Humanity behind war
War is the most powerful conflict which can occur between nations or troops. It moves enormous crowds by incredibly intense forces, and for that reason the aftermath of war is unimaginable every time it is brought upon humankind. Thousands of years after the start, we still find ourselves in front of global conflicts, disturbing the lives of all in the 21st century.
History is full of wars between empires, societies and powers. If we take a closer look at this process in our past, we can see that there are only never-ending circles of emerging and then descending periods in life and we seem to never ever learn from our mistakes as a species. The model is always the same, starting with a conflict leading to damage and then a peaceful period until the bomb of frustrations explodes again. The question emerges: is this the natural way of living as a human or is there another way?
The topic is highly controversial, because there aren’t any explanations for the lack of wars in early human history but there are some scientists who claim that warfare has always existed in some form, alongside forming communities. The contrast had been researched, and evidence has already been found that human warfare hadn’t always existed.
Douglas Fry and Patrick Soderberg’s study shows the results of a discovery from the 21st century, which was done in a nomad hunter-gatherer community. They found that in the last 200 years the number of fatal attacks were extraordinarily rare. The attacks’ reasons were always a personal or a family matter. This led to the conclusion that the possibility of a war rises with hierarchic communities and agrarian or capitalist societies.
The examples from our past lead us to believe that war is a human reaction to disagreement, but we find ourselves in front of a new question: Why?
Simple as it seems, it really contains all the complexity of psychology, as this topic usually does. This is because of two things, one being humans’ behaviour ruled by natural forces and the other being community interactions. These are obviously connected and affect each other at all times.
In my viewpoint, while there is a huge number of reasons, there are few which cannot be put aside, when we are talking about the causes and motives that start wars. When it comes to the biological background, it is known that survival and competition in order to succeed is in our genes and there are some hormones which cause human behaviour for it to become more aggressive. However, this is not everything.
There are two other reasons which can lead to fray. The economic crisis or the urge of a major development in a country or ideological differences. Centuries old solution is going nuclear on each other. Fear and revenge are very human emotions that can affect a situation. The frightening reality of being defeated is often boiling down to attacking and the power that is offended or harmed frequently chooses vengeance as a tool to fight back.
And last but not least, a growing force’s heroizing leadership tends to build up a power that destroys and takes advantage of its place to the detriment of people, which also generates tension.
To sum it up, there are many motives and reasons behind war, so many that it would be quite difficult to collect all and even harder to understand. But whether they seem clear or not, each should always be considered from a humanitarian point of view.
By Janka Kollmann