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

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Mar 16 05:29:30 UTC 2007

Finally catching up on this thread, BillK notes

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

Yes, it may be that we would be more interested in comparisons
that didn't include this component.  After all, it was unlikely to be
a factor in the very small scale conflicts back in the Environment
of Evolutionary Adaptedness.

> 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.

I think that there is little doubt that Keith is right about a very large
percentage of wars.  I would submit that only in recent history have
there been counter-examples, and those recent escapades bring
in any number of random phenomena from the whims of Emperors
and mad dictators, to the sheer economics of plunder.


> 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.
> <http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-10082.html>
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Triple_Alliance>
> BillK

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