Currently Reading: War! What Is It Good For? by Ian Morris Part I

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After having read Why The West Rules—For Now by Morris, I decided to pick this book up because of the intrigue of the title. Morris attempts to makes the case that war has been good over the long run and since I am only on page 81 I would have to say he has done an excellent job in explaining the four parts to his case.

On page 7 Morris states: “There are four parts to the case I will make. The first is that by fighting wars, people have created larger, more organized societies that have reduced the risk that their members will die violently.”

On page 8: “My second claim is that while war is the worst imaginable way to create larger, more peaceful societies, it is pretty much the only way humans have found.”

On page 9 Morris adds the third conclusion: “If I am right that governments have made us safer and that war is pretty much the only way we have discovered to make governments, then we have to conclude that war really has been good for something. My third conclusion, though, goes further still. As well as making people safer, I will suggest, the larger societies created by war have also—again, over the long run—made us richer.”

And also on page 9 he presents his fourth case: ‘War, then, has been good for something—so good, in fact, that my fourth argument is that war is now putting itself out of business.”

Thus far, as I have stated he has done a great job in going back in history to justify his points and even though I was very skeptical at first, I see and must admit that he may be correct. The problem by using history going back 15,000 years is that you do not have enough quantifiable data to be sure of your conclusions, which the author readily admits.

His central argument is made on page 10 is that: “It is my central argument, however, that war has made the world safer, which will probably raise most eyebrows.”

See my post on June 30th, 2014 for some introductory material on this book as well as a video from Book TV by the author. I am including another video today for you:

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