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History of the state and war

History of the state and war
(Coordinator Comment)

It was a very revealing moment during the consideration of the culture of peace by the UN General Assesmbly when the U.S. diplomat stated that peace should not be elevated to the category of human right, otherwise it will be very difficult to start a war (see the Brief History of the Culture of Peace, page 21.

In fact, the diplomat was stating an important truth; from the beginning of the state 5,000 years ago the principal business of the state has been war, either its readiness for war or its actual conduct of war. One can say that the fundamental "right of the state" is the "right to make war."

In fact, it is likely that the very origin of the state came out of warfare. This is part of the widely-accepted theory of the anthropologist Robert Carneiro.

All of the great empires of history, beginning with the ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, Indian, Incan and Mayan empires, not to mention the later empires of Greece and Rome, were based on war. And since then, the institutions of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism have been no less based on war or the implied threat of war.

Gradually over the course of history the state has come to monopolize war and killing, although this monopolization was accomplished, for the most part, in recent history. The American Western movie, for example, glorifies the "conquest of the West" which included pacification of Indian tribes and establishment of "law and order" by which only the agents of the state had a license to kill.

From the beginning of recorded history, the warfare of the state had two faces, one turned outward for external defense or conquest, the other turned inward to guard against internal revolts by slaves or others. A case can be made that the use of military force for internal intervention" has been as important as its use for external intervention".

The more the states have prepared for and engaged in war, the more they have promoted and established the culture of war, including secrecy, propaganda, enemy images, authoritarian, male-dominated rule, and education for violence and war. The extreme case has been the fascist states that have resulted from economic crises.

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game administrator Jun. 23 2008,12:33
Readers' comments are invited on this topic.
markmulligan Nov. 26 2009,19:26
Invitation to review my website and support it.

You and your friends could find interesting reading in LEARNERS: On the Move from WeaponWorld to PeaceWorld, my Web samizdat on World Peace.

This text studies what we would need to construct a solid World Peace in our lifetime.  I am looking for fellow Learners, expert translators in every language, and talented illustrators who would work on it for the same reason I do: for the glory of seeing it done.  

LEARNERS is written in three Sections:

Why we’re not there already;
How we achieve it; and
What we should expect from it.

Erasmus used the new printing press to broadcast his dream of Humanism; I am using World Wide Web to broadcast my dream of PeaceWorld.  Thereafter, it was just a question of the receptivity and enthusiasm of those who bother to read something new.  Our ambitions were equally monumental.  We shall see if a new global readership will rise to the occasion.

Please search – “learners, peaceworld” – in Google.


Should mutual links sound good to you, please email me to that effect, and we will set them up.  In hopes of your assistance in broadcasting this work,

mark mulligan
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