If Mr Darwin was right, and given similarities between apes and man I believe he was, then we have to ask if our warlike behaviour is simply something we cannot help. The above image is fanciful and animals normally kill for food but there is no doubt they also fight for territory.
We pride ourselves on being a civilised creature but if we were truly civilised would we still make war for any reason? My last post proves that some can overcome the hate which leads to war but the Parisian gent is in the minority. I believe that the more intelligent we are the less we are inclined to violence. The criminal type tends to be less intelligent, relying instead on cunning, but are very territorial and most are inclined to use violence for territorial reasons.
The recent terrorist activity is less obvious. It is territorial but is also based on the historical activities of the major powers, particularly Britain and other European nations who had possessions in Africa, the middle east and so on. It is this that, in part, allows radicalisation.
It has to be said though that all of us civilised European nations have indulged in two bloodbaths based on ideological differences. The first world war was actually based on convoluted treaties between dying empires. Millions died, many with little understanding of the reasons why. World war 2 was based on the territorial ambitions of the German nation under Hitler and his evil made war imperative. The holocaust and experimentation on human subjects alone made it necessary.
The Falklands war was also made necessary by the invasion of British territory, but in this case British Citizens were under the rule of a fairly brutal regime.
Now we are facing a different kind of warfare. It is not about invasion but about terrorist attacks. I do not think the people involved want to take over the countries involved, but to impose their religious views. They see it as Holy war to glorify their God. It is to our credit that we in the UK have resisted the urge to use military muscle against ISIS targets but they are pushing us so hard that it is only a matter of time. I have tried to understand the need to impose these ideals on other nations. The type of religion they are so happy to fight for has nothing in common with any religion I know. Most are based these days on peace and tolerance. They also think that any historical record which disagrees with their ideology should be destroyed, This has much in common with many despotic systems, where burning books is commonplace. it has happened down the ages. The destruction of buildings and artifacts which do not fit is new and troubling.
More importantly, they will not stop until we do retaliate, they want our hate and violence to validate what they are doing. Regrettably we will go to war. The sad thing is that they are so scattered that it will be difficult to quantify victory or defeat.
So is this war explainable by the territorial instincts we were born with. I do not think so, this time we are attempting to stop attacks on unarmed civilians. That did happen on both sides in WW2 but was still largely about invasion and the defence against it. This time it is about random attacks against individuals who are going about their business. It’s perpetrators are willing to die themselves for the promise of a reward in the afterlife. It is about a religion which was designed for small warring tribes of nomadic desert dwellers who had never seen the outside world. Now they feel they have an entire planet to convert to their brand of Islam. It is not civilised, it is not intelligent. It does not even make sense to any normal human, territorial or not. Many nations provide members of ISIS. It has gone way past a nation fighting another nation over a concrete issue. In my view it is like a temper tantrum. If you don’t believe in my God I am going to hurt you. The difference is that most of us learn to overcome temper tantrums while ISIS takes a disgruntled teenager and whips them into a permanent tantrum.
War is never a good thing and yes we are predisposed to fight over territory by our animal past but ISIS doesn’t want territory alone, they want us all to bow to their God no matter how illogical his demands. It is bullying for the sake of it.