I’ve said here a few times that the root cause of war is government. I was asked to expand upon that, so I will.
Anthropologically speaking, humanity engages in conflict and always has. But in the distant past it was done so in tribal conflict over resources, or, to establish status within a given culture. However, these skirmishes often did not even result in deaths. There is much weapons-shaking, preening, threats, and war song singing, then a few feints and scraps. Perhaps some one-on-one fights between a high-status warrior from each side. But all-out wars with the destruction of vast hundreds of thousands of people and cities takes a government.
Once a tribe coalesces into a government, then it can accomplish those things. Once they field a professional army supported by tribute or taxes, then such things can be done. This is not to say tribal wars have not resulted in serious death tolls, however, this is not the norm within tribal societies. But with governments, there are no equivalents to the Lakota prizing touching the enemy and getting away (“counting coup”) over actually killing him in battle. No, the government insists on the killing to make the point or there is no point to incurring the expense of military action.
Again, to have large-scale wars takes a government. Many tribes, to begin with, could not have afforded to devote vast resources to waging war alone. Only a government can accomplish it and it does this by forcing everyone to pay for it out of taxes. Whereas with warriors in a tribe, he must come up with his own weapons out of his own pocket as a point of honor.
Generally, we hear the point made that once a traditional society adopts the “Western diet”, their lifespan decreases by ten years at least. Suddenly, diseases such as heart disease and diabetes manifest which were previously unknown to the tribe. The same is true for tribes adopting governments. Once a government is in place, their lifespan often decreases and plagues such as total war, genocide, and concentration camps begin to take place.
Therefore, no one should be at all curious as to why wars start, occur, or the prevention of them fails when governments are controlling humanity. A government will march headlong into a war it could have absolutely prevented or into a war that did not even concern it. Such as the civil war in Vietnam, which sucked in two Western governments over two decades who both lost the war, taking a side between two governments. The war in Syria is a fight between governments and people who want to be the government. Our government gets involved in this. So why did our Civil War happen? Because there is government.12:50 pm on May 4, 2017