The Nature of War
WAR IS NOT, as is widely assumed, primarily an instrument of policy utilized by nations to extend or defend their expressed political values or their economic interests. On the contrary, it is itself the principal basis of organization on which all modern societies are constructed.
Substitutes for the Functions of War: Criterion
The foregoing functions of war are essential to the survival of the social systems we know today. With two possible exceptions they are also essential to any kind of stable social organization that might survive in a warless world. Discussion of the ways and means of transition to such a world are meaningless unless a) substitute institutions can be devised to fill these functions, or b) it can reasonably be hypothecated that the loss or partial loss of any one function need not destroy the viability of future societies. Such substitute institutions and hypotheses must meet varying criteria. In general, they must be technically feasible, politically acceptable, and potentially credible to the members of the societies that adopt them. Specifically, they must be characterized as follows:
1. Economic. An acceptable economic surrogate for the war system will require the expenditure of resources for completely nonproductive purposes at a level comparable to that of the military expenditures otherwise demanded by the size and complexity of each society. Such a substitute system of apparent "waste" must be of a nature that will permit it to remain independent of the normal supply-demand economy; it must be subject to arbitrary political control.
2. Political. A viable political substitute for economic control, appears unpromising in terms must posit a generalized external menace to each society of a nature and degree sufficient to require the organization and acceptance of political authority.
3. Sociological. First, in the permanent absence of war, new institutions must be developed that will effectively control the socially destructive segments of societies. Second, for purposes of adapting the physical and psychological dynamics of human behavior to the needs of social organization, a credible substitutes proposed for this function that are modeled war must generate an omnipresent and readily understood fear of personal destruction. This fear must be of a nature and degree sufficient to ensure adherence to societal values to the full extent that they are acknowledged to transcend the value of individual human life.
4. Ecological. A substitute for war in its function as the uniquely human system of population control must ensure the survival, if not necessarily the improvement, of the species, in terms of its relation to environmental supply.
5. Cultural and Scientific. A surrogate for the function of war as the determinant of cultural values must establish a basis of sociomoral conflict of equally compelling force and scope. A substitute motivational basis for the quest for scientific knowledge must be similarly informed by a comparable sense of internal necessity.
Substitutes for the Functions of War: Models
The following substitute institutions, among others, have been proposed for consideration as replacements for the nonmilitary functions of war. That they may not have been originally set forth for that purpose does not preclude or invalidate their possible application here.
1. Economic. a) A comprehensive social-welfare program, directed toward maximum improvement of general conditions of human life. b) A giant open-end space research program, aimed at unreachable targets. c) A permanent, ritualized, ultra-elaborate disarmament inspection system, and variants of such a system.
2. Political. a) An omnipresent, virtually omnipotent international police force. b) An established and recognized extraterrestrial menace. c) Massive global environmental pollution. d) Fictitious alternate enemies.
3. Sociological: Control function. a) Programs generally derived from the Peace Corps model. a) A modern sophisticated form of slavery. Motivational function. a)Intensified environmental pollution. b) New religions or other mythologies. c) Socially oriented blood games. d) Combination forms.
4. Ecological. A comprehensive welfare program, or a master program of eugenic control.
5. Cultural. No replacement institution offered. Scientific. The secondary requirements of the space research, social welfare, and/or eugenics programs
Currently working on:===
Ideas and works in progress:
Lion of the North: Gustav Adolf II doesn't die at Lutzen, paving the way for a Swedish-dominated Europe.
New Conservatism: In 2000, Freedom Party candidate Daniel Cliburn wins by 52%, paving the way for a new American Empire. (not literally)
No Counter-Reformation: The Jesuits are never formed, and the Church splinters further, creating the Eglise de la France (Church of France), etc
Fight Forevermore: The Pacific Northwest Tribes unite during the early 1900's (think around Lewis and Clark's expidition) and create a major power in the Americas.
Cold Turkey: The Ottomans never migrate to Asia Minor, creating a much larger ATL population in Central Asia, and the various tribes are major powers.
What if the Seleucids, Ptolemies, Antigonids, etc. survived longer, possibly into the Middle Ages?
What if Brittany, Cornwall, and Wales remained independent?
What if the Scandinavian/Baltic nations (possibly in the form of an alternate KU/Hanseatic League) played a more active role in American colonization?