War and Peace: Which Dominates our History?
The Kansas City Star
War and Peace: Which dominates our history? When Leo Tolstoy wrote the long novel War and Peace, he pretty much summarized the major activities in human history. That is, humans engage in either war or peace. We are in war, or we are at peace. On the surface, humans enjoy much longer peace time than war time.
However, if we broaden the definition of war to include all activities that are not carried out peacefully, we can see very often peace time is not peaceful at all. And so, we have much more war than peace, although the conflicts we have during peace time are very different.
Many terms that we employ during “peace time” imply anything but peace, such as: class wars, drug wars, the war on poverty, the war on women, cyber wars, the fight for freedom, etc. And now we are entertained by unpleasant scenes from the relentless 2012 presidential battleground, first within one party, then between the parties.
It is no exaggeration to see these political fight as the continuation of the real war fought in Afghanistan or Iraq, except the casualty is not human lives.
Sometime I wonder why we cannot have more peaceful and civic modes of communication and interaction to resolve differences in ideology. I know it sounds a bit naive, but the real question is why do we have to fight for this or that? Is this belligerence or aggressiveness built in human nature that renders us incapable of resolving differences peacefully?
Look across different lands now and look back on the long history of humankind; if there is one constant in human history, that is war, in all shapes and sizes. It may sound depressing, but the truth is peace is rare and war in its broad definition is omnipresent. 4/15/2012