I wish to promote a comment up to being a main post as I think what follows should add to discussion about what human societies are like, what they have been like for millennia before, and what could happen if socialism gets its way. You all know how fixated I am about the deliberate and focussed nature of the forces of neo-precapitalist-barbarianism: and that I say that the bastards truly really want to return the entirety of Homo sapiens to not just a faux-pastoralist state but to a pre-pastoralist one. Provided that there are stilla couple of million helots to farm for girls, to do backbreaking work, and to be kept firmly out of the enclosed areas and the food-table.
Here’s what Ian B said about the last thing we published:-
Make no mistake about it: War is killing on a mass scale, in service to and for the benefit of the state, and that’s all it is. It’s not a natural human activity.
This is basically not true. I’ve just been reading Azar Gat’s “War In Human Civilisation” and I would recommend it. War is as old as mankind; it has taken different forms, but “killing on a mass scale” is very natural indeed. It was not invented by “the State”.
I think this is a major problem libertarians have. I’ve noticed this a few times, even from greats like Rothbard; the tendency to assign a Rousseuesque state of nature to early man, and then The State comes along and ruins it all. Believing things like this is as ahistoric as the ideologies of any of our foes. It simply is not true.
The violent male death rate in primitive, “pre State” societies is at a minimum 20% and frequently higher. That is a level that States have not even achieved in appalling mass slaughters like the world wars. States actually reduced violence, whether we like it or not. They did it for selfish reasons. But they did, nonetheless. This figure includes death by war and death by (intratribal) feud, but in primitive societies they are much the same, except one is killing “them” and one is killing “us”.
Primitive war consists of two basic forms; the most murderous is the “raid”. All the guys get together, sneak up on another tribe’s village during the night, and attack at dawn when surprise is maximal. The intention is to kill as many males as possible, and steal the women for wives. Also, any carryable goods, animals perhaps, etc. The other form is the ritual war. This is less murderous. The two tribes stand a safe distance apart, shout at each other, wave their willies and throw spears. Very few get killed. THis is the thing that develops into modern war; combining the “battlefield” idea of the latter with the murderous intent of the former. Taking an example of proto-civilisation formation we were around to witness as moderns ourselves (our own is in ancient times), the Zulu nation simply swapped from raiding to a standing army with short stabbing spears instead of long throwing spears, thus to massacre unsuspecting tribes turning up for a ritual willy-waving competition.
Thomas, we have been slaughtering each other for personal gain- the destruction of “them” to benefit “us”- since the Old Stone Age. It is not an invention of modern states. The prehistoric record reveals heaps of scalped skulls, collected as trophies.
The desire for it has to be inculcated in soldiers. They must be thoroughly indoctrinated, and “the enemy” — soldier and civilian alike — must be thoroughly dehumanized in order to move them to their “duty.”
The harsh reality is that the desire to kill is part of our nature. It is not a false consciousness. Every savage tribe we have encountered- called “savages” in less politically correct times precisely because of their astonishing savagery compared to effete moderns first meeting them- has considered it both normal and desirable to think of every other tribe as an alien, less than human “them” who it is quite reasonable to kill. Humans dehumanise each other as a matter of nature, not as an invention of the State. It is not pleasurable for libertarians to face up to this, but the State has done much of the damping this down as an instinct- for selfish reasons, to allow mass societies to exist- which led ultimately to us having modern morals.
The world of the tribe is the world of “us” and “them”, and of frequent killing. That’s just the way it is. Hobbes got closer than Rousseau.