World peace

  • Thread starter wolram
  • Start date
  • #36
Hornbein
1,121
819
What exactly would satisfy you? Do you literally mean precisely zero war? Personally, I don't think that's realistically achievable nor particularly meaningful.

I think zero war is entirely realistic and achievable, and it wouldn't even be that hard. All it would take is the will.

Look at the example of the United States. Back in the colony days there was a small war between Connecticut and New Jersey. Connecticut had a royal charter that its territory went all the way to the Pacific Ocean. If they had had their way, today Connecticut would be a strip of land all the way to Eureka, CA. This strip went through New Jersey, which did not recognize the claim. Connecticutians started to move into Jersey. Jerseyites burned down their cabins and chased them out. It didn't become a full-scale war because still-Dutch New York wouldn't let Connecticutians pass over its land to fight New Jersey. Without a supply line the invasion fizzled.

The other 12 states blockaded Rhode Island to get it to ratify the Constitution. That's an act of war.

Even after the states united, Michigan went to war with Ohio over Toledo. Toledo had mistakenly been built in Michigan. Michigan asserted its legal rights. Ohio wouldn't give. So there was armed conflict. The US gov't gave Michigan its current upper peninsula to settle the claim on Toledo.

Then of course there is the Civil War/War Between the States.

The question is, if war is inevitable, why don't the US states go to war more often? How does the system settle claims without violence? Why is war between the states pretty much unthinkable these days? Why don't states keep large standing armies to defend themselves from other states? Think about it.

It's because there is a working legal system to settle their disputes. They don't need to waste their resources on large standing armies. It would make no sense to have such an army,navy, or air force. The states can settle their conflicts without carrying a big stick.

Then why do nations have big standing armies? It is because no system exists that works to solve disputes peacefully. International politics is anarchy. There is no working international system. So nations often employ threats of violence. Those threats may be implicit or explicit, but they go on constantly. Occasionally there is actual violence: a war, a drone strike, or a plane shot down. You have to use real violence on occasion to "maintain credibility" for your threats.

There are economic sanctions, but they don't work very well. Too many cheaters.

If there were a system that worked to solve disputes peacefully, the nations would use it. They wouldn't waste their resources on large standing armed forces. Such waste would no longer make sense.

The United Nations is not such a system and never will be as long as the great powers have veto power. But it is a step in that direction. Dwight Eisenhower and many others were very enthusiastic about it. It could grow into such a system.

The United Nations has passed many resolutions to end the conflicts in the Middle East. The USA always vetoes them. They prefer the status quo, with Israel holding on to its ill-gotten gains via force of arms.

Nicaragua sued the US in the World Court and won. The US simply ignored the judgement. It preferred to settle the conflict via force of arms.

One thing for sure: as long as the US prefers the status quo and disdains international attempts to make peace, there will be no peace.

How about this: for all of recorded history, global war deaths ran from as little as about 1 per 100,000 population per year during "peacetime" (average of about 2) to 100 per 100,000 per year during "war" (average of about 50). Then starting in the 1990s, the peacetime war deaths rate dropped as low as 0.2 and the "wartime" death rate dropped to about 0.5. In other words, at the height of the worst wars of the past 20 years, the world was four times safer than during any sustained peacetime in previous human history - and compared to other "wartimes", about a hundred times safer.

That blue line is military deaths. We don't have that data from before WWII. You have to use the red line. Then the most peaceful period is 1460-1490.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes Rx7man
  • #37
mheslep
Gold Member
360
728
...So there was a lot of war, but it wasn't very destructive. Nothing compared to what we do now.

The Carthaginians might argue the point, if their descendants, their city, or their culture still existed in any form.

In 149 BCE, ... a massive Roman army under the command of Scipio Africanus the Younger landed in Africa and began to lay siege to the city. At first, the Carthaginians tried to come to peace with the Romans who announced a series of difficult conditions for them to fulfil. Rome initially demanded hostages and that all the city’s arms be turned over. When all of these demands were fulfilled, Rome then ordered that the city be pulled down and built further inland. At this stage, with their backs to the wall, the Carthaginians had little choice but to fight.

In spite of the superior Roman military power, the city managed to hold out for another three years until finally, in 146 BCE, the defences failed and the Romans poured in. The inhabitants of the city were massacred by the disciplined legions who systematically moved from house to house. Lloyd (1977: 178) suggested that the city may have held up to 200,000 inhabitants while Braudel (2001: 225) put the population at the lower scale of around 100,000 people. Even at this lower end, the slaughter in the city was, however, substantial and probably unprecedented in the European world up to that time. The survivors, possibly numbering anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 people, were sold as slaves. On direct orders from Rome, the city was subsequently set alight and, after ten days of burning, demolished stone by stone. Polybius in his Histories, Book XXXVIII, Chapters 3-11, noted that ‘the destruction of the Carthaginians was immediate and total’ so much so that there were no Carthaginians left to even express their remorse.

So there's that.
 
  • #38
Rx7man
425
187
Another well known brutal conquest was that of the Genghis /Kublai Khan...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genghis_Khan

According to wiki...
Overall, the Mongol violence and depredations killed up to three-fourths of the population of the Iranian Plateau, possibly 10 to 15 million people.
 
  • #39
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
20,992
5,048
Then there is the City of Balkh. In 1220/1221, Genghis Khan's army (~100,000) slaughtered the population of Balkh (~400,000) and all the livestock [1]. Apparently, the corpses were left to lions, wolves, vultures and various other scavengers [2].

Herat surrendered, but after 6 months, they revolted, and the population was slaughtered. Kabul and Ghazni were laid waste. Khan later went on the Baghdad where the caliph was executed and the city's population of 200,000 slaughtered [1].

References:
[1] Peter Tomsen, The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of the Great Powers, Public Affairs, New York, 2011.
[2] Ata-Malik Juvaini (Author), J.A. Boyle (Editor, Translator), David Morgan (Introduction), Genghis Khan: The History of the World Conqueror (Manchester Medieval Studies), Manchester University Press; Second Edition,1997

I've read a few different accounts, so I have to dig deeper into the subject.

BALKH AND MAZAR-e-SHARIF
https://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/cities/afghanistan/balkh.html
 
  • Like
Likes HossamCFD
  • #40
Hornbein
1,121
819
The Carthaginians might argue the point, if their descendants, their city, or their culture still existed in any form.



So there's that.


I'm going by that graph. That is, we are measuring death relative to the entire population of the earth. You are noting that death may be concentrated in one place. Of course.
 
  • #41
gjonesy
263
182
As long as you have radical uncompromising religious ideology, unconventional cultural and social practices and radical political ideology. YOU WILL HAVE WAR period. Examples: radical religious beliefs that justify rape and murder of infidels (nonbelievers) and religious beliefs that can be misinterpreted to justify any number of crimes against humanity. Unconventional culture that allows humans to be placed in bondage and treated as sexual slaves legally where the age of consent is 9 years old and arranged marriages of children are allowed, political beliefs that doesn't allow for freedom of expression freedom of belief and even freedom of movement. There are People born into these unfortunate situations ,who are born knowing in their heart and minds that these things are wrong and immoral. They will revolt eventually and they will be slaughtered by those in power. No amount of wishful thinking will ever change these things. The only way to peace is through war, you have to wipe out the minds that can not be changed and educate, govern and nurture the minds that can be.
 
  • #42
Hornbein
1,121
819
As long as you have radical uncompromising religious ideology, unconventional cultural and social practices and radical political ideology. YOU WILL HAVE WAR period. Examples: radical religious beliefs that justify rape and murder of infidels (nonbelievers) and religious beliefs that can be misinterpreted to justify any number of crimes against humanity. Unconventional culture that allows humans to be placed in bondage and treated as sexual slaves legally where the age of consent is 9 years old and arranged marriages of children are allowed, political beliefs that doesn't allow for freedom of expression freedom of belief and even freedom of movement. There are People born into these unfortunate situations ,who are born knowing in their heart and minds that these things are wrong and immoral. They will revolt eventually and they will be slaughtered by those in power. No amount of wishful thinking will ever change these things. The only way to peace is through war, you have to wipe out the minds that can not be changed and educate, govern and nurture the minds that can be.


I shall refrain from sarcasm.
 
  • #43
gjonesy
263
182
I shall refrain from sarcasm.

Please share this wisdom.
 
  • #44
gjonesy
263
182
One thing for sure: as long as the US prefers the status quo and disdains international attempts to make peace, there will be no peace.

So the US is totally to blame for the absence of world peace. Yadzidi women captured by ISIS would disagree with you, 9 year old girls in Iraq would disagree with you, political prisoners in North Korea would tend to disagree with you.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/is...sis-militants-reveal-horrific-ordeals-n214641

http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Iraq-law-would-allow-9-year-old-girls-to-marry-5319224.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisons_in_North_Korea

Virtually any woman in the Middle east that wants freedom of choice will disagree with you.

This is a world problem not a US problem.

Edit: I admire your optimism , I just do not believe any amount of co-operation on anyone country's part will change a thing. Its not realistic to think if the US changes its policy people will change their beliefs and politics.
 
Last edited:
  • #45
Gobi
9
4
The only way to peace is through war, you have to wipe out the minds that can not be changed and educate, govern and nurture the minds that can be.

I shall refrain from sarcasm.

Please share this wisdom.

Just my guess, but he might be implying, that this is very similar to what Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini were thinking back in the day. And that ISIS is probably thinking exactly the same thing right now. (not just them, though)
 
  • Like
Likes Hornbein
  • #46
gjonesy
263
182
Just my guess, but he might be implying, that this is very similar to what Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini were thinking back in the day. And that ISIS is probably thinking exactly the same thing right now. (not just them, though)

That's exactly my point, that is why its unrealistic, it would require violating the human rights of the human rights violators, violating the Geneva convention and half a dozen treaties maybe more of every major allied government recognized by the UN. It can't be done peacefully. therefore it can't be done.
 
  • #47
jim hardy
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,869
4,892
there's an old adage about roads paved with good intentions...

Problem with benevolent dictators is keeping them benevolent.
 
  • Like
Likes gjonesy

Suggested for: World peace

  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
371
Replies
0
Views
265
Replies
32
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
501
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
684
Replies
1
Views
321
Replies
5
Views
749
Replies
1
Views
449
Replies
24
Views
1K
Top