Re: [sixties-l] War and male bonding

From: Jerry West (
Date: Mon Jun 26 2000 - 07:59:44 CUT

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    I wrote:

    I am glad that you pointed out that war is a given part of the human
    condition. Revisionist historians and sociologists to the contrary, it
    is one of the dominating themes of human history which has been a
    history of conquest and oppression from which almost no ethnic grouping
    can escape indictment.

    Carrol Cox wrote:

    Oh come now. There is absolutely no evidence of this. .... It is a
    matter of considerable debate among anthropoligists just how violent the
    first 100,000 years were -- but it is pretty certain that war (in
    anything remotely like what we know as war) has been around for not much
    more than 5000 years....

    War, like tiddlywinks or double dating, is a social relation, not a
    "thing" with an essence.

    JW reply:

    I guess it depends on what you see as part of the human condition and
    whether or not some humans are innately aggressive. War, after all, is
    just agresssion on a large scale.

    Recorded history is certainly full of accounts of warfare, whether you
    call them cattle raids or whatever, and anthropologists and others have
    recorded warlike behaviour amongst primitive peoples in recent centuries
    from which one might reasonably infer that prehistoric peoples in
    similar circumstances acted in a like fashion.

    Without recorded naratives of some sort the interpretation of bone chips
    and pottery shards, etc. will always leave much to the imagination as to
    what was going on.

    If you do not want to believe that humans have a predisposition under
    certain circumstances to beat upon one another and steal their goods,
    then go for it, but unless you have conclusive proof to the contrary, my
    supposition is as valid as yours. :)

    Carrol Cox wrote:

    Don't try to tell me that cultured gentlemen and ladies sitting in
    comforting board rooms and deciding on the slaughter of millions are
    operating out of any kind of "natural tendency to violence."

    JW reply:

    I think it is a natural tendency to greed which accepts violence as a
    valid tool, ergo a tendency to violence.

    Jerry West
    On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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