Beyond War Notes Chp 1 to 7

Beyond War Notes Chp 1 to 7 - Beyond War: The Human...

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Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace By Douglas P. Fry, 2007 Preface Perspective of anthropology – vast breadth, cultures from around the world, vast time Anthropology helps us overcome our tendency to focus only on the here (our culture) and the now (what is now has always been) One goal of book is to help people see that there are non violent means to seek justice, because a cross-cultural perspective shows that much violence stems from people defending their rights or attempting to correct injustices. Humans have a tremendous capacity for resolving conflicts without violence. “How can we improve the quality of life for all humanity, reduce the social and economic inequalities that foment hostility, hatred, and terrorism, and create new procedures and institutions for providing justice and resolving differences without war?” Chapter 1, “Charting a new Direction” First Lesson: The cultural, social, and historical context of the researcher affects the questions they ask, the assumptions they make, and the conclusions they draw from the data. “Cultural beliefs about war bias scientific interpretations, affect perceptions of human nature, and may even close our minds to the possibility of determining alternatives to armed conflict .” Second Lesson: Looking at the actual evidence, both cross-cultural and archeological, will help us evaluate prior views of man’s innate tendency to wage war (the “man the warrior” perspective). Man the Warrior: humans are innately aggressive and warlike by nature, esp. males, tight evolutionary link between chimpanzee violence and human violence, emphasize sex differences in aggression as though they were 100% biological/genetic, recite a litany of barbarity, atrocity, and brutality New View: humans have a remarkable capacity for working out conflicts without resorting to violence, and the evidence suggests that humans are NOT warlike by nature “ . . . the human potential for conflict resolution tends to be underappreciated, whereas warfare and other forms of violence tend to be emphasized, exaggerated, and naturalized. Naturalizing war creates an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy. If war is natural, then there is little point in trying to prevent, reduce, or abolish it. . . . this presumption helps 1
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justify just doing what comes naturally, and contribute to an exaggerated fear that naturally warlike ‘others’ are eager to attack us . . . such assumptions can stifle the search for viable alternatives to war.” This book will: Illustrate how conflict resolution occurs in cultures everywhere Document that numerous non-warring societies exist Look at archeological evidence that warfare is a recent phenomenon Explore the nature of peace and aggression among nomadic hunter-gatherers Specifically deconstruct one article on the Yanomamo that has been cited repeatedly as evidence that homicide increases a man’s reproductive success (and
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Beyond War Notes Chp 1 to 7 - Beyond War: The Human...

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