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Jaimish Patel

Mrs. Thomas
UWRT 1102-034
9 February 2015
War: The Endless Game
War is interesting. Humans, and only humans, with the same views gather and fight other
groups of humans for their differences. We do it for power, recognition, respect, and fear. Thats
the way humans behave, its the way we always have, and we have all gotten used to it. But for a
second, pretend youre not human. Pretend youre a bird, simply following the natural order,
looking down at a battle field. All of a sudden, it seems so stupid. Why are these people killing
each other? What will they gain? Its interesting that only humans engage in conventional
organized war. Maybe that is because we have the power to. Take the Native Americans; when
Christopher Columbus first touched the Americas, people were running up and willing to share
everything they had with him and his crew. Instead of graciously accepting everything they had
to offer, Columbus enslaved everyone. He forced them to take him to the source of their treasures
and used them for labor. Much later, when the Native Americans were cornered, they fought, and
were massacred. The war between the whites and the Native Americans was very one sided,
since the whites clearly had the upper hand, but nevertheless, the battles making up this war went
on. Each of the battles were the effect of the last and the cause of the next. That is because every
battle and war leaves some amount of lingering tension that leads the next one. Nonetheless, war
on a larger scale can eventually come to an end for many reasons including the facts that people
are getting smarter, violence has been decreasing, and war, in the long run, ends itself.

There are many reasons to go to war; one of the biggest reasons is that people want more,
whether it be land, power, or revenge. When one party wants power or property, its members can
take it unless another party already has it. This is the most common backdrop to conventional
war. The two parties would then fight over it, using whatever tactics are dominant in that time.
Suppose party A wins this war and takes the land that was previously owned by party B. After
this happens, party B is at a loss, and they dont know what to do about all the destruction and
havoc that party A has caused; nevertheless, its members power through and eventually rebuild.
At the same time, party A has won a war. They are happy about this, but from a sociological
perspective, they are also torn; they have successfully taken something from party B that did not
belong to them. Knowing this is wrong, they attempt to justify the internal conflict. In the past,
the usual method of justification was ethnocentrism, the idea that one race is above another,
which leads to racism. This causes tension and anger among party B and a need for revenge.
While this tension will never stop, it does not mean it cannot slow down. This is where politics
and trade come into play. If party B continuously manufactures something that party A needs,
party A cannot, so to speak, cut open the golden goose, or they lose it forever. Therefore, party A
decides to make a quid pro quo agreement with party B, one that will mutually benefit each
party. This demonstrates that peace and hatred can coexist without violence; but, that would
depend on the definition of violence. While war may seem ridiculous and unnecessary, it is not
all bad. Ian Morris explains why war, in moderation, had proven to be good for society.
Seth Borenstein explains that violence, not to be mistaken with death, has seen an overall
decrease over the last few hundred years. Peoples general IQs are rising over generations, and
this is one of the biggest reasons that violence is down (Borenstein). Another factor that comes
into play is law and its enforcement. With more laws being passed allowing what is now seen as

right and prohibiting what is now seen as wrong, people are more reluctant to do what is right.
For example, gay marriage is now becoming legalized and people are beginning to see that it is
not wrong. It seems that the younger generation who has been born through the movement is
highly tolerant of it, while older people, who grew up with different values and ideologies are
more against it. However, it is also true that what is seen as good in the eyes of society is the
decision of the elites and the wealthy. This is because the wealthy donate to politicians and,
through quid pro quo, the politicians, in return for giving them a position of power, return what
their lobbyists want. This has been a relationship between people in power, whether it be through
money or authority, for hundreds of years. Regardless of where it comes from, tolerance for what
is good and prohibition of what is bad has been causing a decline in violence from fear of
consequences and moral conflict.
Though violence is decreasing, it will never be gone; however, violence and war are not
the same thing. Unexpectedly, they actually have different outcomes; nothing good comes from
violence, but a lot of good comes from war (Morris). One reason he states is that while war is
the worst imaginable way to create larger, more peaceful societies, it is pretty much the only way
humans have found. In every war, each party comes out as a closer group with more
advancement, but at the expense of human lives. Also, war brings people together in times of
hardship through mutual hatred of a third party. This causes love and peace between two parties.
Another reason Morris has for believing that war is good is that over the long run, the large
societies forged from war have made us richer. Though the Native Americans had to suffer so the
whites could have land in the Americas, it did lead to all this, the greater good. That begs the
question, was all their suffering worth how much the human race has progressed over the years?
Though it is a matter of opinion, the fact that we dedicate a day to a man who enslaved tens of

thousands answers that question. Morriss final point is this: For millennia, war has created
peace, and destruction has created wealth, but in our own age humanity has gotten so good at
fightingour weapons so destructive, our organizations so efficientthat war is beginning to
make further war of this kind impossible. His final point is that war will literally end itself. All
of Morriss points are valid, but impossible to prove. Morriss explanations for why war is good
are objectively accurate. He explains that war may has drawbacks but in the long run, those
drawbacks seem insignificant. Then again, there is no point in living like humans if we dont
care about our own generations; in other words, humans are selfish, and would not die so that the
race progresses in 200 years. Regardless, war goes on because these people are not in the drivers
seat. War is declared by elites and fought by these people who dont want it in the first place.
War has proven to be disastrous and petrifying, but worst of all, wars advantage is being
Though war is prevalent with human beings, it doesnt have to persist. The reason behind
the reasons for war is disagreement, and behind all wars are people who make decisions.
Violence is decreasing because these people have been developing morally. Maybe this means
that people will eventually develop to the point of having a unanimous definition of the word
wrong. Another point worth making is that equality among people has been growing over recent
years. People have been more accepting of everyone, regardless of past generations and what
they stood for. War is a necessary bridge to peace, and must happen for the human race to thrive.
Once the bridge has been crossed, there can be peace. Until then, the definition of peace will
remain mutually assured destruction.