Table of Contents
The discussion around the origins and reasons of war are famous since a society of human tribes appeared. People were fighting for a better territory and simple resources to survive. The resources and the territory were always a measure of impact of one country on another. Therefore, the war was an only one way to gain more power. Despite numerous attempts of humanity to establish a peaceful and democratic society with equal rights, producing of weapon is still one of the prerogatives of the country. The democratic community that promotes peace and a legal way of solution of foreign conflicts invests large financial resources into modernizing the weapon and optimizing the process of its producing. Michael Doyle’s book Ways of War and Peace: Realism, Liberalism, and Socialism briefly explain the reasons and consequences of wars through the prism of classical theories. The paper will analyze the origins and causes of the war and prove that the democracy does not guarantee a peaceful existence due to global tendencies.
A war is a form of communication through military facilities which determine the power and influence of the state. A fight is a primary type of communication which demonstrates the intention of the side to own a thing or territory. Despite the war is a radical form of consensus in the modern world, there is no effective mechanism of prevention of this condition. Along with that, military actions were the only one mechanism that had helped to establish the state of democracy. In fact, the stronger power always wants more influence. That is why an absolutely peaceful society cannot exist without a weapon.
After the era of constant and regular migrations of nations and the establishment of borders, the world has been divided into the Western (empires) and Eastern (colonies) parts. The Western mentality is based on the belief in racial and cultural dominations based on the intellectual and sustainable development. Along with that, the reputation of the country is measured by the amount of the army and weapon modernity. It is based and defined by the economic conditions. Nevertheless, the Eastern mentality has been underestimated during the centuries. The reason is that those nations have a strong will, national motivation, and a warrior spirit. The first statement of Victor Magagna is the proclamation of “diffused the East and the West” (2015, May 6th). Looking on the inclination for a solution of the conflicts, the East is more biased to military expansion; and its dialogue is based on a military advantage. Before the end of the Cold War, the West had its benefit in its economics. However, the world was not ready to change the direction and preferred its further military development. The nuclear power became a tool of the two hegemonies: the USA and the USSR leading to the collapse of the latter one. The fear of the nuclear war was a key argumentation during the parley and agreements between the governments. The modern instruments and forms of the war are better developed. Nevertheless, the paradox is that the democratic countries such as the USA and Japan have a stronger army organization than the dictatorship states such as the Russian Federation, China, and India (though the difference is not very big).
The myth of perfect reputation of democratic societies has been created as an apology of the conqueror empires for their cruelty in the past. In fact, it is an achievement of protesting slaves whose fight for equality made the developed West states pay attention to the problems of common people. In reality, each democracy was built on blood and long-lasting fight. Hence, there is a cognitive collision of the real understanding and recognition of democracy and dictatorship. The question may appear on the reason to choose between them if both of them produce a military machine.
The difference is about the role and rights of human beings in the world. The World War II and its quantity consequences have demonstrated a necessity to provide anthropocentrism as a priority of all international affairs with the proclamation of the highest value of each person. The United Nations Convention was the first document in the entire history that clearly identified the human rights (Magagna, 2015, Apr. 29th). Moreover, the world has established the system of the humanitarian law (Genève Conventions I and II) for the cases of military conflicts and weapon exploitation.
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Doyle’s analysis of the international affairs and policy leads to the conclusion of the absence of one universal theory for wars. The war and peace are not abstract terms but a part of the political strategy. No one of them can satisfy the theoretical, practical and political questions about the best way of social organization. Nevertheless, Doyle’s appeal to the ideas of Thucydides, Kant, Lock, and other political philosophers is valuable in the context of discussions about the war and peace. For example, he uses Kant’s conception of mutual respect. It is as follows: “A group of rational beings who demand general laws for their survival, but of whom each incline toward exempting himself, and to establish their constitution in such a way that, in spite of the fact that their private attitudes are opposed, these private attitudes mutually impede each other… as if they did not have such evil attitudes” (1997, p. 309).
Liberalism and Democracy
The liberal theory mentioned in Michael Doyle’s book belongs to the democratic backgrounds of society. It is based on the individual rights and freedoms. A human is situated over the state that is why a country does everything for its well-being. The modern liberalistic branches proclaim the necessity to support each person and enclose the society to equal living. However, it happens without the state’s involvement in the private life. It is known that Doyle deeply learned Kant’s imperatives and his woks on the state management.
Historically, Kant’s conception of the critical imperative and law studies has developed the further ideas of the national institution renewing, i.e. the necessity to destroy all forms of personal dependence. It means that the human freedom and legal equality are the highest priority based on morality and humanity. The state orders cannot be changed until they are not functioning properly anymore. In fact, Emmanuel Kant’s thesis about the balance of powers and foreign affairs are quite valuable in the context of war and peace. Indeed, when the country speaks from the position of power and does not recognize the actual law, then the peace is hard to save. Finally, Kant was biased to the union of nations. Therefore, his globalist conception for peace has demonstrated the ways to keep it during various ages.
Doyle’s involvement of Rousseau’s opinion about the democracy and the state has also a high value in the context of foreign affairs and policy. Besides, involving Machiavelli’s conception of the state and structural theories has provided a fully realistic devotion of the intellectual society to the liberty of people. It is known that his theory of the social contract recognizes the human right on being, equality, freedom, and private property. In the natural conditions, the discrimination of someone’s right can lead to revenge. It increases a risk to start a war. For the prevention of this process, any state must take a role of arbiter; and people give a part of their sovereignty right to the country (they are still the owners).
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When the human rights are mass violated, the nation has a right to remove the authority. The freedom limitations in the form of slavery are possible during the war. Vice versa, building a healthy society is a prerogative of peace building institutions. For example, Michael Doyle in his book Making War and Building Peace has introduced the common opinion: “The international community still needed to find a way to promote sustainable peace, one that enlisted the support of a substantial majority of the local population and embodied basic principles of human rights” (Doyle and Sambanis 9). In fact, both books contain the discussion around the origin and nature of war. If the research Ways of War and Peace represents some retrospection and globalism, then the one called Making War and Building Peace is represented by the character of civil wars in different parts of the world. It also briefly explains the role of the international institutions in controlling the situation. Hence, analyzing the issues of the war, its origin, and transformation in the new world is possible with reading these two books.
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Realism: War and Peace
The realism of the ancient times and explanation of war origins is an important continuation in the context of peace. Doyle’s appeal to Thucydides provokes a personal request to the background knowledge of his explanations of conflicts. In fact, those reasons fit extremely well in the modern reasonable classification of this military issue. First of all, the thing is related to fear to lose power. Thucydides’ description of the Peloponnesian war (historically) is a simultaneous prediction of the reasons of the future military conflicts. At the same time, his ideas are the strong evidence of the fact that human nature never changes concerning power, wealth, and influence.
Realism depicts the few myths of nowadays that theoretically demonstrate the risk of war. First, after the Cold War and the division of the Soviet Union, the bipolar age of the world’s division has finished. Second, the wave of democratization has made the Western democracy believe in eternal peace. The democratic countries do not fight in a war, but only in law. Third, the globalization and economic dependence cannot allow the partners, whose economy straightly develops on others, to proclaim war. Finally, the development of international institutions and the supremacy of the international law, a threat of absolute isolation of the state can prevent an abrupt breach of law with the purpose to conquer territories. Nevertheless, Victor Magagna provides illustrations on attacking and defensive wars: “Defense less costly than attack; flank attacks less costly than frontal attacks” (2015, May, 20th). In practice, only the one who prepares for the war can save peace. However, it should happen not with the purpose to conquer but for the self-defense. Michael Doyle’s book and his personal background historical as well as political knowledge led to some assumptions. They can simplify the mentioned myths and simultaneously summarize the theories of the war’s origins.
Definitely, the threats of the World War III during the Caribbean Crisis and the mass production of the weapon have exhausted the economy of the giant state of socialism and communism content. It was not an abrupt action. The democracy has clearly demonstrated that the better life is only possible in a liberal community where every person is free in his or her actions. Despite the peace and democracy moving further to the East on the lands of the previous Soviet Union, the center of dictatorship has not been removed.
Nowadays, practice shows that the Russian, Chinese, and some Asian republics conduct a new anti-democratic line. The evidence is mentioned by Victor Magagna (2015) as follows, “Globalization: the global battlefield and the interlocking of systematic conflict (Europe, Asia, Middle East)” (March 30th). If to look at the institutional and inner policy principles of those countries, it is obvious that the realism classic of Thucydides is still appropriate to reality.
There is the practice of changing methods and territorial coverage of wars. It means that the era of big battles is over. Therefore, the military conflicts are mostly regional or local. Hence, there is the tendency to silent influence as each authority or regimes of the weaker countries are supported by foreign hegemonies. Moreover, its development does not mean that the state has no ability to change its course. Some dictatorship countries (such as Russia or Hungary) are constitutionally democratic, but the authority does not provide the standards into the institutional reformation. As a result, their VAT falls; and people are not satisfied with the regime. The best way to interrupt citizens from the inner problems is the creation of the image of a foreign enemy. According to the propaganda statements, the so-called foreign agent destabilizes the country or violently discriminates foreign citizens in the own territory. Thus, the history repeats in various scenarios but by the same principles, i.e. power, interest, impact, and trade.
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Speaking about the economic issue which is briefly promoted by the representatives of the realistic and liberal theories of war, the problem of trade markets is one of the central one. In fact, it has been always an indicator of success and development of the state. Besides, the market belongs to the forms of peaceful invasions through the culture, fashion, language, and other peaceful tools. To prove this opinion, Victor Magana’s principles are used: “Hypothesis IV: The continuing primacy of state interests. 1. Trade and conflict. 2. Alliance survival (alliances are contingent)” (2015, Apr. 29th). Definitely, the social division and the privilege classes took place in a long lasting tradition of human existence. This division had been also caused by the wars and the power of the strong states. That is why when socialists and communists proclaim absolute equality they do not involve the index of working quality. Hence, the social fairness is not an equal division of the property, but with an equal ability to achieve results. The collective consciousness is only good in the conditions of war when people think less and act more. In peaceful times, it might be dangerous for any dictatorship regime. It was one of social reasons of the empire’s intention to fight and not educate people.
The modern commitments to follow the support of international peace, justice, and human rights are the results of the long-lasting fight of the theories and regimes. The democracy is covered by the myths of unconditional peace and mutual respect. However, the liberal states produce the modern weapon. The conditions of the increasing power of dictatorship countries provoke a feeling of deja vu from the twentieth century. In that time, Hitler and Stalin also proclaimed the respect to the international borders’ stability. However, their strategy changed after they lost their economic interest. In fact, an economic ability to develop the impact on weak lands with rich natural and human resources was always motivating stronger countries to fight. Michael Doyle’s book is valuable for its managed analysis of the war and peace dilemma through the prism of the past. The personalities and their conceptions in the book are logically systematized. They clearly divide the topic between the two opposite sides. The studies have led to conclude that while being relaxed in the power of international institutions humanity encloses a new war.
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