Durham Academy/Lectures

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Durham Academy Lectures and Lessons Archive

Le Penseur's Lecture on Large-Scale Conflict

Welcome to today’s lecture, provided by the Philosophe Knights, and made possible by the kind people at Durham Utility, will be on: Large-Scale Conflict - Ethnic, Racial, and Political.

Large-Scale Conflict arises when two populations disagree, and fail to settle the disagreement merely by words. In many cases, these conflicts are bitter, drawn-out, and are ended only when one population is utterly defeated, and even then, both populations will likely hold ill-will towards one another for long periods afterwards. These conflicts are typically nasty and long because each side has a point to prove - whatever side of the disagreement each population had, they wish to prove that they were correct by way of violence, and refuse to give up until they have made their point. In some cases, diplomacy never enters into the scene, as one or both of the populations simply rush at the other with the blind intent to kill, and often times, these conflicts are actually easier to resolve than those which resulted from the breakdown of diplomacy. This is because the lack of communication allowed for no verbal bickering, and thus, no point for the two populations to have to prove in combat. Now, these disagreements may stem from political power-stuggles, ethnic and racial tension, or misunderstandings. The most popular type of conflict - endorsed by 78% of the worlds current leaders, and several multinational corporations - is the combination of the power-struggle and the ethnic struggle. I will explain just why this is the most popular later on. The political conflict generally revolves around one of two things - control of land, or control of resources. These may be set off by the difficulties of a monarch’s succession, a tariff or sanctions upon exports or imports, the annexation of a territory, or the buildup of one population’s military forces near another population’s interests. The political conflict usually resolves around two official military forces assaulting one another on or around the disputed terrain or resources, although it often spills over elsewhere as each population looks to put pressure on its enemy and overwhelm them on all possible fronts. While the conflict is usually between the official forces of two populations, other individuals, criminal gangs, or civilian groups may become involved, trying to tip the balance or being employed by one side for the purpose of fighting. These conflicts may end with the victor claiming much more land or resources than was originally fought over, although if the defeated sues for peace while their fighting force is not utterly destroyed, they are often able to only relinquish the disputed land or resources, and sometimes, only some small part of that.

Ethnic and Racial conflicts are far less orderly, less defined, and erupt from generally one cause - one ethnic or racial group migrating into the territory of another ethnic or racial group. This migration results in the native population’s loss of resources AND land, often achieved by the ‘invasive’ population by peaceful and generally legal means, such as purchasing land, settling down, or simply working as a seasonal migratory worker. Because the migratory population is not aggressively or territorially entering the native populations area, politics only enters into the conflict after it has erupted. The first stages of an ethnic or racial conflict is the exclusionary stage. The native population will begin segregating their territories between their own population and the ‘invasive’ population, by refusing the ‘invasive’ population entry to necessary establishments such as hospitals, markets, or schools. This encourages the native population to persecute the ‘invasive’ population, through intimidation, violence, and harassment. This, in turn, triggers the Second Stage, the Gang Stage. When the ‘invasive’ population is enduring these humiliations and attacks, they will likely form gangs to protect themselves. This is nearly instinctive, and comes very naturally to humans. It is also the first step towards the organized violence in a ethnic conflict. When gangs form, and predictably engage is gang violence, the native population will point out that the ‘invasive’ population consists of violent, criminal, and degenerate people. All it takes is for one event of shocking violence on the part of an ‘invasive’ gang to start the full scale conflict. Once this violent act sparks the conflict, there is very little official military force involved at first. It begins with civilian militias, the native population’s gangs, and many bitter individuals from the native population attacking members of the ‘invasive’ population at random, without real provocation, and generally with deadly force or mutilation. The ‘invasive’ population will probably fight back, prompting the official military force of the native population to step in. From there on, anarchy tends to reign, as the native population massacres the ‘invasive’ population at the blessing of their governing force. Resolving such a conflict is very difficult. It requires an extremely dedicated program to make an effective effort to break down what will most likely be the traditional views of the native and ‘invasive’ populations regarding one another. Only through spreading an evenhanded and unbiased view of the two populations can the two populations even become prepared to resolve the conflict, and even after, stereotypes and hard feeling will probably remain.

Now, the most popular, and long-lasting of conflicts: The Political and Ethnic/Racial Conflict. When the leader of a population senses that s/he is about to become embroiled in a political conflict with another population, and s/he needs the support of his/her population, a common tactic is to appeal to any racial or ethnic tensions that exist between the leader’s population and the enemy population. Playing off these tensions, the leader may try to instill a sense of pride of their own ethnicity or race into his/her population - something known as Nationalism. Widespread Nationalism creates the perfect atmosphere for war, as each population believes that it and its people are superior to all others, and cannot lose. Military recruitment will rise, and the entire population will contribute to the support of its military, donating materials, weapons, and supplies, as well as not complaining about the hardships of war. A conflict between to Nationalistic populations may continue without pause for decades, and even centuries. Though the conflict may not be all fighting, even in times of peace between the two populations, the leaders of the populations will work against one another, and most political intrigue, foreign policy, trade, and alliances will be conducted with the destruction of the enemy population in mind. To settle a conflict such as this may take years. Not only is negotiation, compromise, and diplomacy needed, but also a massive campaign to ‘denationalize’ a population needs to take place. Often, the rebellious youth will be the ones to begin this kind of campaign, as years of war, and the prospect of becoming a soldier or an arms-manufacturer disillusions them. Only if the two populations begin to believe less in their own superiority can peace pick up where war left off, because if only the war is stopped, the ethnic tension will remain, and will set the stage for the next war to begin.