Wednesday, March 18, 2015
If war isn't the answer; then what is??
First of all it is true that war doesn’t solve problems. War is about the absolute absence of solutions and all out fighting and destruction. It is often based on the implied assumption that there is an enemy and the enemy is responsible for all our problems; therefore if we just destroy the enemy all our problems will go away. This assumption is never stated but it is implied by past activity. This assumption is totally false. In order to arrive at solutions the first thing that has to occur is that the fighting and destruction has to come to an end. The best thing I can think of to say about war is that if there is a power so cruel and destructive like Hitler then that power has to be destroyed first before the real solutions can be implemented. However in hindsight it is always easy to look back and see that if the appropriate actions were taken before Hitler rose to power then Hitler could have been stopped without war. Then perhaps the best thing I can think of about war is that they demonstrate things that we could learn from so that we don’t repeat our mistakes. If so this is at best a benefit that comes at far to high a price.
The real solutions come after wars come to an end or better yet they could begin in the future before wars begin if problems are addressed before they get to big. Real programs to solve problems are usually education based. Programs like the Peace Corps., Seeds of Peace, Habitat for Humanity etc. are much more productive and more likely to bring about solutions. They may run into problems and in the past they have been heavily criticized for inefficiency but these problems can be overcome once they are recognized and corrected. Unlike military “solutions” there is little or no need for secrecy in these programs that is part of the reason they have been heavily criticized in the past. When these programs have problems they are less likely to be hidden then when the problems are found they are more likely to be corrected. In the military when there is a problem there is often an excuse to cover it up since secrecy is routine therefore problems are often allowed to get much worse.
In the long run the most effective way to stop wars is to stop the causes of wars. One of the biggest unrecognized causes of war is child abuse. There are many cultures where there are epidemic rates of child abuse. This provides an ample supply of angry violent people that can be led into war easily by their leaders.
Another problem is that leaders are rarely held accountable to their own people. Even in countries that are considered democratic accountability is often insufficient since the public often doesn’t know what their government is doing nor do they know how to hold their government accountable. The way to address this is a massive education effort to make all the information available to the public that they need to hold their leaders accountable. The people also need to learn how to set up a system to interact with their government representatives on a regular basis. This information needs to be organized in the most effective way possible according to subject. Then each subject needs to have an accurate description of the basics which should never be forgotten. Governments are involved in decisions about everything that influences the public whether we like it or not therefore we need to understand these subjects. One of the more obvious examples where people overlook the basics is gambling which has to be fixed in favor of the house in order for the house to survive and profit. If the public understood this there wouldn’t be much if any gambling industry. This may seem trivial when it comes to preventing wars but it is one of many small social problems that create unrest that can build up and become a much bigger problem.
In order to stop wars the social injustices that leads to war need to be addressed. There are many class conflicts that often lead to greater problems. These are often about money or business. There needs to be a better way to address these problems before they escalate. The most effective way in the long run is to improve the education system for everyone. This shouldn’t be influenced by race, creed or sex. In many cases the lower classes need a better education to understand their options and more peaceful ways to accomplish their goals. The upper classes need a better education that encourages them to understand other cultures and they shouldn’t be taught that they have some automatic birth right that makes them better than they are. This isn’t new and a lot has been done to improve this but there are still more subtle ways of coming to the conclusion that they are more deserving than others often by omitting certain facts.
In the long term in order to avoid war we need a society that has true justice that starts at an early age and is maintained throughout life. This means giving people equal opportunities and allowing them to participate in society and receive equal benefits for their work from the beginning. In many cases it may involve looking out for the best interest of some people even if those people don’t know how to express their own views well. These people may need a better education but if they don’t get it and they see that they aren’t getting a fair shake they may become disenfranchised and rebel. This may not seem rational but it still happens. By educating them and allowing them to have a fair shake this can be avoided. They shouldn’t have to fight or argue every step of the way to get what is rightfully theirs. The more time spent fighting or suing the less time there is for productive activity for everyone.
The three most important things that can be done to avoid war in the long term is:
1 Stop epidemic levels of child abuse worldwide.
2 Provide education to everyone in the most effective way possible.
3 Provide equal opportunity and real democracy to everyone.
first posted on tripod 11/13/09
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