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Field Research - The Cause of War
#1
I just read an article a few weeks ago from Newsweek about why men love war. It tickles me that the article mentions that war has correlation with masculinity, and I decided to do a little research regarding the subject. This is actually one of my school project, and I would like to know everybody's opinion about the cause of war. I 'll post several links, including the link to the article, and please give me your opinion about it.
Please note that a part of your post may be quoted in my "paper"(more like conclusion). I would also like to say that this is not a real/major research; no paper will be submitted, and it's just some light snack for thought about the subject. I also found an interesting fact; according from http://www.costofwar.com/ , the war in Iraq cost around 724 billion US dollar, but Iraq has 112 billion barrel of oil ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves_in_Iraq )reserves that is valued around 8.9 trillion US dollar. I won't say the Iraqi war is justifiable; but take a look at the value of Iraq's oil reserve. Do you think economic interest could also serve as a cause of war?

I know this topic is a little bit controversial, but please reply this thread with cool head Big Grin .

and so ; here are the links

title:Victorian Masculinity
link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_masculinity
source:Wikipedia
description:An article that descibes "classical modern" views of

title:The Warrior Tradition and the Masculinity of War
link: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/67053/2/10.1177_002190967701200105.pdf
source:Google Scholar
descrpition:A Journal that provides in-depth review in correlation between masculinity and war

title:Why Men Love War by Evan Thomas
link: http://www.newsweek.com/id/237223
source:Newsweek
description:An article that gives views about the reason why men love war

title:Why Men Love War by William Broyles Jr.
link: http://books.google.com/books?id=okwHpYC...ar&f=false
source:Google
description:An article that describes author's opinion and experience about war (William Broyles Jr. is a Vietnam war veteran); originally published in Esquire November 1984

title:Why Men Love War by Charlie (Marine infantry officer and participant in the Global War On Terror)
link: http://op-lightning.blogspot.com/2006/08...e-war.html
source:Google
description:An article that describes author's opinion and experience about the the article written by William Broyles Jr.

PS for Mod: Is this the correct place to post the thread? or is it better to put it under General Discussion? Please kindly move the topic if it's better under General Discussion
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#2
Well I will start this off as best I can. I hate the idea of suffering, pain, and injustice inflicted on humanity. However, since i was a child I have been fascinated with history and why we have taken the paths we have so often chosen over others. In the past "men" have gone to war for the sake of religion, reform, and even the justice that they feel they are owed, and even sometimes, though not as commonly reported, money or wealth. In a modern age such as now I personally believe such reasons to be an obsolete, even subliminal reconciliation for such actions. I believe, and this is personal to me, that fighting is exciting. Now I have never served in the military, and despite all my "civiness" I actually see myself as the military sort. Although, personally to me and I'm sure many others, family comes first. Being a father I feel that I have to be there for my son all the time and it a decision that I've made to fulfill such commitments. However, if things had turned out differently I am quite certain that I would have joined the Army. I have discussed this my my wife ( who is Japanese) on a few occasions and her response is always "why do you want to kill another person ?" the truth is, I don't, but I feel a strong obligation to be there with the "boys" who are currently risking their lives in the face of adversity.

I often find myself thinking that I really need more excitement in life, and what could be more exciting than having rounds flying over your head: cracking and whizzing then thudding into a sandy ground nearby?

I'm British and like a lot of British people we know our own history considerably well: how we have raped and pillaged other races and civilizations in the name of war and conquest. That was our history and as time has changed I think we have, particularly since the Second World War, realized that we are just another small country in the big world. We are a very militant country but I like to think that deep down our focus is helping and protecting people in threat of inhumanity and injustice whoever they are.

War is a negative thing but the choice one makes to lay down his life for the protection of another is subject to their own personal beliefs. I am not a religious person and I know we are all worm meat but although still thinking myself as a humanist, I wouldn't think twice about protecting my loved onces.

I guess my point is that when you take away all the superficial aspects related with faith and you are left with the simple choices that basic human instinct offers us, how can you say that you are either for or against the violence of action in the face of conflict. It is our beliefs that define us, shape us, and instruct us to act.

I might join the Army for the excitement. I may form bonds with fellow soldiers that we in civilian life could not imagine possible. My government could very well send me on a bullshit excuse for a war in the blatant name of their own interests, but I would still feel I belong there with the lads.

To sum it all up, I don't know why we fight. All I know is that I get a hard-on from noise, lack of sleep, over-endurance, and the feeling of being a part of something that will go down in history.
[Image: Camouflage3.jpg]
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#3
Ok, here's my input:

Humans didn't change on a physical level in the past few thousand years, we know it as a fact. I mean, some of us got taller than before thanks to better and more balance nutrition, we also die older thanks to advanced medicine, but aside of that, we are still the primitive animals living in tribes, painting with fingers and dressed with beast furs.

I'm saying that because we need to keep in mind that we are beings driven as much as on a physical level, then on a psychological one.
Physically, we are animals, fighting to have the more importance in the tribe, in order to get the best female, all of that to procreate. Nothing fancy here.
Natural selection didn't change so much since the introduction of life on Earth, and even though pure strength doesn't have the importance it used to, it's still about competition, non stop, always.

War is a big competition, competition for survival, competition between tribes, now bigger and called countries. A competition for resources, yet again for survival, for power, still survival, etc...

What I'm trying to say is that the cause of war is life itself. Natural selection made it a constant battle against the elements, the other species, and even our own specie, it's survival of the fittest. We could try to cover this by saying things changed, and war now bears deeper political reasons, but ultimately no, it's still about power, i.e. be the leader, guarantee survival and reproduction, whether on a personal level, or on a tribe level (country/social class/religious group/etc...).

And actually I find it pretty great, to some extend the only thing driving all of us is that: reproduction for survival of ultimately not ourselves, but our specie. We are all gonna die eventually, we all know it, and the only thing that makes life a challenge is to continue our bloodline before we die and make sure Humans go on. We are all more concerned about our specie than ourselves when you think about it, we just don't realize it.

And on a side note, this is the reason why I can't understand people who don't want to have kids, but whatever, that's just a personal matter.

So here you have it! The Cause of all wars: women ^^;
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#4
First of all, I would like to thank Tobo and Ycare, for giving their honest opinion regarding my topic. Unfortunately, the class has taken new direction now, and I would like to wrap my field research now. Please (for mod) do not lock this thread, because I want to provide a space where people can speak their opinion on mankind's tragedy.

And so.... Here's the turn for me to give my own opinion.

What's the cause of war? or to be more precise, what's the cause of a conflict? From the smallest conflict (like accidentally bumping into a gangster) to the biggest conflict (global-scale war), most of them is fueled by the drive for "resource". For the first example, the "resource" is the gangster's own pride. There are some probability for him to rough you up even if you bump him and apologize with 90 degree bow, simply becase you "degrade" his "resource" by bumping at him. If he manage to scare you up, OR if he mercifully let you go, his another "resource"; prestige might skyrocket. If he whup you down, then his so-called "prestige" resource will increase. If he lets you go, then his "respect/wise" resource will increase. Either way, in some way, it may be an advantage for him to be bumped.

The second example, the "resource" can be something tangible, or intangible. Intangible ones are; for example :ideology, prestige, morale, honor, or something else, while the tangible ones are energy resources, economic resources or something else.

And now, the question is: what drives us mankind to try his hard to obtain resources?

I'm afraid that the answer is deeply ingrained in our own blind spot; coded in our DNA. Human males are usually the breadwinner of the family. The hunter, provider, security guard, etc. That makes us rub shoulder with other alpha-male wannabe to prove who's the best. It's called the masculinity (or macho, or anyway you want to call it). To excel in all the field that requires heavy physical labor; to say no to defeat even against all odds. That's the probably the best definition to define masculinity. It could be physical sign (developed muscles, etc) or mentality/mindset (the guts or "spirit" Japanese high school baseball clubs). Military is one of the way to show that we are "macho". It's like a rite of passage for some society, especially the ones with conscription. Eventhough most young Taiwanese guys will say that getting drafted is a waste of time, some of them also hypocritically said that going to the army is actually toughen some parts of their mind. They say that they won't be too intimidated as hard as the army on their civilian lives. From what they told me, I could probably say there are correlation between the army to a Swiss finishing school. They say they learned some life skills that is not taught in formal education.

So.... now the question moves on; Why we want to be macho?

Being "macho" is actually a "resource" called confidence. If you're possess some "machoness" (please take note that "macho" is kinda defined loosely here) then you will have at lease a slight boost of confidence. If you have six-pack abs, which means you're "attractive", there are some confidence boost for you. It all come back to a full circle; macho=resource= more machoness=more resource--->more reason to be more "macho". War... as bad as it is, seems to be the ultimate test for machoness, especially the close combat. Incinerate hundreds of people 5000 feet in the air, and you can still sleep like a baby; while kill just one guy with bayonet and you'll have nightmares or PTSD (I quoted this from Barry Eisler). And "immortality" is also a "resource". If you're a member of a special unit, and the unit fought with distinction; you'll also be remembered as part of the unit (not as an individual) and become "immortals"

To me, war does not equal military; eventhough some people might say both of them are the same, especially in the time of war. War degrades man, while it is possible to nurture a man into a gentleman in military (take a look at Prince William and Harry). I would probably join the army, because I want to learn lots of stuff there; but I'm anti-war. I know that combat; in a sense could be "fun". Tunnel vision, shaking hands, adreanaline rush.... I've experienced a little those stuff before during kickboxing/Krav Maga sparring, airsoft, glider piloting, badminton match. But war, where the stake is NOT only your life or family, the consequences are too great. If I even somehow got caught in a conflict, I'll probably hunker down and try to keep by bladder from leaking and probably losing bowel control when a there is a big explosion.

As a conclusion, I would like to say that I agree with Ycare about the natural selection theory. It is sad that BOTH love and desire to kill are children of evolution. Both of them enables us to protect our loved ones; while ruining others

PS:リンクの文献はすべて英語で書いているだけど、 あなたの意見も聞きたいんです。もし、意見があったら、どうぞ投稿してください。日本語でもかまいません。
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