War, Space, and the Evolution of Old World Complex Societies

A new report from the  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science offered a mathematical confirmation of what most historians already knew: warfare and the need for space were vital elements in the adhesion of small groups into larger anonymous and complex societies . ‘Divided we fall’ comes to mind. The study’s cultural evolutionary [mathematical] model predicts where and when the largest-scale complex societies arose in human history. History has already confirmed the ‘prediction.’

The study focuses on the interaction of ecology and geography as well as the spread of military innovations and predicts that selection for ultra-social institutions that allow for cooperation in huge groups of genetically unrelated individuals and large-scale complex states, is greater where warfare is more intense.

So, our historical need for ‘societies’ has been dependent on warfare. NATO comes to mind. Allies in our two world wars. George W. Bush’s Coalition of the Willing. Ahem! The chant, USA! USA! USA! .

Warfare created complex societies. The question rises: if there is no more warfare, will the need for large, complex societies wane? Or is the war meme so strong in our genetic makeup that we need not worry about that happening? Will humankind always have the penchant for making war as an ancient survival  instinct? Perhaps that is why wars continue even into the 21st century.

Leaders of nations have often increased their favorability with their citizens through war-making. The German nation of the late 1930’s comes to mind. So does Napoleon, at least during his early escapades. Presidents Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton and GW Bush initiated ‘wars’ which, momentarily, united our nation, more or less. President Obama was criticized by some of our citizens because he didn’t initiate a war with Syria. That’s odd. But then, back in 2008, he defeated the man who said, “Bomb, bomb, bomb-bomb Iran!”

Are the citizens of the United States as a society losing their war making meme? Has the ancient societal-forming war making meme run its course here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave? Generations X, Y and Z [1960-2000] may be losing their appetite for war even though previous generations have had a stronger war mindset. Gosh!  Wouldn’t that be an interesting move.

I listened to GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss this morning blaming President Obama for not going to war with Syria. Of course, during the Vietnam War he got deferments for a bad knee- a ‘football injury.’ Odd how some people want other people’s children to fight wars. Chambliss’s son, Bo, chose not to enlist in the Armed Forces and became a registered lobbyist for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. USA! USA! USA!

Making war. Making peace.

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?


13 thoughts on “War, Space, and the Evolution of Old World Complex Societies

  1. Isn’t this the same Saxby Chambliss that defeated a true Viet Nam war hero,
    who lost both of his legs, by running ads accusing him of being un-American?

    1. The sad answer is no! War keeps capitalists happy and increases their assets. Simple. By the way, have you noticed that reducing the Pentagon budget is not part of the wagering on the government shut down game.

    1. Well, yes, but so does Walmart. Does the Pentagon need $660 billion? Do the math- 330 million citizens : $660 billion. What is the ratio per person? Necessary? How much money does it take to keep one citizen safe from foreign attack?

      Let’s compare that to health care. The GOP is screaming about the ‘cost’ of Obamacare- a program to keep Americans healthy. Compare the cost of each! Then explain the logic!

      1. As to the ACA, if the GOP thinks it is so bad and doomed to failure, why not
        just let if fail? They would get all the credit….

  2. What you think of the “ransom demands” of the GOP? To prevent a
    government shut down they demand that oil companies be given more
    drilling privileges off shore and in our public lands. If any reader wants
    to see and smell what happens in a drilling area, let them go to the
    old Teapot Dome of Wyoming and see the devastation of the environment,
    the land, and the sickening smell of the oil in your nostrils down to the
    pit of their stomach, a smell that can’t be escaped for miles. That would be
    an education in itself. You don’t even want to take a breathe!

    Well that is just one point of the ransom. Others include approving Keystone,
    freeing doctors from malpractice charges, gutting EPA, cutting many regulations, scaling back Dodd-Frank, a one year delay of ACA, and a GOP
    shopping list of additional demands. All because of about 40 House members and Boehner, who wants to remain Leader more than defending
    the faith and credit of the United States.

    If any one wants to see the problem, go to Thursday’s Hardball and the
    interview with a GOP House member! Another is Sen. Corker’s(R/TN)
    frontal attack on Cruz!

    1. The problem we face, my friend, and I need not preach to you, is that the average American is far-less informed than you and I. Many on the right get their ‘information’ each day from talk radio, especially Limbaugh. They would not investigate [ie Google] Teapot Dome and sadly many would not even KNOW how to research it! They depend on biased political sites to ‘get’ their information [propaganda.]

      THAT is the problem facing our nation. IGNORANCE!

  3. Then ignorance makes it futile! This line of activity can bring no change.
    The ignorant will not listen to what we say, so we have to change our
    tactic. We are fighting the wrong fight…..

    1. Yikes! New Orleans OUGHT to be a blue as Florida due to rebounding land, but the toxins from the Mississippi have raised the rate of toxins and additionally all of the petroleum processing there.

      NE Ohio is a toxic dump of arsenic! I hope they drink bottled water.

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