Discussion board responses
Currently, we have a deal with Iran that is being reconsidered by the administration and a push for negotiating a deal with North Korea, but are these regimes motivated by peaceful ends? North Korea has cheated on every deal we've made with them as they pursue nuclear weapons and Iran has kept the letter of its deal but continues to develop long-range rockets and act belligerently in Yemen. Is diplomacy a viable path to peace? Or are we, like Chamberlain in WWII, postponing a much more painful war until it is nearly too late?
Steven Pinker claim is more persuasive because he gathers all the evidence that violence is on the decline, and those who still try to use it as a method of gain, will most likely be sought after. The trend of violence being more subtle than past centuries has created a pattern of peace that most people are used to. He speaks about how morals and ethics have changed and more people see war and violence as “barbaric”. Using sense, and reason and overall empathy of what experiencing acts of violence feels like and how affects both parties involved. Many people have a higher standard of the value of life than past generations and promote preserving life instead of creating war, that results in killings. I believe Pinker expresses that more people are most comfortable at peace instead of war. And the societal culture of how many humans view violence now is undesirable. Therefore those who choose to create war and attempt to gain power through violence, are targeted. They become a threat to peace all around the world and threaten the societal balance, that many countries have fought to achieve.
Thomas Sowell expressions are truthful, in his comments on the disarmament of WWI leading to WWII, because just because one side wins the war and decides to be at peace, doesn't mean that other countries are ready to accept peace in the face of failure. One perspective cannot assume the goals or intent of others perspectives, therefore the true intent was therefore revealed and lead countries back into war until one surrender and efforts were finally exhausted. I believe certain countries were not satisfied with the outcome of World War I, and sought to recreate the outcome, one not of peace; on their own agenda, not one of agreement or peaceful treaties
Which theory is more persuasive?
I feel the theory that states “arms and weapons funding fuels a need for a constant war economy” is more towards my way of thinking. At this present moment with all the wars and conflicts going on globally, I disagree with how Steven Pinker feels about violence. I say this because when you turn on the television, you see nothing but violence in some sort on the news. Something is eating at our people who feel it is ok to conflict pain on another human being. We have read about the shortage of water in certain locations around the world or shortage of food in other poor countries and our population is growing by the minute. If some of us are struggling to maintain our daily living, just imagine if you add an additional 1 million more people to earth. If we continue the way we are going, we all might be starving to survive and we know hungry people can do some of the craziest things. We will start running into people competing for access to control the key sources of our “non-renewable resources like oil, water, natural gas, arable land, and various industrial minerals” in order to survive (Barash, 2013, pg.55).
War and violence are still going on across the globe in Afghanistan, Iraq, Zimbabwe, etc. and one of the key reasons why they are fighting this day is because of the non-renewable resources that exist (Barash, 2013). It’s obvious war still exist in our century today and I feel it will still be around for centuries to come.
Thomas Sowell argues that disarmament led to WWII rather than diffuse it in “Intellectuals and Society” what do you think?
I’m not that familiar with WWI or WWII but from what I have read, it appears our 28th President Woodrow Wilson is the one who stopped WWI. To me, it appears he was trying to be that peacemaker between countries which I feel was one of the reasons that caused him to stop the war (Küntay, 2014). I have read that people were saying because he withdrew people from WWI is the reason why WWII started. Although through my readings I saw that there could have been many reasons why WWII broke out and I do not feel that just because Wilson put a stop to the war caused a second war. Usually, when you see war you see people that are fighting for what they feel should be rightfully theirs.
Was WWII caused by the move of countries to disarm leading to aggressive nations seeking to press their advantage? Or did the allies not go far enough to transition to peace economies and WWII was fought to maintain the economy of warfare?
“Proximate cause is an incident that appears to directly trigger an event like for example when Lincoln got elected in 1860 and the shelling of Fort Sumter led to the outbreak of the Civil War” (Hamner, 2010, para. 2). This is an example of something that causes an event. I know everyone has a different opinion and I know there are other reasons why WWII started but from what I have read, it appears Adolf Hitler played a big part in contributing to WWII due to his rise to power which caused the cataclysmic war between 1939 and 1945 (Hamner, 2010). But as we are aware, we can’t blame all of it on Hitler as global depression spread across the globe which they feel is another cause of WWII (Hamner, 2010).
Steven Pinker’s claim to an overall decline in violence is valid through the examples depicted throughout history. As far back as the Middle Ages, much of the decline of violence came from the idea of centralized authorities and an infrastructure of commerce which helped to minimize crime because people agreed to get along with one another. There were many other transitions but in regards to WWII, this transition was sometimes referred to as the Long Peace (Barash, 2013). Choosing which theory is more persuasive is deciding on whether countries were acting out of aggression or economic disparity. The allies blamed WWI on Germany and demanded reparations, which put a big burden on Germany. The Great Depression was a terrible time for the United States and it brought a desperate air to how things were viewed. WWII helped to eliminate the Great Depression and put the US back on the map. They became economic leaders and were able to regulate economic activity. American industry was revitalized by the war, and many sectors were by 1945 either sharply oriented to defense production (for example, aerospace and electronics) or completely dependent on it (atomic energy). The organized labor movement, strengthened by the war beyond even its depression-era height, became a major counterbalance to both the government and private industry (eh.net). I feel violence was happening anyways, but this was more out of economic warfare.