|Intelligent Systems And Their Societies||Walter Fritz|
The causes of war, the underlying situation from the point of view of intelligent systems are described. Based on this, we show how to avoid wars.
(Special thanks are due to Isaac Blejer, Gustavo Adolfo Durán, Aída Aisenson Kogan, and José Federico Westerkamp for their help in preparing this theme.)
War is one of the great evils in existence. In a few months or years, an entire generation of young people is killed or maimed, and the patient labor of increasing the population's well-being by building factories and machine tools is completely destroyed. When reviewing history we can see that only rarely is a contender economically better off after the war than before. In most cases, both contenders (or societies) fare worse. It is a terrible shame that war still cannot be avoided. But is this really true? Is there no method of avoiding war?
The causes of war
War is one of the responses by which one society tries to reduce the capacity of another society to obtain its objectives, when one or several of these are conflicting with those of the first society. By this response, society A tries to get the society B to do what is not convenient for B, but of convenience to A. In other words, A tries to get B to do something unnatural, namely NOT to try to reach its own objectives. This is in direct contradiction with the definition of an IS, and resisted by B.
Societies, since they are IS's, always act as best they see fit to reach their objectives. When there is a conflict, the first thing they do is to appeal to a super society. If such a super society does not exist, it is inevitable that the societies do what they consider best to reach their objectives. Sometimes this will be a war. A society, by waging war, takes a natural response, namely trying to reach its objectives.
We see that it is no wonder that two societies with conflicting objectives go to war. In a nation, the governing sub society makes the decision to attack or cooperate according to how it sees the best way to reach its objectives. Once it has taken the decision, the general population acts according to the emotions evoked by the governing sub society and according to existing habits and regulations for civilians and the military forces. The governing sub society will present the adversary as cruel, greedy, barbarian, and nasty. It will appeal to patriotism and ideals. For all this it will use existing communications media that appeal to emotions and preexisting mental inclinations.
Below we mention subjective causes for war that have their root in human nature and the present culture:
We have to take into account that in a war nearly always someone gains: some nation, a social class, an enterprise or a political society; even if most of the involved IS's loose .
The underlying situation that permits wars
In medieval times a baron that lived in a castle and was feudal lord of a village and surrounding lands, could and did declare war on his neighboring baron. Why does this situation not exist today between the mayors of neighboring towns? Today a dispute between towns is settled by the super society, the society of which both are members, namely the county or province. Similarly in the area of sports, for instance in a dispute between clubs because of a swimming event, both clubs will appeal to the local swimming federation. A dispute between local federations is resolved by the national federation and finally a dispute between national federations is resolved by the international swimming federation.
We see that in conflicts between societies, if possible, they make an appeal to the super society. But in conflicts between nations that is not the case, because no such super society exists. There is no international society that can impose laws, pass judgment and enforce decisions on nations. The nearest thing to such a society is the United Nations Organization but it can only recommend.
Some persons say that limiting the armed forces or weapons could avoid or at least lessen the ferocity of wars. Let's analyze this. Let's suppose that a successful ban exists on nuclear, bacteriological and chemical weapons. Lets further assume that even conventional firearms are successfully banned. Does this eliminate war?
Remember how societies resolve conflicts when no super society exists. It seems logical that they will attack with whatever they have at their disposal. Probably they will first use economical measures and diplomatic campaigns. If these do not bring the desired results, they will call on their populations to defend the nation against the vile opponents. They will arm the population with lances, swords and crossbows. When no other weapons are available, these are very effective in killing the enemy. War, with these, is just as bloody and final for the citizens that die.
It seems that limiting the weapons and armed forces is not the way to go. Arms are not the cause for war. The underlying situation that permits a war, is the lack of a super society, a society of which both are members. This is why all the factors shown in "The Causes of War" can intervene.
Let's talk for a moment about civil wars. When the members do not anymore believe that their society furthers their objectives, they reduce their support of this society and therefore it weakens. So an effective super society is lost and now the various member societies start to try to obtain their objectives by internal war, instead of by appealing to the super society.
The way to avoid this, is to recognize the objectives of part of the society and to let them organize their own sub society. These should be full subsocieties with their own government and law making organs. Only those functions which they can't accomplish by themselves they should delegate to a higher level society, possibly their old society.
How to avoid wars
Having seen the causes of war, the obvious conclusion is that an efficient way to end all war would be to:
Create a Super Society that Includes all Nations
For instance a continental society, including all states of a continent and finally a global society containing all continental societies. A federated government within nations, as explained in Proposal for Improving Government and Society (For continuous reading, like a book - do not enter here now)., would habituate its citizens to a delegation of political power, so that a delegation beyond the national level becomes more acceptable.
Obviously the laws of the super society would include the right and capacity to squelch the start of any armed conflict between sub societies since they will be just as illegal as an armed conflict between, say, Virginia and Tennessee. Today, with the existence of atomic, chemical and bacteriological weapons, the sovereignty of nations, the liberty of a nation to act as it wishes, even if it wants to attack another, has to be limited. Sovereignty has to be regulated by the laws of a super society, just as the freedom to act of cities and individuals is regulated by laws of the society.
The idea of a worldwide super society is not new. Many statesmen and philosophers have recommended it. Then why is it not in use? The reason is that the leaders of present nations like the power they have and do not want it diminished. Also there are ways of thinking, including the powerful concepts of nationality, sovereignty and patriotism that make it very difficult to create such a society. Many present rulers use these ways of thinking to block the creation of an effective world society.
We can only expect a change when some leaders become convinced that the advantages of peace are greater than the disadvantages of a limitation of their power and of national sovereignty. This can only happen when a majority of the population wants the nations to be members of a hierarchy of super societies. The sole fact that many citizens everywhere start to understand how the present political society should be modified, and start to apply pressure to their government, will make a worldwide society possible. Some political leaders already see the advantages of a super society and help to create zones of commercial cooperation as a first step to future bigger political groupings.
You might find this link interesting: Canadian Centres Teaching Peace (Exterior link).
Also have a look at Peace and Conflict Prevention (Exterior link).
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