In evolved societies, our natural aggression finds its place in playful situations or in sporting competitions that have the social value of confining this aggression and sublimate it.
A few days ago, a friend asked me indirectly whether I was or not a pacifist. For a moment I honestly has been asking it to myself, and when I did it I thought to be a foolish. Yes, a foolish because I was falling again in the temptation to put myself into some category: pacifist or non-pacifist. After that first moment, though, I have tried to explore my present personal relationship with all that we can call peace and everything we can call war. The term “war” includes the small daily wars such as quarrels with the neighbors, insults to someone who cuts your way in the car, and so on. This post is the result of this small self-analysis.
What we can call war is not a choice but it is part of nature. Not only the human one, but of universal nature. Life is based on death and vice versa in a continuous cycle. It becomes pure theory to think of living without harm to anything and nobody. The only way to do nothing to harm anyone and not harm the natural resources of any kind is not to live at all.
Aggressiveness and the use of power have always existed. They are used today as before; maybe the forms have changed. Someone could say that a world without violence is possible. I do not know if it is possible, but in the history of the universe, as far as we know, it has never happened. I honestly believe there will never be, and what we call peace is a thin thread stretched out of a gap where sometimes we are destined to fall. On the other hand, in the absence of conflicts, I feel better than when I am in conflict. In evolved societies, our natural aggression finds its place in playful situations or in sporting competitions that have the social value of confining this aggression and sublimate it. If you are interested in the subject I would recommend an "academic" book by a Darwinian professor who is also a passionate MMA fighter. His name is Jonathan Gottschall and the book is "The Professor in the Cage". How can it be possible to reconcile the natural existence of violence with a legitimate "need" of peace? My personal conclusion is very close to the content of another classic Taoist text, , or "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu. The two books come to very similar conclusions although they start from a background that might seem far away. My feeling is that the only way to get closer to peace is to cultivate strength, determination, and solidity so that it can be a deterrent to external attacks. There are statistical studies highlighting the fact that those who feel secure, are not afraid because they feel "strong" ending up being infinitely less aggressive of those who feel the opposite. In the animal world the same thing happens. The weakest animal is attacked, not the strongest. To conclude, even though it is such a large and interesting subject that even a whole book cannot cover, and this post is just a post, it seems that the way to live as peacefully as possible is to be not pacifists but warriors ready for the battle who tend, whenever possible, to peace.