The Eternal Struggle
Aggression. Bloodshed. Pain. Death. These are just some of the
unfortunate side affects which accompany the phenomenon of life. These factors
are also intertwined with the methodical process of evolution, which, although
often cruel and merciless, is nonetheless beneficial to any species of animal,
including, and perhaps especially, humans. Without violent conflict causing the
death of the weak and survival of the strong, it is highly unlikely that we, Homo Sapiens Sapiens, would have diverged from our ape-like ancestry and created
civilization. Through our technology we have nearly eradicated all threat to
ourselves from the natural world, the exceptions being disease and the unstoppable aging process. The most prominent factor in causing premature
death in humans is the actions of other humans. Greed, lust, envy, anger, and
mindless hatred have all, at one time or another, contributed to the incitement of human conflicts which have more often than not been resolved by violent action. Despite our overwhelming intellectual superiority over the other creatures of this earth, it seems that we must resort to the most primal method of physical dominance in order to overcome our enemies of the same species. Is this truly necessary? Do we really need to fight one another? I believe that the unfortunate answer to this question is yes; violent conflict is essential for humans as they are now. I base this conclusion on the instincts ingrained in every person’s DNA, the integral role of violent struggle in the process of progress, and the inefficiency of other methods of resolution.
The most basic aspect of life, in any form, is the struggle to survive and pass on genes to the next generation. In a pride of lions, which is a small
community of the same species, there is only so much food to go around. When a
kill is made the strongest get are the first to serve themselves, regardless of
which lion slaughtered the prey. This results in the strong getting stronger,
whereas the weak, old, and diseased members of the pride continually find
themselves neglected the necessary nourishment until they eventually perish.
Among the males strength has more importance than being a means of self-survival; only the mightiest male has the privilege of mating with the females
in the pride. The status of pride leader is determined by contests of brawn which, although seldom lethal, are rather violent. Lions which have achieved this role have been known to go to extremes measures to ensure its continuance, such as cannibalizing newborn males cubs in order to eradicate the possibility of future rivals. Such actions could be construed as murder, but one should remember that lions function primarily on instinct. This would indicate that using violence for personal benefit is instinctual in lions. Lions, like humans, are mammals, and all mammals possess, to a lesser or greater extent, similar genetic qualities. The predispositions inherited through our genes naturally inclines humans to use violence in to achieve higher status. unfortunately, in today’s modern society status is often calculated in money and influence. As long as self-interest is a top priority to humans, a morality that is becoming increasingly apparent as time progresses, violent conflicts will continue to plague our civilization.
Another factor contributing to the necessity of violence is the fact that it helps the progress of technological advancement, which in turn aides society in many ways. If the two World Wars never occurred it is probable to assume that aircraft would not be commonplace in our everyday lives. Computers, the Internet, and the Global Positioning System(GPS) were all originally
created for military use during the Cold War era. War and the threat of it can be beneficial not only to the technology of a country, but its economy and moral as well. North America was suffering greatly from the effects of The Great
Depression before WWII, but after 1945 the continent’s economy was flourishing
greatly. Wartime creates a large amount of demand for many goods, and the
supply of these goods must therefore be increased to fulfil these requirements.
This creates many jobs which are the backbone of a good economy. The threat
from Nazi Germany also manifested a scapegoat for the nation’s problem, as well
a source of motivation though creating a single “evil” entity that had to be
overcome by the forces of “good”. Although these are only a few examples of the
immeasurable amount of situations throughout history in which violence has
significantly benefited technology, economy, and moral , they clearly portray the necessity of aggressive conflicts in order to progress as a civilization.
The final factor in my deduction that we need to fight one another is due to the sluggishness and undeceives of other methods of resolution. For better of worse, violence is the easiest, quickest, and most efficient way to solve a conflict. In a democracy legislation takes a ridiculous amount of time due to the tedious voting process. If a military dictator wished to make a law he/she would only have to say it was so and that would be the end of it. North America contains 50% of the world’s lawyers due to a justice system with so many loopholes that obvious killers have the possibility of being absolved. If O.J. was Cuban I don’t think he’d be making millions off his autobiography. Rome would have achieved but a fraction of its greatness were it not for its military strength, which it used to quell rebellions, maintain classism, and intimidate the rest of the world. Although freedom is highly beneficial to the individual, history shows that the sword is mightier than the pen.
It would be nice to believe that one day we could belong to a Utopian
society in which humans had absolutely no need to fight one another, but I might
as well wish to live forever for the likelihood of its occurrence. I have illustrated why we possess the lust to fight due to our instincts and shown how barbarous conflict is beneficial to our progress, much like the forging of a sword though heat and battery. Lastly, I presented the fact that ferociousness is the easiest and fastest means with which to solve a problem. Power, dominance, luxury, and even perhaps knowledge are best attained through violence. Until the day that humans become devoid of emotion, we will always possess a need to fight.