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Sounds of War Echoes of Peace By Alvin S.

Yusin Knowing the catastrophic consequences of wars both to themselves and those they attempt to destroy, humankind continues to engage in them. There are some who are confounded by these destructive actions. After all, have not human beings placed themselves at the pinnacle of the evolutionary scale justifying this placement on human traits stressing cognitive functions that have produced intellectual, logical, rational beings who have clarified so many mysteries of the universe? Creatures with such endowments could never allow themselves to engage in violence of any kind never mind wars. If this perspective is accurate then why do wars occur? That question will be answered further along in this article. However before addressing it some background information regarding human interactions must be provided. It is true that human beings perceive themselves as reasonable creatures, and there is no question that they can be at times. However, human interactions for the most part are not determined by reason, logic, and intellectual capability. They are determined by survival and socializing forces, neither of which relate to cognitive abilities. Each force incites specific motivators which initiate specific behaviors under specific circumstances. Survival forces are called into play whenever human beings feel that their lives and well-being are threatened. The motivators, behaviors, and circumstances that incite them constitute the Survival Behavior Set. Survival behaviors prevent the formation of social units. Social units offer strengthened resistance to attacks and joint efforts that maximize human productivity. Humankind has developed a behavior set which allows them to form social units. This behavior set constitutes the Socialization Behavior Set. In well-functioning social unit motivators from this set neutralize survival motivators and initiate socialization behaviors. Unfortunately the strength of the survival force is such that it may overcome socialization force influences leading to initiation of the survival behavior set. However, in a well-functioning social unit, socializing forces usually can exert their influence neutralizing the effects of the survival force. If it cannot completely neutralize that force, it usually can modify it. Such modifications give rise to such attitudes and behaviors such as prejudice, defacement and exclusion to name but a few. The ability to neutralize the effects of survival forces varies from one individual to another and is influenced by three factors: Cognitive Function; Genetics; and the Environment in which an individual is raised. It is the interplay of these three variables that they determine how one human being will relate to another. With this background information it is time to address the question raised in the articles first paragraph i.e. why do wars occur? There are four survival behaviors incorporated in the Survival Behavior Set. Of the four the most destructive is Unlimited Aggression. Unlimited Aggression is motivated by raging fury and leads to total destruction of anyone or anything that threatens a human beings existence. Raging furys intensity is such that coherent identification of the predatory threat

is frequently obscured. That obscurity often leads to the death of innocent men, women, and children, as well as total destruction of their property. Unlimited Aggression can be directed by one sub group of society against another as African-Americans in Los Angeles against police and Caucasians in 1992. These violent interactions are called riots. When they occur against the government by an organized subgroup of society, they are called insurrections. Whenever they are directed by one nation against another, they are called wars. However, all share the same action i.e. Unlimited Aggression, albeit on a different scale. It is not likely that these violent interactions can be totally eliminated given the strength of survival forces. But it is possible to create environments that would minimize their occurrence. This article identifies areas of conflict which could benefit by the creation of such an environment. Since differences between human beings strengthen survival forces and weaken socialization ones, whereas commonalities strengthen socializing forces and weaken survival ones, it would have to be an environment that minimizes differences and maximizes commonalities. Two of these areas can be found in the Middle East. They are the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Shia-Sunni conflict. The third one is international terrorism and the fourth one relates to circumstances existing in the United States of America today, where many government policies strengthen survival motivators rather than socializing ones. Of the four survival behaviors only one, Unlimited Aggression, will be discussed in this article as it is the behavior that drives all riots, insurrections and wars. It must be curtailed in order to bring about peaceful interactions. In order to accomplish that end, survival force influence must be weakened. Since differences strengthen survival and commonality strengthens socialization, commonalities between the warring parties must be identified. Two commonalities shared by those engaged in the Arab-Israeli conflict are acceptance of a common ancestry and acceptance of the Book of Genesis. This commonality can be utilized to develop a pathway to peaceful resolution to their conflict by carefully reassessing the Covenant of Abraham on which both Arabs and Israelis base their claim to the promised land. The commonality shared by Shia and Sunni populations is Islam. Although there may be some disagreements regarding each denominations interpretation of Islamic standards and codes, there is acceptance of the Koran and the Hadrith by both parties. That shared acceptance can be utilized to establish a very different caliphate than the one that existed prior to World War I. a caliphate which could resolve the differences between the two populations and establish peace. International Terrorism does not lend itself to a commonality approach to minimize survival force influence and unlimited aggression. The reason is that there are no international codes and standards in place that all nations must follow. However, it is clear that such international codes and standards must be established in order to create commonality on an international level. The United Nations has that capability, and can begin to explore creation of these codes and standards which could promote international

unity and decrease the influence of survival forces. They can also explore the possibility of developing a common international language, which would allow all the worlds peoples to communicate with each other as nothing arouses survival force motivators more than an inability to understand or speak with another human being. Although there has not as yet been overwhelming Unlimited Aggression between United States citizens, the governments policies which strengthen differences between sub-groups of society and the favor one sub-group over another has shifted attachment away from the national community to the sub-group to which the individual belongs. There are numerous sub-groups in all nations. They include groups of individuals who share a common religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, a particular handicap or disability, a common military experience, a common interest, etc. Unfortunately individuals lacking the characteristics required for them to belong to a particular sub-group are often perceived as different, therefore predatory and dangerous, a perception which strengthens survival forces. Should they initiate Unlimited Aggression, United States citizens may have to contend with riots, perhaps insurrections, and possibly civil war. There is only one way to prevent these tragic possibilities, and that is for the national government to strengthen ties to the national community by emphasizing and restoring the commonalities shared by all citizens of the United States, not only by members of the nations various sub-groups. Alvin S. Yusin is the author of Sounds A Pathway to World Peace (ISBN: 978-161204-903-8 ), and Apple Hill: A Story of Slavery and Civil War (ISBN: 978-1-61204680-8), which are available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through his publishers web site at http://sbpra.com/AlvinSYusin/. He is a retired Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician who taught at the Keck-USC School of Medicine for many years and retired in 2003. He has incorporated his understanding of child and adult development and behavior, as well as ideas formulated from observations he has made over the years into the content of Sounds A Pathway to World Peace.