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tranquilsea's avatar

Do you believe that the only way world peace can be achieved is if every nation is equally armed?

Asked by tranquilsea (17655points) February 5th, 2011

Or perhaps equally armed to the teeth.

If I recall correctly this was Nikola Tesla’s opinion. He believed that we would not see world peace until the playing field was level.

When I first read this I disagreed with him but after thinking about it for a while I am coming around to agreeing with him.

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42 Answers

Mikewlf337's avatar

No because there will never be true world peace. Equally armed nations only raise the body count. As long as humans are killing one another there will never be true peace. Even if there was no more war there won’t be peace.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Even if war was effectively stopped this way, I’d hardly call a world where everyone is constantly worrying about who has the itchiest trigger finger a peaceful one.

tranquilsea's avatar

@SavoirFaire I define peaceful as one without war. Where smaller countries don’t have to worry that they’ll be overrun by bigger countries with more fire power.

What stops most countries from going to war? I would propose that the only thing that stops them is the knowledge that they may lose. Or, that it will be a Pyrrhic victory (a victory that has staggering costs).

GladysMensch's avatar

We can best hope for peace when every nation is equally armed, has equal access to resources, and are financially similar (with GDP’s equal per capita). Oh, and let’s not forget about similar government types and religious beliefs. So, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@tranquilsea Cold wars are conducted without a single shot being fired by the countries directly involved (though proxy armies may fire on one another with reckless abandon). So I suppose I disagree with your definition. If that’s peace, then I think I’ll hold out for something more. Call it “world harmony.”

incendiary_dan's avatar

Societies that are based on hyperexploitation of resources inevitably find themselves needing to spread and conquer. Unless that issue is addressed (and it won’t be), there won’t be peace until all the players collapse.

tranquilsea's avatar

@SavoirFaire I don’t consider the Cold War a war.

tranquilsea's avatar

Just suppose that every country was equally armed. Wouldn’t everyone have to rely on diplomacy to work out problems?

lemming's avatar

I think the only way to world peace is if all nations join together as one. Then there will be no need for weapons.

iamthemob's avatar

World peace is an achievement. Mutually assured destruction is a stalemate.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@tranquilsea If you don’t consider the Cold War a war, then a lot of people died as a result of a 44-year-long peace. So like I said, I disagree with your definition. And no, not everyone would rely on diplomacy to work out problems if every country was equally armed. You are assuming that everyone shares a particular value for survival over things like pride. They don’t.

@iamthemob Nice.

iamthemob's avatar

@SavoirFaire – It’s easy to get to the right answer when you’re too drunk to let the bullshit interfere. ;-)

tranquilsea's avatar

@SavoirFaire What do you consider as being under the umbrella of the Cold War?

Mikewlf337's avatar

@iamthemob I wouldn’t call it an achievement because it isn’t achievable. It isn’t in our nature. We can only count on mutually assured destruction to keep those who would destroy us at bay.

aprilsimnel's avatar

How would one stop the mindset that many people have of wanting more than the other person? No matter what lofty terms they may be cloaked in, just about all wars are battles for access to resources or in defense of resources.

coffeenut's avatar

As soon as the Human Race is extinct on Earth…We will have world peace.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Mikewlf337 As I stated in my question I have done a ton of thinking about this. I’ve spent my whole life as a flag waving peace monger. But, really, with all the arms in the world how possible is this? Some country is always going to attack another country to get what they want.

The only pauses we’ve seen, in recent times, is when the countries are fairly equally armed.

Don’t get me wrong, if peace could be achieved by sharing resources and general consensus I would be all for it. But that is never going to happen.

It is a stretch to believe that equally arming countries is possible but I lean more towards that being more possible than achieving peace through the mutual laying down of arms.

tranquilsea's avatar

@aprilsimnel I agree that most wars are resource wars. But that happens when the attacking country feels they have a good chance of winning. If they don’t then they have to enter into trade negotiations.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@tranquilsea Everything described here.

@Mikewlf337 That something is unachievable in practice doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be an achievement in theory. All that @iamthemob needs to say, then, is that world peace would be an achievement if it were ever achieved (regardless of whether or not this is actually possible). That’s enough for the contrast with a stalemate.

tranquilsea's avatar

@SavoirFaire I’ve always separated out the Korean War when thinking about the Cold War. Perhaps erroneously so.

XOIIO's avatar

Humanity can simply not have peace. All through history and evolution we always turn to war. There is no way to avaoid it, it will always come back in the end.

iamthemob's avatar

@XOIIO – World peace is a different concept than a world without violence. People will always find a way to hate each other. Weather they will be able to do it with the backing of a nation’s force behind them is something that we have to question as an inevitability.

XOIIO's avatar

@iamthemob that’s the point, hatred leads to violence. The only way we could have a violence-free world is a super-controlled world wide government with people watching everyone, everywhere. and we all know how those situations tunr out.

iamthemob's avatar

@XOIIO – I’m not suggesting a world without violence. I’m saying that’s a different concept than “world peace.”

World peace can exist in a world where violence still exists. It just is a world where violence on a massive, global scale is not sanctioned by any state.

filmfann's avatar

So, we allow the same amount to every country?
Does population make a difference? The US is much more populus than Yemen.
What about Size? We are much bigger than Most Countries.
Is this going to end up like the Electoral College?
And how do we get more than China? Or even the same?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@tranquilsea Okay, but there’s still a lot of pain, suffering, and death even if you separate out the Korean War.

LuckyGuy's avatar

No. Equal armaments won’t do it. It takes equal love of your children.

4m6in3's avatar

“If peace is to be the lot of mankind in the decades and centuries to come, it will have to be accomplished through the kind of internationalism advocated by Richard Cobden and his intellectual progeny. The pursuit of peace will have to be governed not by slogans and superficiality but by a profound humility that acknowledges the inevitable limitations on what military intervention can accomplish, and that, instead of taking on the fruitless task of eradicating evil everywhere, acknowledges with other statesmen of the past that evil can be limited and confined but never entirely eliminated.”
Cobden on Freedom, Peace, and Trade

incendiary_dan's avatar

I do so love when nobody bothers to read the critical things I write and have spent so much time educating myself for.

The wars of today are far more than just what we see on TV. There is a much less obvious global war occurring, one than is less ideological that the Cold War but shares many characteristics.

tranquilsea's avatar

@SavoirFaire I agree. But I do think the reason the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. didn’t go as far as an all out war is because, at the time, they were fairly equally armed.

Mikewlf337's avatar

World peace cannot happen period. Human beings are naturally violent. That is why there is war.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@tranquilsea That very well may be the case. My point is that I wouldn’t call it “peace.” Perhaps a stalemate is the best we can ever achieve, but I have not yet resigned myself to that dim a view of humanity.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@tranquilsea it almost did happen. We came extremely close to nuclear holocaust. The only thing that stopped them was the fact that the whole world would have been destroyed. If it were conventional warfare then it would have happened.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Mikewlf337 That’s my point. If everyone were armed equally, and in this day and age that means nuclear weapons, then it would be a massive stalemate.

I think both ideas a: being everyone laying down their arms and b: everyone arming to teeth to be next to impossible to achieve. I’m thinking more about which would be more likely to achieve peace.

Mikewlf337's avatar

They still fight conventional wars. The reason they don’t use nuclear weapons is because of the retaliatory strike would destroy them as well. There will always be war. World peace is just a fantasy.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@tranquilsea While I don’t take the same view of the future as @Mikewlf337—which is not to say I think his view is completely unwarranted—he makes a very good point: a nuclear stalemate is exactly that, and only that. It hasn’t stopped us from killing each other in other ways.

incendiary_dan's avatar

True warfare has existed between humans for only a small percentage of our history. That’s not to say fighting didn’t occur, but warfare is the result of specific types of societies. It’s hardly our “nature”.

I really suggest checking out the link I posted in my previous comment.

tranquilsea's avatar

@incendiary_dan I will check out your link.

Because our history spans thousands and thousands of years much of that time we were busy just surviving, but more importantly, there weren’t many of us around. I think it is our current population and our close proximity to each other as well as technological advancements that creates most tensions.

Wars aren’t caused by the vast majority of people. They are caused by our ruling class, whomever they may be. Something tells me that if we required the people who declare war to actually go out and fight the wars then there wouldn’t be any.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@tranquilsea That’s partially true about the sheer number of people. But that is directly related to how people and societies relate to their landbases, i.e. hyperexploitation of resources. Societies that don’t hyperexploit also tend to develop ways to keep their population levels relatively stable (birth control) in order to both maintain high standards of living, as most of our paleolithic ancestors did (we weren’t “just surviving”; the average hunter-gatherer-gardener spends an average of 2 hours a day on subsistence, usually being able to support 3–5 people with that work), and to maintain their surroundings (insomuch as they can be seperated). In many cases, these societies have had more technological complexity than their war-inclined neighbors, so it isn’t simply technological capability that leads to it. Hyperexploitation leads to empires.

Austinlad's avatar

Possessing arms of any quality or quantity leaves open the possibility, perhaps even probability, of using them. I believe this is true, has always been true, will always be true whether the possessor is a country or an individual.

flutherother's avatar

Not if every nation is equally armed. If they are equally disarmed, peace may have a chance.

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