The topic of war is an important aspect of our country’s history. War is multidimensional, multi facial, changeable in its definition, and inexhaustible in its content. It is like a chameleon. It disguises as other social phenomena and is lost in their colors and forms. War turns towards man by one of its many sides. It depends on what interest has shown to it by man: whether he is a participant of its events or cold researcher; whether he seeks to shorten its age or to ensure its immortality.
Can the man be changed from militant aggressive to peace-lover? Can our society be composed exclusively of people, who are anti-war minded and do not accept wars and armed conflicts? What do the human beings need to do for it? Will it be uniquely good? Or, as some thinkers suppose, “mankind then could lose the desire to take the risks, scientific curiosity, an initiative in public affairs, and even love; so then, the society would fall into decay, become weakened and degraded” (Fry, 2005, p. 225).
As historical experience has shown, most people have an aversion to war; they are even afraid of it. Many people tend to avoid it under any pretext, even at the cost of crime. Desertion is a mass phenomenon, especially in the military campaigns of the twentieth century. Man is a being poorly adapted to the war. In the combat, up to 3/4 of specially trained soldiers act instinctively and irrationally; they are prone to fear, panic, and flee (Scheper-Hughes & Bourgois, 2003, p. 316). Namely, from here, there is a widespread use of punitive measures such as shooting of cowards and panic-mongers, harsh treatment of surrendered prisoners.
Men, who are called to the war by the State, even those, who recognize their civic duty and obligation, not to mention those, who are forced to become soldiers, pass a complex moral and psychological training. However, even after this training, they perform their duties often without pleasure but because of objective necessity. Numerous and well-organized antimilitarist, pacifist, peace-loving movements are also the evidence that militancy is not universal quality.
Although violence, in the service of the lofty and noble goals, still inherits something of militancy, as such, nevertheless, it acquires a number of new properties, restrictions (the use of violence only against the aggressors, the limitations of military operations, humane treatment of civilians and those, who laid down their weapons, etc.). Spiritual and moral foundations of such violence are radically changed. It is not the violence in its original form because it eliminates the desire to capture, conquer, invade, attack for the sake of obedience, etc. Peacefulness and justice are in the basis of the “defensive violence” (Scheper-Hughes & Bourgois, 2003, p. 334).
Violence belongs to the category of those human qualities that are acquired in the course of historical process under the influence of certain social conditions and can appear and disappear together with changes of social environment. Through the long history, there were conditions, which separated and contrasted people, different social groups, nations, and societies. Now, one can easily see how many factors unite them, especially in the fight against wars and armed conflicts. This power of united factors is growing. Mankind faces such global problems, from the solution of which the humanity’s very survival depends on. These problems strengthen an effect of universal biosocial law of mutual aid and solidarity of people and nations.
The facts of transformation from the “super hawks” in the face of government officials, politicians, generals to the gentle “doves” give us confidence in the possibility to end the militancy of people. Besides, the steady and rapid growth in the number of people, who do not want to fight and devote their life to military affairs are also very convincing argument in favor of possibility to end people’s militancy. Finally, in the possession of humankind, there are more and more funds needed for radical solutions of such issues as scientific, economic, political, legal, cultural, educational, administrative, medicamental (Fry, 2005, p. 189).
In this case, it is often exaggerated the significance of one single “quick-acting” mean. For example, medicines, through which one can bring in human the aversion to killing. Some scientists believe that the human brain is a place of terrible strife, struggle, and violence. “It is the domination of the one center and the oppression of the others. The one wins and governs, who is better at that moment and whose support is needed throughout the human body” (Scheper-Hughes & Bourgois, 2003, p. 402). Those scientists invented medicinal drugs that suppress the negative states of the nervous system that dangerous for the individual and the people around him.
The aggressiveness, as physiological and neuropsychological paranoia, usually flows out in the everyday conflicts. However, the leaders, who have the right to take military and political decisions and manage the military-technical means, can become dangerous in a different scale.
Actually, in the United States, there is widely debated question of how to prevent dangerous military decisions if the head of state, the president, is “inadequate” (ill, suffering from neurological disorders, abusing drugs that cause dangerous psychological side effects, heavy drinker). As the consequence, the president is ready to use military means in order to preserve his image, win the election, illegally retain or get the power, etc. In this case, the solution is seen in the control of the head of state, legal, and organizational measures that do not allow using of military force illegally for personal gain. Therefore, the main measures are not medicamental but controlling ones such as legal, organizational, administrative, monitoring (Scheper-Hughes & Bourgois, 2003, p. 409).
Aggressiveness, brutality, criminal tendencies are considered to be as natural conditions of violence. How can people get rid of them? Often, the solution of this problem is associated with the development of biogenic engineering. In general, the removal of these natural prerequisites should be assessed positively. However, engineering game with human nature is unpredictable and dangerous. It, in itself, poses a threat of the anthropological catastrophe and unexpected mutations (Fry, 2005, p. 248).
The main objection is that violence is a socially acquired characteristic of people and it can be cured only through the social measures, that is “culture of war” should be replaced by “culture of peace”. Namely, it is a huge problem for society, in which an aggressive minority has forced to fight a peace-loving majority for centuries. It is necessary to transform “societies of war” in “society that averts war”, then in “antiwar society”, and, finally, in “demilitarized society” (Fry, 2005, p. 256).
Firstly, it is necessary to demilitarize a militaristic thinking that is much peculiar to the majority of population, especially politicians and rulers. In the twentieth century, there were no significant changes in the socialization of human beings. As in the past, it was aimed to format the members of the present and future wars in the society. Such way of socialization is carried out through all forms of training and education, permeates through science, culture, literature, art, and media activities. Prerequisites for the turning point in this area were created through a condemnation of the most rabid forms of militarism, the creation of the anti-war right, the experience of the United Nations, and with the help of the growing peacekeeping process, etc.
Violence is manifested in a complex set of ideas, attitudes, principles, morals, mental traits, subconscious inclinations as well as deeds and actions. Evaluation of this characteristic may not be unambiguous while there are wars and armed conflicts, the danger of violence and aggression.
Undoubtedly, a complete demilitarization can be reached. However, the solution of problems along the way is seen as solely collective endeavor of the international community, which increasingly contributes to the development of world relations, communications, mass media, and globalization.
Fry, D. P. (2005). The Human Potential for Peace: An
Anthropological Challenge to Assumptions about War and Violence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Scheper-Hughes, N. & Bourgois, P. I. (2003). Violence in War
and Peace: An Anthology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
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