The possible link between culture, material conditions, and war

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The possible link between culture, material conditions, and war

After the Second World War and finally after the Cold War and the Gulf War, many peo-ple agreed that there is no need for war anymore. Allies were conducted to maintain peace. But this belief was destroyed. Nowadays, we have to fear a war with Iraq. The question which rises is, if there is a possible link between culture, material conditions, and war? In my paper I will mention the anthropology of war and gender roles. Furthermore, I will discuss the interrelations between culture and war, and finally the interrelations between religion and war.

The first question is, if there was war from the beginning of human kind on, or if war just was developed over time? This is a
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Accordingly to O’Connell, “violence is not innate in humankind and violence is not inherent in civilization either (p. 6).” But why do we have war? Furthermore, he claims that “war is dependent on levels of ecological adaptation that is inherently transitory (p. 6)”. That means human beings are not evil from begin-ning on. They learn violence during their life. For example, Neolithic farmers did not know war until they were attacked by marauders, who destroyed their entire village and slaughtered who-ever they could kill. The survivors of this attack built a new, larger settlement. The living area was “surrounded by a massive wall” to protect them from enemies. They had never forgotten the attack of the marauders, which killed so many people. They built “a body of armed men [which] marched out of this settlement and did battle with an equivalent force, striving to conquer and so come to rule them (p. 3 f).” The farmers would have never thought about attacking somebody if they would not have been attacked by other people, and therefore learnt about violence. But how is war exactly defined? Anthropologists are not very “descriptive” about that issue. Accordingly to O’Connell, they see war as “organized violence” or “fighting between territorial units (p. 5).”

What contents must war fulfill that it is regarded as war? O’Connell claims that true war needs “preparation, a group orientation, a governmental and military
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