One day, I was playing an age of empire game. There is this character called Genghis Khan. Genghis said that to unite Mongols they need to have common enemies.
Why they need common enemies?
The way we evolve is when we’re not at war, we’re in a race. When we’re not at war, we’re in peace. But peace means competition. Each male wants as many females as possible. When one male get plenty the other don’t get any.
So, when one male is successful, the other will get in the way. Most societies in the world then have various laws prohibiting success. Women prefer the rich, and hence the communists prohibit wealth. The religious conservatives also prohibit various free sex. That’s because freedom means competition and some people are simply not sexually competitive.
Each human want to maximize their gene pool proportion in their favor. That aspect of life is always a zero sum game. Hence, peace is not a more pareto optimal solution than war.
Imagine a country with 2 citizens, Bob and John. Say Bob is superior to John. During war, Bob will have better tactics, better strategy, and kill John. During peace, Bob will have better businesses, better stock prediction, more money, and attract more females than John. So, either in peace or war, Bob will survive in the gene pool.
Hence, there isn’t really any preference between Bob and John to support peace. The outcome of peace and war is the same anyway, the superior win.
Things get a little bit more complicated, and realistic, when people are superior in different areas. For example, say John predicts stocks better, and Bob fights better. Obviously Bob prefers war and John prefers peace if both care only about their gene pool survival.
During peace, John will make more money and attract more women. During war, Bob will beat the shit out of John and mate with more women. Because peace requires both to agree while war requires only the initiative of one side, war is then a more natural outcome.
That is why we have so many wars over so many strange reasons. People have been fighting due to different religious doctrines, intolerance of consensual acts, or a small piece of resources, such as land.
I call it a small piece of resources because the market value of the land is often much less than the amount of military expenditure spent to acquire it that no business minded political leader would invest for war campaign over the land. The true purpose of war is then to snuff off male surplus on those countries.
Yet there is hope. That hope is the desire for higher standard of living. Love of money, is then the root of all peace.
For evolutionary purposes, war and peace make little different. Some people will survive better in the gene pool anyway whether they are at war or at peace. In fact, many people will survive better in the gene pool through war than through peace.
However, war and peace make one big different. Peace leads to higher standard of living for both sides.
Here, even though Bob fights better, Bob would realize that he’ll have higher standard of living if he choose peace with John. That means he’ll survive less in the gene pool, but the higher standard of living may make up for it more. So Bob then want peace too.