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The Forum > Article Comments > The causes of violent conflict > Comments

The causes of violent conflict : Comments

By Stephen Cheleda, published 16/7/2008

Can the causes of violent conflicts around the world be identified? Or are they too complex to define clearly?

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I'm with the economic cause analysts here. In my view World War II was a continuation of World War I. In other words it was a bloody struggle between competing capitalist imperialisms.

Today we have one dominant imperialism, but China is developing rapidly and may eventually challenge US supremacy both economically and militarily.

The Europeans are there or thereabouts. While they may have "solved" their internicene imperialist conflicts through the establishment of the EU, their bigger target is now the US, and China.

The invasion of Iraq represented in my opinion an attempt by US imperialism to show China and Europe that it was the top dog economically and militarily and would take whatever action was needed, including military action, to retain that spot.

The invasion was also an attempt to control the oil rich region and to control the flow of oil to its imperalist competitors.

The defeat of the US in Iraq (and I might add Afghanistan) must send messages to China and Europe that the mighty state is not so mighty after all.

I see the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a truly democratic society wehre production ocurs to satisfy human need as the only viable alternative to the present war mongering system.

As Rosa Luxemburg wrote many years ago, the choice for humanity is clear -socialism or barbarism.
Posted by Passy, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 9:56:16 AM
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Whilst I might agree that the war in Iraq is largely the result of economic circumstances, i.e. the need for the U.S. to control the oil supply, it also has a religious element too. Afghanistan, on the other hand is totally the result of a religious conflict, where the Christian West is seeking to overcome the resident Taliban, who are resisting somewhat more strenuously than was thought possible.

History will show that the West has bitten off more than they can chew in both spheres.

David
Posted by VK3AUU, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 10:26:17 AM
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Passy and VK3AUU

You guys remind me of a child with his hands over his ears chanting I can't hear you.

John I understand that your simplistic analyses are derived from your blind adherence to the outdated and demonstrably failed principle of "socialism". But I don't see how you can deny the truth when it is staring you in the face. The Coalition will prevail in Iraq, there are already clear signs that this is so. Much as that success pains you, you cannot deny, surely, that it exists.

General Petraeus is saying that Iraq is now stable enough that some troops can come home soon. This is in stark contrast to the situation barely more than a year ago.

As for Afghanistan, when coalition forces can leave Iraq they will be shifted to Afghanistan where they will have the same effect. The Taliban are resisting more strenously because they have a safe haven over the border in Pakistan. The gov't there is currently unwilling to do anything about this problem but I don't imagine that will last too long. NATO and the Americans will not tolerate it for long.

As we have seen, whenever socialism has been implemented it has rapidly turned into barbarism. As an organising principle, socialism has clearly and unambiguously failed on multiple occasions. You're not only flogging a dead horse, its been dead for decades.
Posted by Paul.L, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 10:52:17 AM
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There has never been a war between countries in the Commonwealth, and I understand that the US has never bombed a country that has McDonalds in it. Uncertain if there is a connection, but in most countries the rulers are in a minority.

If the minority rulers want a war with another country (for whatever reason), they simply brainwash or force the majority population to carry out the war.

The ability of the majority population to vote out such minority rulers would be an important requirement to eliminating wars.
Posted by HRS, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 12:38:42 PM
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Certainly, this is a good analysis of the Balkans and South African conflicts (and similar apartheid-style conflicts like Northern Ireland and Palestine-Israel). However, this is only part of the much larger story of conflict dynamics.

There are many other factors that ensure continuing conflict between and within nations. These include:

Ongoing glorification of war and the military
Excessive jingoistic nationalism or tribal identity
Force-based social, sexual and moral codes
Unequal gender status (especially the subjugation of women)
Family (and educational) discipline based on dominance and control
Extreme inequality of property ownership, wealth and access to resources
Alienation from, and exploitation of, nature.

The above factors maintain a system of structural violence within societies, which regularly spills over into ongoing conflict and warfare.

Peace studies think-tanks such as the Bradford University study mentioned in the essay, and also some of our homegrown institutions such as the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Qld have done commendable groundbreaking research into the dynamics of peace and conflict. Historically, conflict research has tended to concentrate on the specifics of warfare, while largely ignoring peace. More recently, interdisciplinary research has started to identify that peace has its own set of dynamics.

If we gave peace more of the recognition it deserves, instead of constantly relegating it to the poor, less sexy, relation of war then it just might start to catch on.
Posted by SJF, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 6:16:42 PM
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You chaps just want complex answers.
Theres only one answer...
Jerimiah 17:9 says that "the heart is deceitful above all".
Its never been any more complex for anyone who knows the Holy Bible.
Men love to sin...thus the wars and the conflicts.
The solution?
Go to Jesus Christ for a new heart.
HE gives it to everyone who receives Him and what HE did on the Cross.
Posted by Gibo, Thursday, 17 July 2008 9:12:09 AM
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