Human beings, throughout known history, have been fighting and killing each other. Our epics were centered around wars. History is full of battles and conquests. Until a few decades ago, Kingdoms and Countries were routinely warring and killing people en-masse.
I wonder what inspired people to join armies wanting to kill other people?
Was it propaganda? Was it the pride in defending one’s country? Was it the money and the loot? Was it forced employment by the virtue of birth (Kshatriya)? Was it the lack of any other employment — the only way to survive?
What was it?
I don’t think there is any other species that has killed its own kind like us humans. A few cannibalistic species might have been existent, but I am sure the motive for killing was food.
Only human beings kill for reasons other than food.
Imagine: A HR consultant comes and tells you that your job is to go to the field, wound & kill people, and — on a bad day — get wounded and get killed. Would you be inspired to take up such a job?
But, throughout history, Kingdoms and Countries have been able to raise huge armies quickly!
I am not talking about the armies nowadays, most of whom might retire without participating in a single battle. That’s not to demean them — I think it’s a good thing. Armies now are symbolic and exist for defense — just in case (with the exception of a few countries).
I am speaking in the historical context when it was normal to send a few able-bodied men from almost every family to war. Knowing well that they may not return.
Don’t you think the very fact this was happening, almost throughout our (dis)illustrious history, exposes who we are? The greed and lust for fame, power, and prosperity is more than enough to make us kill?
Even now, we need strict laws and jails to stop people from killing. We need the fear of a nuclear catastrophe to stop combat. Heck, we did not even spare our Gods from warring.
Aren’t you proud to be the most intelligent creature on earth?
I have an alternate theory, if that is any consolation — Maybe wars were a way to check indiscriminate rise of population. And now we achieve the same thing through higher cost of living, birth control, etc.
PS: This is why I don’t write opinion posts often 😛