[extropy-chat] War Is Easy To Explain - Peace is Not

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Mar 14 20:13:35 UTC 2007

On 3/14/07, Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 01:04 PM 3/14/2007 -0500, Keith wrote:
> >The last century and especially the last 50 years have seen technology
> >staying ahead of population growth.
> >
> >When and if that falters, you should expect wars to reduce the population
> >to whatever the long term carrying capacity of the environment can support.
> Or (maybe more importantly) epidemics, something that presumably
> hunter-gatherers didn't confront because they had no livestock to
> incubate bugs and far less frequent or intimate contact with diverse
> human groups.

In the Paraguayan War the majority, possibly two thirds, of the
mortality was due to bad food, bad hygiene and cholera.

But apart from that point, I feel that Keith is straining to fit every
war into his theory. EP has a lot going for it, but it doesn't explain
*every* war.

In 1864 Paraguay was a land-locked country under a ruthless
dictatorship, where the dictator was rumoured to own up to half the
land. The country was *under-populated*, if anything, out-numbered
about ten to one by its neighbours.

"Landlocked, isolated, and underpopulated, Paraguay structured its
economy around a centrally administered agricultural sector, extensive
cattle grazing, and inefficient shipbuilding and textile industries".

The dictator Lopez had taken over from his father just two years
before and was a very inexperienced politician. (That's generous, -
some said he was crazy - he certainly was mad by the end of the war).
Everybody in the country worked for the Lopez family, or they starved.
The country didn't go to war - Lopez did.

Read about the war - the whole thing was a total shambles.



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