Why War?

Many people have exchanged thoughts and many books have been published about the reasons for war. Wherever you read something about this topic you’ll stumble upon the popular theory that those who are making money by selling weapons are responsible for wars. According to this view, the government, the military industry or maybe a few dictators are responsible for wars. This view is popular because it lets every individual off the hook – who is peace loving by default – and just blames the ruling class for wars.

This is not to justify wars. I am more interested in questioning the attitude by which so many so-called peace activists perform their fight for peace. Is war really only the result of what a few powerful people are doing? Isn’t war much more a reflection of the impossibility of the human race to live at peace with one another? If we dare to question ourselves, we see that we are unable to live at peace with one another. Small children can’t play for long without fighting about something. Neighbors go to court over all kinds of disputes. Marriages often end in divorce. Employees and classmates mob one another.

Along these lines a war is the inability of different countries to live at peace with one another just as on a personal level each individual has difficulties living at peace with his spouse, relatives, neighbors, colleagues, etc. With this in mind, people can still fight for peace but instead of having an accusing attitude towards governments, corporations, etc., they can do so with a more humble attitude, recognizing that their own heart is often unable to keep peace in personal relationships. This way the fight for peace would not only be pointing fingers at others. It would also create a greater credibility in people who demand peace from governments but who are fighting their personal war with relatives, neighbors or colleagues.