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Why war is unwise

The world wide web isn't always a place of sunshine. Sometimes it can be more depressing than the plays of Sophocles.

So it's a pleasant surprise I found a place of great humanity on the web, featuring examples of people being good to other people: the HumansBeingBros on Reddit. (I have no association with this subreddit.) I found that on any given day, I can find posts of individuals who are more fortunate being kind to those less fortunate. In the natural world, the stronger animals usually devour the weaker ones. So it's refreshing to see altruism in practice in the real world, and fortunately, I see it mostly from young people, who represent the future.

As a life-long student of war, I believe the side with wisdom will always be the stronger side. What's confusing to some people is that it doesn't necessarily mean the stronger side always wins. Sometimes the stronger side fails to win. Sun Tzu said even though you know how to win doesn't mean you can do it. It is a matter of timing, and dare I say, principle. Just because you can destroy someone doesn't mean you should. Victory gained through ill means forces us to question ourselves: what exactly have we gained? Better to forgo winning and leave intact our decency than to win and lose all our humanity, a standard that determines whether or not someone is truly superior. This is the Superman sacrifice I spoke of in a previous post.

Therefore, war mongers have it all wrong. The stronger side doesn't need to show force. The stronger side is in the privileged position to be like a good older brother or sister. Even when you're angry and you start attacking, your wise older brother or sister wouldn't retaliate but respond with a strong hug. The truly powerful brother or sister responds with well-placed tickles. You might try to hit again, and again the response is an early preventative parry. Pretty soon your anger subsides and you give up. Someone wise once said anger can turn to happiness again but the dead cannot be brought back to life. In the future, you will even look back on the situation as a positive experience.

If instead your older sibling's response was a return hit, indefinite are your animosity, bitterness, and resentment. In the future, you will look back on the situation as a negative experience. What started out as an irrational attack continues on with no end in sight. Although the return attack would be considered fair, it is far from being effective.

An important part of being wise is being creative to solve old problems. And an important part of being creative is being idealistic enough to believe that the seemingly impossible is possible because its achievement would be immensely beneficial. Therefore, it would be unreasonable to fight in wars because although the act is fair, it is uncreative, ineffective, and rife with pain and ruin.


  1. As you say, war is unwise. However, what is definitely unwise is not to stand-up to aggression with an INTELLIGENCE based, effective counter-veiling force. In most instances, war comes about from a failure of equilibrium. One of the best example of that phenomenon is my deceased partner's book, which was later made into a movie starring Henry Fonda and Walter Mathau: "Fail-Safe."


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