Good god, y’all,
What is it good for?”
Well, apparently we have an answer to that question now. War is good for getting more cows, which is of course good for getting more women, which is essential to maxing out how many babies you sire. And from a woman’s perspective, hooking up with a dude that has a lot of cows ensures that your babies have a better chance of survival. It’s a win-win situation (not so much for the dead guy you took the cows from).
These days, though, the evolutionarily adaptive benefit of warfare is merely a relic, and, as with many of our other baser instincts, we ought to be able to overcome its gravitational pull. (Of course, those in the military-industrial complex would beg to differ – war is still quite a cash cow.) Steven Pinker argues that, in spite of the massive casualties of the World Wars and other wars of the 20th century, it was actually an improvement, percentage-wise, on pre-industrial warfare. More on that in a forthcoming post.
Not to be too much of a pacifist (because I believe that our present reality sometimes demands force*), but ultimately I agree with Edwin Starr’s conclusion about what war is good for: Absolutely Nothing.
Except this. This is something War’s good for:
*As Teddy Roosevelt used to say, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”