Reading “War In Human Civilization” by Azar Gat

For a long time I’ve been searching for a general history of war, specifically looking at who decides to fight, why, and who does the actual dying. I came across this one by a historian who is very direct about the failure of many historians and other social sciences to start with a Darwinian understanding of the biological aspect of human behavior.


In this paragraph, he’s talking about a school of thought that places territoriality at the root of all human conflict. He makes a point about human motivation that I raise again and again with leftists and others influenced by Marx: 


The point is that if you start with Darwin, you realize that survival of the species is the only fundamental end. For territorial behavior to evolve, it has to be a means to either food or sex. Lions are always territorial not because territoriality is fundamental, but because it is the best strategy for eating in the only habitat they inhabit.

For Lefty/Marxists it’s not territory but rather money and material wealth which gets treated, incorrectly, as fundamental. Theories that universalize based on a wage economy cannot possibly be right, because right off the bat they mistake a contingent fact for a necessary truth.