firstly ensure (fight for) one’s own survival and the survival of one’s tribe and loved ones. But it is also instinctive to seek out genetically diverse reproductive mates and therefore neighbouring tribes always had value. We know this, in part because Neanderthal DNA is present in the modern human population.

Misery can brainwash you into thinking negatively, instead you must do the opposite & brainwash yourself with positivity.

The advent of war

Within any community tribal or otherwise, there are inevitably disputes which many result in violence and sometimes death. Such arguments can begin over mating rights, possessions and ideas. We know that such violence can fragment a community, and this has in the past probably caused the extinction of some tribal groups because of the reduction in numbers reduced their capacity to survive.

The modern concept of war most likely began as territorial disputes with the commencement of agriculture, a development which was to accelerate the growth of the human population and knowledge, but the increase in population extinguished the old tribal values and the natural order.  At this point I must refer again to the snow monkeys of Japan; those who live in the wild retain the natural order and peacefulness of the tribe whereas those who are fed and whose numbers have grown have reorganised themselves in a similar way to modern humans.

From all my reading and experience, human beings are primarily peaceful as the most basic common desire of every human individual is happiness, and this is a condition which can only be achieved when living peacefully.

The motive for war comes from the growing discontent or unhappiness in a sector of society who in their desperation to become happy create the ground or excuse for war. This in fact is a degeneration of the human condition and a denial of human values by the instigators and perpetrators of war. It is also worth noting tat those who fight the wars are “youth seeking adventure” and as their mind run on emotion more than reason, they make good front line troops whereas older and mostly men are too attached to life and why get killed when so young fool will step into the breech?

Who is the instigator?

The instigator of any unrest or war as someone who is fundamentally unhappy and has the belief that by conquering some other group, the rewards that follow victory will in fact make them happy.

All war and violence stems from human fear, weakness and insecurity, but once established, becomes a new ‘normal’. Perhaps this is why today, anyone living in the Western world cares for a little about the United States staging proxy wars and many different countries. This sickness is so endemic in the world today that it seems that no solution is possible.

If you have not noticed, there are many wars going on in the world today. In addition to the United States administrations war to control the world, there are numerous internal conflicts which are sometimes referred to as civil wars. However, there is nothing civil about any war and call an internal war, ‘civil’ war really is an oxymoron.

For a time sport became a substitute for war in some civilised domains, however, once sport became corporatised, this primarily social and recreational activity became another battlefield and given the current trends, the concepts depicted in movies like rollerball and the hunger games are not so far-fetched. The progression of war over the centuries has turned the human population into a competitive rabble, so absorbed by greed to possess the few remaining resources on the planet that it scarcely notices . It is bringing on its own destruction.

What are the costs of war?

Firstly, let’s take the military war. The United States is the world’s largest military machine with military bases in about 130 of the 190 countries of the world, giving it a strategic advantage that no one is able challenge. It disregards all international treaties and routinely exterminates groups or individuals in any country it pleases. On the backside of this as the fact that the US military machine is the largest employer and net earner for the US economy. So in today’s world, for the USA to survive as a country, both economically and socially, it needs and is addicted to war.

As we know with drug use, any addiction causes the user to lose all sight of reality and indeed today the world is totally out of touch with reality.

Our modern wars

In addition to the ongoing global takeover by the United States administration, we have the long-running Christian and Islamic war fuelled by the belief that until everyone believes as they do, everyone is fundamentally a lost soul, although the truth is more likely that both sides feel so insecure in themselves that they will not feel comfortable until everyone conforms to their beliefs. Though we all know that will never be enough because both the Christians and the Muslims continue to fight over the details of their scriptures and the ultimate control of their organisations.

Then we have all the economic war, which is a little like a game of Monopoly, with corporations competing for the ownership and control of all the world’s resources as well as population control. There are many internal conflicts revolving around various social, political and religious issues.

On the ground, economic and internal wars are often instigated and promoted by special interest groups like the CIA on behalf of either the US administration or the corporations which now dominate the world with little regard for any human values.

Solutions to war

Today’s world is totally dominated by a powerful minority using the United States military forces as its tool. This industrial military machine can only be stopped when everyone stands up and says, “enough”

At some point those fighting men on the ground need to be reminded that when they exit the battlefield, they will do so either as administrators to positions held open for the elite who have served their masters well, while all remainder are likely become outcasts in a society they will struggle to fit back into for the rest of their lives, and if they are incapacitated in any way they will very often become neglected outcasts.

Wake up everybody, wake up and take notice of the world around you and the motivation of those who are pulling the strings. Instead of the celebrity gossip, sit down with your friends and neighbours and try to understand who is working for peace and who is working for war and domination. Then simply vote on election day for those who offer the best chance of peace without creating further violence.

As we already have a monster loose on our planet, let’s not antagonise it for it will simply react with further violence as it resides in a place beyond rational understanding. Instead spend your money wisely so that you do not provide it with the funding for war, do not buy products from the corporations who practice and support the economic war for world domination.

In summary

All violence stems from a fundamental unhappiness or self suffering which can be bought on by many things, but is probably most often caused by some real or imagined injury which festers into a more tangible wound, but instead of forgiveness, which is the only real solution, the injured, seek redress by imposing suffering on other people and we call this revenge.

War is not in our blood, human beings are primarily peaceful animals who like nothing better than to happily coexist with not only their fellow humans, but all living creatures that they may fully enjoy the wonder of the universe.

But those who perpetrate suffering on others for any reason, bind themselves to even greater suffering until such time as they learn to forgive.

Further reading
Vendettas, not war? Unpicking why our ancestors killed
Philosophy for a new age

Cover image Wonder Woman by Philip Tan


Leave a Reply