RE: On the origin of .... war

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon Sep 17 2001 - 10:29:03 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: On the origin of .... war
    Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 10:29:03 +0100
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    Hi Ted,

    <There just doesn't seem to be any rational basis for it.
    Aboriginal tribes get virtually nothing out of it. Yet they're often just
    as enthusiastic about war as we are for team sports. Instead of looking for
    a reason, we need to be looking at the unreason that bubbles up from the
    unconscious mind.>

    No we don't Ted, Aboriginals get as much from war as anyone else- increased
    territority, decreased competition for resources, opportunities to improve
    the tribe's gene pool by kidnapping women and children etc. etc. It all
    depends how one defines rational. In adaptive terms, war can be highly
    rational, and a very good strategy for dealing with competitors within one's
    own species in a single encounter. I refer again to the evidence of great
    ape raiding parties on neighbouring troops.

    We often tend to think of rationality as in some way automatically removed
    from what we are when it's not, and what we need to do is recognise this
    otherwise we will never be able to turn away from instinctive flight/fight
    responses to such acts.

    George Galloway, a Scottish MP ardently opposed to military action, and who
    was against the Gulf War, made the point that if the allies (as they are
    being dubbed in the UK) flatten Afghanistan then we risk creating many more
    Bin Ladens in his place. I'm not suggesting something shouldn't be done (I
    for one wouldn't be sorry to see the Taleban get a kicking), but my instinct
    is always that the bravest of acts is to not retaliate with, what's the
    phrase- extreme predjudice, which looks likely at the moment. If
    pro-Taleban pakistanis oust Musharaf in the event of mass slaughter there,
    they suddenly have access to nuclear weapons, and whilst that might not make
    the US and Nato act rashly, India may feel in imminent danger etc. etc.


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