Saturday, September 17, 2005

Life, Liberty, and Property

An e-mail I sent (though I heavily edited it for the blog) Thoughts on the hypotheses?

Recently in one of my classes, we had a discussion about the causes of war and conflict (It was a psychology recitation on aggression). The usual suspects were named - religion, resources, greed, aggression itself, anything that the average left-leaning college student could come up with.

However, while looking over the list after class and going over a list of numerous wars, I realized that I could basically narrow down the causes of the wars we mentioned into three categories, and came up with a hypothesis, poorly worded as I feel it is.

1) Wars are always the result of a desire for life, liberty, property, or a combination thereof.

2) This led me to postulate another statement, which goes as follows: By maximizing liberty and property (and life), we can reduce, if not eliminate war.


1) American Civil War - Most southerners viewed it as a war about property. The Union viewed it as a war for liberty, or more specifically, as a war against slavery, anathema to liberty. The correct mindset prevailed.

2) Moslem Conquests of Holy Lands and the Crusades - It was placed under "Religious Warfare" in class discussion, but I feel this can be placed as a war for property, this property being land.

3) World War II - The Axis Powers viewed it as a war for property. The Allied Powers fought against the Axis to maintain liberty, and it eventually became a war for life.

4) Mexican-American War - Basically about property, on both sides.

5) American Revolution - The first war for life, liberty, and property. The founders basically postulated that the three were mutually inclusive.

6) Iraq War - A war for liberty - to give Iraqis freedom they did not have before. Even the raging anti-war protestors believe it is a war for property.

7) Vietnam - The Communists were fighting for property and for what they thought was for life, whereas we were fighting for liberty and life, as we knew what would happen if the North won. Oddly, this is one of the few times where property has triumphed over liberty.
--------------------End Examples-------------

Once again - thoughts?

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