World Peace inevitable?

I’ve only recently started posting in Great Debates, so my appologies if this topic has been addressed before. I’m also no history expert, and welcome any factual corrections.

At one time, people were organized only in small clans or tribes. Eventually, these tribes unified into larger kingdoms. For instance, England was once divided among many kings who waged war against each other. Eventually, it was unified into a larger nation, as were areas throughout the world. But these nations continued to fight wars with each other. In the early to mid-twentieth century, nations such as Germany and Japan warred against other nations like England and the United States. But such wars would be virtually unthinkable today. No matter how bad relations may be at times between the U.S. and other countries, nobody seriously considers a war between America and the UK, France, Germany, Japan, or most of the other developed countries to be likely to occur. None of these countries seem likely to go to war with each other in the forseeable future. Even the United States and Russia are now allies, and the possibility of war between these two nations has grown extremely remote. It’s not just a matter of U.S. military superiority – in general, disputes among the developed nations no longer tend to be settled by warfare.

My point is, there seems to be a tendency throughout history for smaller groups to unify into larger ones, and those larger groups to form alliances with one another. As a result, larger and larger sections of the globe appear to be achieving a seemingly permanent peace with each other. Given this trend, do you think that world peace may be inevitable, perhaps even occuring in the next few centuries?

As long as there are desperate, poor people in underdeveloped nations there will be war. Add in fanatical belief in a religion already harsh to outsiders, in today’s case Islam (formerly Catholic Christianity,) and you have even more to deal with.

I can’t believe I never thought of this but you have a really good point.

I can’t imagine, in this day and age, America going to war with Canada or Mexico. I also can’t imagine England and France warring, nor Australia and New Zealand.

Maybe peace is just as slippery a slope as war? Ever the optimist, I certainly hope so.

As long as men lust after power over the lives of others, there shall be war.

Reminds me of what Bob Marley said.

As long as we have energy and food, we may well be on the road to peace in the long run. But turn out the lights for a while, and there may be trouble.

I wish I shared your optimism.

For an alternative view, I recommend Straw Dogs by John Gray.

May change your mind. :frowning:

“As long as there are desperate, poor people in underdeveloped nations there will be war. Add in fanatical belief in a religion already harsh to outsiders, in today’s case Islam (formerly Catholic Christianity,) and you have even more to deal with.”

How about this:

“As long as there are bored, fat, rich people in developed nations, there will be war. Add in a fanatical belief that they are good and the others are evil, and you have even more to deal with.”

Just a counter-point. Not highlighting any particular group.

Tis a nice idea though. Hey, that means the eu constitution WAS a good idea afterall…


Most likely conquerored and survivors assimilated , or joined an existing group and were likewise assimilated

No one believed it then either, pre WW1 was a time of relative prosperity ,and the major combatatants were actually trading partners

It framed the reason the russians went with the jaw jaw , rather than war war. And Americas military superority was only mid 80’s and up.

From the late 40’s to about the mid-sixties , the russians were actually producing cutting edge weaponry , both land , sea and aerospace technologys. It was not untill the seventies that America achieved parity in these areas.

The russians had run out of steam , looked at the options , and chose to go out with a whimper , but had the big red machine rolled in the seventies , Europe may have looked radically different , along with other parts of the world.


Read a lot of posts in different parts of GD , and I would imagine that ninety percent of them are decrying the fact that the world through globalization and hollywood are displacing cultures left , right and center.

You might say that the current war on terror is a result of nearly 30 years of american influence in the middle east , that Bin Laden wishes to inflame the arab world to regain some sort of control over its cultural destiny , instead of being a perverted franchise of america.

You might hear the phrase , cultural mosaic , in regards to how different countrys can live in harmony , so far I have yet to see this happening in Canada ,and i can’t quite see it happening in the rest of the world either , but ya never know.

But war is not going to go away any time soon, your just going to have long periods of peace.


An interdependent economy also has much to do with deterrring war. Why would you tamper with a mutually beneficial relationship? I think that any future wars are going to be triggered by religion (radial Islam) or megalomanical stupidity (North Korea). If the live of the average Arab can be improved, the likelihood of conflict will lessen.

I’d say the development of nuclear weapons was the prime factor in the lack of major conflicts since the 50’s, not trade per se. Someone showed me a chart once (wish I could find it…maybe I’ll look later after work if this thread takes off) that showed a rising curve of deaths in any major conflict since the 1500’s, peaking in the 1940’s…and then dropping radically to a flat line (from something like 100 million to 1 million…and holding steady). I think it was in 10 year averages if I remember correctly, and the curve up was quite startling when you see it. Its no wonder people were predicting the end of the human race…one more conflict on the curve up from WWII (say the same aproximate doubling in deaths, destruction and violence seen from WWI to WWII) and we’d have probably been done as a technological species, going back to living in caves and rude villages.

So, to answer the OP, I think that, for the time being, large scale conflicts aren’t in the cards any time soon. However, I think we will always have low scale conflicts, or proxy wars fought in 3rd world type countries. I don’t see any lessening in those.


Yep, world peace is inevitable.

If you have particles bouncing around in a box with a hole in it, then, given enough time, the particles will end up escaping through the hole, and once they do there’s no reason to think they’d ever go back in.

World peace conveys certain advantages: efficiency, quality of life, etc.; and in the absence of a formidable THEM to worry about, there’s no reason to maintain a military for defense, and it is the existence of a military for defense that makes attack an easy thing to engage in.

We will always have squabbles, irritated people losing their tempers with each other, and even personal long-term feuds and hatreds. I think that’s just human nature. But wars, and adversarially-poised nations to wage them?

Keep in mind, when speaking of what is or is not “in our nature” or noting that “that’s how things have always been”, that homo sap is still just barely past infancy and into our early youth. Human history is a mere 10 millennia long, and even if we include our prehistory, what we consider to be our species is just a few hundred thousand years. That ain’t much in terms of longevity of species.

I don’t seen anything inevitable or perpetually part of human nature that makes the state of being divided up into multiple organized nations something that we’ll always have.

My guess is, once we’ve got a fair and democratic World Government for the first time, we’ve got it forever.

And if we don’t, the penalties for not doing so will eventually take us out —either we create our own extinction event or we come close enough to reset the game backwards by a millennium or so; meanwhile, some other species with individual intelligence and an aggregate social nature will evolve somewhere sooner or later, either here or on some other planet, so even if we don’t make it some similar species will succeed where we failed.

We will have world peace as soon as we have another world to unite against in war.

By this do you mean that the current climate in Canada is one of disharmony between cultures? Because in my experience this is definitely not the case. In fact, I would argue that we can serve as a model for the world with regards to the harmonious blending of cultures. Of course, it is my understanding that things are just fine elsewhere in the developed world too.

Its the multi-cultural policy of the govt that I think is doing a disservice to all the resident guests.

Sooner or later , the folks will get assimilated into the North American culture , dropping the multi-cult will speed that up.


I am not a Canadian, but I’ve heard rumblings. A friend of mine wanted to make a film about a First Nations tribe in the pre-contact era. He did a lot of research, and attempted to flesh out his story by talking to some First Nations people. He came up against the attitude that nothing a white man says is true. His research included books by an anthropolgist who lived with a couple of tribes over 100 years ago to study them. I don’t remember the guy’s name, but he’s a recognised authority. Nope. According to the First Nations people, the guy was full of crap. Granted, white attitudes were not PC over a century ago; but if a guy is spending times living with a tribe and on friendly relations with them, why would things that he actually saw and documented be false just because he’s white?

Edward Curtis, a photographer and filmmaker, spent his life documenting the North American Indian and was a friend to them. He too, spent a lot of time with several tribes and documented them. Eventually he made a pre-contact drama called In the Land of the Headhunters (1914). (Curtis’s tribemates told him that in earlier times when there was occasional – emphasise “occasional”, not constant – fighting between tribes, heads were taken as trophies. The film was re-discovered and much of it was saved in the early-1970s and renamed to the more PC In the Land of the War Canoes. Modern tribes seem to think that Curtis did them a disservice, since he depicted things that their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. Sort of “Okay, yeah; we did that; but he shouldn’t have let anyone know.”

I’ve seen footage of First Nations people blockading roads to keep developers out. There seems to be some friction between the First Nations and the white government of BC. I talked to one Cosalish guy (a documentary videomaker) who claims the whites are still trying to take their land.

There seems to be some friction in Quebec as well.

Canada seems much more peaceful than the U.S.; but there is still disharmony. As I said, I am not Canadian. There’s a lot I don’t know.

Chances are in any country , there is gonna be friction, after all relatively speaking , Wounded Knee was not that long ago , either was OKA , normally it makes for a dynamic society.

Quebec will always have something of a reputation for being a nail that sticks out, by law , the country is supposed to be bilingual in almost all respects when it comes to govt , and down at the municipal level, they are supposed to be able to get services in French.

This is not supported by everyone in the country , therefore it will be an issue of contention in about a decade , if birth rates stay the same.

Alberta is flush with money ,but no political clout , other than being obstructive. As Ridings are created by population density , for the near future , the balance of power will effectively be in either Ontario or Quebec.

Sooner or later this will create a problem if Albertans cannot see that the political option works for them, as well as for others.

Effectively what we have here is family bickering , if its managed well, if its not managed …

Last but not least , the country is devolving into regional power blocs, given enough time , and no greater goal , its possible that what we are seeing now , is the balkanization of Canada, sometime in the mid to latter half of the century.


Once Plato said “Only the dead see the end of War” I think was on to something here. It is human nature to fight. Envey, Greed and Hate these things will never die along with war. No matter what we have some one out there will want to have more.

I’m in the middle of reading it so I’m going to post a link. Thomas P.M. Barnett’s book The Pentagon’s New Map is “Since the end of the cold war, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world—and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since September 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community. Now he gives it to you.

This is a link to the Esquire article he wrote about the same topic. It includes the map which he suggests defines the current border between the “Functioning Core” of globalization and the “Non-Integrating Gap”.

His contintion is that as this Gap shrinks, the world will get closer and closer to a common global rule-set which is truly global in scope. I don’t think he has suggested at all that such an outcome is at all inevitable. There are many pitfalls on the way. But he seems to be hopeful (so far, I’m only half way through the book) that such a global community is achievable by the end of the century.

Wow, Pervert. I read the Esquire link you provided. That guy is off the chart. He provides strategy briefings to the Defense Department? Yikes.

I don’t necessarily disagree with him on all counts, but I can surely see why many rational, friendly nations are a bit freaked out by the PNAC crowd currently running the US.

Regarding the OP, I guess I’ve always taken it as self-evident that global peace is our destiny. I haven’t really thought about it much. I have just always intuitively connected material wealth and personal liberty with peace and I see no reason why those two conditions won’t be met all over the globe eventually. But what do I know? I’m just a complacent middle class semi-pacifist agnostic American who likes using my personal liberty to play violent videogames, laugh at raunchy Hollywood products, and look at internet pr0n. Shrug.