Is Lasting Peace Possible?


William T. Hathaway – TRANSCEND Media Service

Killer Ape

4 Jun 2022 – The wise men of the establishment are again telling us that hopes for lasting peace are a delusion. They declare that human nature makes it impossible, that war is built into our genes. They point to research by evolutionary biologists that indicates our closest genetic relatives, the chimpanzees, make war. Therefore war must be part of our heredity.

“We’ve always had wars,” they claim. “Humans are a warring species. Without a military to defend us, someone will always try to conquer us.” These assumptions have become axioms of our culture. They generate despair but also a certain comfort because they relieve us of the responsibility to change.

It’s true that in certain situations chimpanzees do raid neighboring colonies and kill other chimps. Those studies on killer apes got enormous publicity because they implied that war is hardwired into human nature. Most scientists didn’t draw those conclusions from the evidence, but the establishment media kept reinforcing that message.

Further research, however, led to a key discovery: The chimps who invaded their neighbors were suffering from shrinking territory and food sources. They were struggling for survival. Groups with adequate resources didn’t raid other colonies. The aggression wasn’t a behavioral constant but was caused by the stress they were under. Their genes gave them the capacity for violence, but the stress factor had to be there to trigger it into combat. This new research showed that war is not inevitable but rather a function of the stress a society is under. Our biological nature doesn’t force us to war; it just gives us the potential for it. Without stress to provoke it, violence can remain one of the many unexpressed capacities our human evolution has given us. Studies by professors Douglas Fry, Frans de Waal, and Robert Sapolsky present the evidence for this.

Militarists point to history and say it’s just one war after another. But that’s the history only of our patriarchal civilization. The early matriarchal civilization of south-eastern Europe enjoyed centuries of peace. UCLA anthropologist Marija Gimbutas described the archaeological research in The Living Goddesses. No trace of warfare has been found in excavations of the Minoan, Harappa, and Caral cultures. Many of the Pacific islands were pacifistic. The ancient Vedic civilization of India had meditation techniques that preserved the peace, and those are being revived today to reduce stress in society.

Our society, though, has a deeply entrenched assumption that stress is essential to life. Many of our social and economic structures are based on conflict. Capitalism’s need for continually expanding profits generates stress in all of us. We’ve been indoctrinated to think this is normal and natural, but it’s really pathological. It damages life in ways we can barely perceive because they’re so built into us.

We don’t have to live this way. We can reduce the stress humanity suffers under. We can create a society that meets human needs and distributes the world’s resources more evenly. We can live at peace with one another. But that’s going to take basic changes.

These changes threaten the power holders of our society. Since capitalism is a predatory social and economic system, predatory personalities rise to power. They view the world through a lens of aggression. But it’s not merely a view. They really are surrounded by enemy competitors. So they believe this false axiom they are propagating that wars are inevitable.

In the past their predecessors defended their power by propagating other nonsense: kings had a divine right to rule us, Blacks were inferior to Whites, women should obey men. We’ve outgrown those humbugs, and we can outgrow this one.


From US Marine Green Beret to peace activist. William T. Hathaway is an emeritus Fulbright professor of American studies at universities in Germany. His new novel, Lila, the Revolutionary, is a fable for adults about an eight-year-old girl who sparks a world revolution for social justice. “It took me years to overcome the warrior indoctrination I got in the US Special Forces. It was very deeply ingrained. What finally brought me out of it was meditation and my wife’s persistent love,” says Hathaway. “Now I look back and ask, How could I have fallen for that military nonsense?”

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 6 Jun 2022.

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2 Responses to “Is Lasting Peace Possible?”

  1. Is Lasting Peace Possible? Certainly yes, lasting peace is possible provided the man – the human beings (man and woman both) is understood, defined properly and set right accordingly and perpetually throughout his and her lives. In this regard, the author of these lines would like to advice to refer his article cited below with its link:

    Focus Article
    Peace and Nonviolence
    By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D.
    Sang Saeng – Living Together Helping Each Other –
    A UNESCO-APCEIU Magazine,
    No. 27 Spring, 2010, pages 8-11

    Regarding to say, the hopes for lasting peace are a delusion on the ground the human nature makes it impossible, that war is built into our genes on the basis of findings of research by evolutionary biologists that indicates our closest genetic relatives, the chimpanzees, make war, but the Seville Statement on Violence (1986) written by an international team of specialists in 1986 and endorsed by scientific and professional organizations which was adopted by UNESCO in 1989 has categorically denied stating that these beliefs are scientifically incorrect that “there are strong five beliefs that human beings have inherited a tendency to make war from their animal ancestors, war and any other violent behavior is genetically programmed into our human nature, in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behavior more than of other kinds of behavior, humans have a ‘violent brain’, and war is caused by ‘instinct’ or any single motivation.”

    One may refer another article and a video of the author of these lines cited below to enrich more knowledge on the problem for lasting peace:

    Peace Education for Nonviolence and Solution of Terrorism
    Surya Nath Prasad, Ph. D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

    On UCN News Channel – DVD Education – YouTube
    A Dialogue on
    Universal Peace Education
    For Eradication of Corruption, Crime and Violence
    By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D.

  2. Further to the previous comments of the author of these lines on 6 June 2022 in response to:

    Is Lasting Peace Possible?
    By Prof. William T. Hathaway – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Jun 2022
    Today he would like to enlighten the readers about The Seville Statement on Violence written by Dr. David Adams, (Peace Progress – A Journal of IAEWP, Vol. VI, No. 1, 2 & 3, 1993-95), he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. The readers may know about him by referring his article Collapse of the Us Dollar published in the instant issue of Transcend Media Service. Here the author of these lines would like to cite the central or the main 5 points of The Seville Statement on Violence:

    1. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestor.

    2. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that war or any other violent behavior is genetically programmed to our human nature.

    3. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behavior more than for other kinds of behavior.
    4. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that humans have a ‘violent brain’.

    5. IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that war is caused by ‘instinct’ or any single motivation.

    The readers may request to the author of these lines (who was then the editor & publisher of Peace Progress) for the Peace Progress Journal in which The Seville Statement on Violence is published.

    Now the author of these lines would like to share his views with readers and the author of the article: Is Lasting Peace Possible?

    Humanity faces the greatest challenges of its history – the challenge of learning to live with cooperation and mutual sharing for its own survival or peace. This is why education for survival is urgently needed for the whole world.

    Survival is the basic innate desire for all species. But question arises which way survival is needed or desirable: survival through struggle or survival through mutual sharing, cooperation and altruism? In animal world, only fittest can survive; in human world, weak also survive due to the human nature of mutual sharing, love and altruism. If man is only animal; he might also choose struggle for his existence. In his writing on War and Peace in his book: If the War Goes On, Hermann Hesse also says, “In so far as man is animal, he lives by struggle, he lives at the expense of others, whom he fears and hates. Life is then war.” But man is not animal. Hence human survival is desirable or needed through mutual sharing, cooperation and altruism. Charles Darwin himself stressed this law of cooperation and mutual aid, side by side with that of struggle for existence, although for some time this aspect of his theory was neglected by Darwinians. In 1880, the Russian Zoologist Kessler made it clear that the law of mutual aid or cooperation is as fundamental as that of struggle for existence. Later on Peter Kropotkin in his ‘Mutual Aid’ then in his ‘Ethics’, demonstrated this principle convincingly. Since that time an enormous body of evidence has been produced showing that the principle of cooperation has possibly been even more important in the evolutionary process than that of egoistic struggle for existence. Richard Leaky and Roger Lewin, in their book ‘Origins’, have set out to show, “… that humans could not have evolved in the remarkable way in which we undoubtedly have unless our ancestors were strongly cooperative creatures. The key to the transformation of a social ape-like creature into a cultural animal living in a highly structured and organized society is sharing: the sharing of jobs and sharing of food.” For more details, one may refer to:

    Education for Survival
    By Surya Nath Prasad
    Presented in the IAEWP World Congress held at George Town University, Washington, D. C., USA from November23-27, 1982, and published in University News, Vol. XXI, No. 10, May 15, 1983 & Vol. XXI, No. 11, June 1, 1983, and also in Peace Progress, Vol. III, No. 3, 1985