| Can Culture Be the Cause of War Essay
War is can be defined as an openly declared state of organized conflict, characterized by extreme aggression, societal disruption and high deaths. Such a conflict is generally as a result of trying to alter either the psychological or material level of domination or equality between the warring groups. Throughout the world, there have been a number of conflicts within and between states of the world as a result of different civilizations, culture, beliefs, economic status and religion. Sometimes nations and states have not been able to embrace more humanistic and ethically acceptable ways to resolve these conflicts hence the end up fighting._x000D_
The cultural differences between different states of the world can be seen as the major cause of conflicts, some of which are witnessed eve in people from the same state. This is due to the fact that even if people come from the same state, there are different tribes within the state with different cultural backgrounds hence different values, ideologies and beliefs. As pointed out in popular magazine by (Edward 2001), cultural differences are the greatest source of conflict among mankind as people strive to win their wills and interest against the wills and interests of their rivals. In the article, Samuel Huntington stated, “It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economical. The greatest divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural” (David, 2011). For this reason, when people in the same state fight among themselves, the issue of intrastate wars come up in spite of similar civilization._x000D_
However, the most common conflicts and wars are witnessed between people from different civilizations, meaning from different states hence interstate conflicts. Edward in his article further indicates that the major conflicts of the world conflicts will between nations and people of different civilizations. The clash of civilization, he notes, will be more dominant than even the politics of the world. For instance the clash between the west and Islamic civilization, as brought out in the article, is evidenced in the struggle for civilization identity._x000D_
Human beings, Huntington wrote, (David, 2011), are divided along cultural lines for example the western, Islamic, Hindu, and Africans. He adds that there is no universal civilization but instead, there are cultural divides each with its own distinct set of values and different religious affiliations. For instance, the Islamic civilization, he wrote, is the most problematic and people in the Arab world do not share the general suppositions of the western world. This is clear evidence that differences in civilization, which is also part of a given state’s culture, contribute to interstate conflicts. This is in an effort to show power and to emphasize that a given state’s civilizations is better than that of its rival group._x000D_
In an effort to show how civilization can result to conflicts between states, Huntington in Edwards’s article uses an example of two different civilizations; the Islamic civilization and the western civilization. The major attachment of the Islam is to their religion and not the state whereas the west’s attachment is to their state and they like liberal ideas like pluralism, individualism and democracy, which is not the case with the Islam. It is pointed out hat in the midst of change; the rebels in Islamic civilization will carryout selective borrowing of ideas from the west but without giving up completely their own beliefs. The article also points out that when it Muslim comes into conflict with other civilizations, there are wars and tensions. The more the west and the Islam civilizations interact, the study indicates, the worse the worse the wars and tensions will be. Edward concludes by stating that as much as culture is important, there is need for universal aspirations such as aspirations for dignity and political systems that listen to, respond to and respect the will of the person._x000D_
With the interstate wars being most common in the globe than the intrastate wars, there is need to come up with ways of bridging the gap between different civilizations of the world. This is because as the research reveals, different civilization, which forms part of culture, is the major cause of wars and conflicts in the world. As pointed out by (Errol A.2001), states of similar civilizations are more likely to fight each other than those of different civilizations which contradict Huntington’s argument that suggested that states belonging to different civilizations are more likely to be involved in conflict with one another. This brings a controversy between intrastate and interstate conflicts in terms of civilization. Despite all these conflicting arguments, culture emerges to be the bottom line in the cause of war._x000D_
Though culture has been greatly pointed out as the main cause of war, other causes cannot be ignore also because they are closely tied to the culture and believes that people embrace. For instance as indicated in Blainy’s and Geoffrey’s book “The cause of war” (Blainey, 1988), the optimism with which the leaders begin wars with, the expectation about behavior of the third party, economic and measuring relative strength are the other factors that can result to war._x000D_
Finally, one can come up with question like what is the way forward towards resolving the conflicts based on culture. One of the ways that can be adopted is embracing dialogue as pointed out in the “Foundation for dialogue among civilizations. Dialogue is meant to restore peace and harmony between the warring communities. The result of dialogue should be love and empathy._x000D_
In conclusion, it is evident that culture is a major contributor of wars between different civilizations of the world and the only remedy to this problem is embracing peace. This as noted above can be achieved through dialogue as the act of dialogue between culture and civilizations initiates a new paradigm in international relations and those among human beings in the contemporary world. Also, it is through dialogue that joy over sword, love over hatred and justice over discrimination can be celebrated.
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