An Invention – Not a Biological Necessity”

2/3 Austin. Margaret Meade’s “Warfare: An Invention—Not a Biological Necessity”

warfare an invention not a biological necessity essay ..

An alternative to the commons need not be perfectly just to bepreferable. With real estate and other material goods, thealternative we have chosen is the institution of private propertycoupled with legal inheritance. Is this system perfectly just? Asa genetically trained biologist I deny that it is. It seems to methat, if there are to be differences in individual inheritance,legal possession should be perfectly correlated with biologicalinheritance-that those who are biologically more fit to be thecustodians of property and power should legally inherit more. Butgenetic recombination continually makes a mockery of the doctrineof "like father, like son" implicit in our laws oflegal inheritance. An idiot can inherit millions, and a trustfund can keep his estate intact. We must admit that our legalsystem of private property plus inheritance is unjust -- but weput up with it because we are not convinced, at the moment, thatanyone has invented a better system. The alternative of thecommons is too horrifying to contemplate. Injustice is preferableto total ruin.

2/3 Austin. Margaret Meade’s “Warfare: An Invention—Not a Biological Necessity”

An Invention not a Biological Necessity

Prohibition is easy to legislate (though not necessarily toenforce); but how do we legislate temperance? Experienceindicates that it can be accomplished best through the mediationof administrative law. We limit possibilities unnecessarily if wesuppose that the sentiment of denies us theuse of administrative law. We should rather retain the phrase asa perpetual reminder of fearful dangers we cannot avoid. Thegreat challenge facing us now is to invent the correctivefeedbacks that are needed to keep custodians honest. We must findways to legitimate the needed authority of both the custodiansand the corrective feedbacks.

Précis In “Warfare An Invention - Not a Biological Necessity” Margaret ..

(1) Spread of democracy: vast majority of people are harmed by war, therefore, if you give people more say, power there is the likelihood for peace, people will not vote for war (unless the economy is a mess)
(2) Trade/commerce expands and breeds interdependence (Keohane)
(3) Norms (international ethical) modes of diplomatic procedure. Eg. The international ban on the slave trade. Views/opinions of war have changed; war is bad, but occasionally necessary. Margaret Mead; warfare is a social invention, not a biological necessity
(4) Irrationality of war: technology and science are making war irrational; no one can “win” a war (absolute clear victory) with atomic weapons

warfare an invention not a biological necessity thesis