[extropy-chat] Defenestration

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Mar 17 17:07:44 UTC 2007

On 3/17/07, Keith Henson wrote:
> Show me a case where a group *not* seeing a bleak future started a war.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree.

I agree that a nation or empire facing a bleak future might decide to
start a war to reduce the population or gain more resources. Civil war
would also count. History records some events of this type.

But history also records many other wars which don't fit into this scenario.
Many empire builders (like Alexander) started by quelling internal
rebellion, then just kept expanding. Possible motives could be Power,
Greed, Madness, Divine inspiration, or maybe he was just having too
much fun to be able to stop.

Note: 'Alexander' was driving the wars, not the nation(s) feelings
about the future. And while they were winning everyone carried on
supporting him. Who's going to oppose getting more plunder, slaves,

Your scenario would appear to indicate that if a nation appears to be
threatening war, then the war can be averted by giving them what they
need. More land, food aid, any aid they ask for.  But the real world
doesn't work like that.  The fretful nation would take that as a sign
of weakness and think 'Well, we've got what we needed, but ---- why
shouldn't we just take it all? Our neighbours wouldn't have given us
all this stuff if they weren't frightened of us. Let's go!'

You are relying on inbuilt hunter-gatherer instincts. But humans can
divert their instincts into better endeavours. That's called


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