[extropy-chat] Back to Causes of War

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Fri Apr 27 23:31:28 UTC 2007

At 06:25 PM 4/27/2007 +0100, you wrote:
>On 4/27/07, Keith Henson wrote:
> >
> > It's not absolute deprivation but *relative* that trips the
> > detectors.  This is characteristic of animals in general.  In _Influence:
> > the new psychology of modern persuasion_ Dr. Cialdini discusses this in the
> > classic example were a bucket of warm water feels cold to one hand and hot
> > to the other when left and right hands have been presoaked in cold and hot
> > water.
> >
> > Even more significant (or so I think) is *anticipation* of bleak
> > conditions.  My case for this is the logic of gene selection.  It would pay
> > genes for the warriors to kill neighbors *before* they were gaunt and weak
> > from hunger.
> >
>Well, that pretty well covers all options.
>1)  the warrior group is suffering deprivation and this causes war.
>2) if they're not suffering deprivation, then they are probably
>worrying about possible future deprivation and this causes war.
>You do realize that this is a meaningless unfalsifiable argument?

No.  And there should be evidence.  You should see a drop in wars after a 
major plagues because the drop in population should make for a brighter 
(less economically stressed) future for those who are left.  Anyway, gene 
theory says that anticipation of privation should be the trigger, but 
that's usually rooted in physical reality, like game getting hard to fine.

In any case, just deprivation per se doesn't trigger war.  It is 
deprivation after people are used to better times, especially the rapid 
onset of deprivation.  Also, if the deprivation comes on fast, like the 
Irish potato famine, there isn't time for the xenophobic meme phase.  Or so 
goes my speculation.

> > "At the time of Hitler's release [from jail], the political situation in
> > Germany had calmed and the economy had improved, which hampered Hitler's
> > opportunities for agitation."
> >
> > snip
> >
> > "The political turning point for Hitler came when the Great Depression hit
> > Germany in 1930."
> >
>Selective political quotations can prove anything.
>The Great Depression hit the USA far worse that Germany

Is that true?  I.e., can you cite the relative drops in GDP per capita for 
the US and Germany?

One of the things I cited in my earliest memetics papers, long before I had 
any thoughts on what might account for it, was the inverse relation between 
US economic downturns and up ticks in neo nazi activities.

Perhaps at that time there just were not anyone considered an enemy or a 
big enough social fault line for the country to go into civil war.

>Many people view World War II as a continuation of World War I.
>After World War I, the German State had lost land to Lithuania,
>France, Poland, and Denmark. Notable losses included the Polish
>Corridor, Danzig, the Memel Territory (to Lithuania), the Province of
>Posen and the most economically valuable eastern portion of Upper
>The result of this loss of land was population relocation and
>bitterness among Germans who wanted to get revenge and reclaim the
>lost territory.

That's consistent with an EP model.


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