Monday, November 16, 2009

The Future of War

Yesterday, I heard a RadioLab show featuring a survey question that journalist and teacher John Horgan has been asking people: will humans ever permanently stop fighting wars?

Horgan believes the answer is yes, even though the great majority of his survey respondents disagree. I have to disagree too. It seems to me that the answer arises from a game theoretical approach.

The higher the percentage of humans who stop fighting wars, the more advantage, I would think, would accrue to those who are prepared to keep fighting them. If 95% of humanity gives up war, the remaining militaristic 5% would have a big edge.

Will the 95% forever keep a standing army big enough to deter fighting from the remaining 5%? And never use it? Hard to believe.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I agree with you.

War will not end until the "good guys" stop trying to prevent the "bad guys" from continuing to do bad things.

No matter how badly benevolent nations wish for peace, as long as malevolent nations refuse to discontinue their bad acts unless forced to do so at the point of a gun we will have war.

Blaming war on a country that attempts to stop the spread of evil is like blaming the weak kid for standing up to the bully who demands his lunch money.

The Allies could have avoided war simply by ignoring Hitler's invasion of Poland and the North could have avoided war simply by letting the South secede from the Union and continue it's practice of slavery.

War is good.