Read the assigned texts from Lorenz, de Waal, Mead, Hedges, Sumner, Janis, Boulding, Wink, and Huntington, and watch the assigned video by Eisenhower. Then, for each of these 10 authors, state in one sentence how that author would answer the question, “Why do humans go to war with each other?” Do not simply quote the text. Rather, state the author’s viewpoint in your own words. Support your interpretation in a brief paragraph (two to three sentences), citing specific page numbers as evidence for your claims. All 10 paragraphs should be about two to three pages in length total. You will be graded on reading comprehension. For some authors, there may be more than one good interpretation. You do not need a title page or a list of references for this assignment.
Chapter 1: Understanding War
o On Aggrassion / Konrad Z. Lorenz
o Warfare is Only an Invention – Not a Biological Necessity / Margaret Mead
o War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning / Chris Hedges
o War and Other Essays / William Graham Sumner
o Victims of Groupthink / Irving Janis
o National Images and International Systems / Kenneth Boulding
o The Clash of Civilizations / Samuel Huntington
De Waal, F. B. M. (2000). Primates: A natural heritage of conflict resolution. Science, 289(5479), 586-590. • The full-text version of this article can be accessed through the JSTOR database in the Ashford University Library. This resource provides a scientific perspective on the evolution of human aggression that gives further support to Margaret Mead’s claim that war is not a biological necessity.
Wink, W. (1999). The myth of redemptive violence. Bible Society Transmission. Retrieved from http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/uploads/content/bible_in_transmission/files/1999_spring/Bit_Spring_1999_Wink. pdf • This resource provides a comparative analysis of ancient mythologies which shows the origin of the American idea that violence is sometimes necessary to bring about peace, arguing that this is a Babylonian idea which is incompatible with the Judeo-Christian-Islamic creation story.
Eisenhower, D. (1961, January 17). Eisenhower farewell address [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.cspan.org/video/?15026-1/eisenhower-farewell-address • A transcript is available on the landing page. This is a video of President Eisenhower’s prophetic warning about the growing power of business interests in determining military spending policy.
University of California Television. (Producer). (2004, November 1). War is a force that gives us meaning with Chris Hedges [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.uctv.tv/shows/War-is-a-Force-that-Gives-us-Meaning-with
Chris-Hedges-9109 • This video is of a lecture based on the book by Hedges excerpted in this week’s textbook reading.
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