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Why Does War Happen In general it could be said that the implications of the most recent anthropological literature lead to a refutation of the influential view long advanced by non-anthropological writers like Hobbes and Freud to the effect that war is the consequence of an innate propensity to aggression in human beings that can never be eradicated but only harnessed Nineteenth century evolutionary doctrine- provided an Impetus for this theory through its concepts of the beastly ancestry of man and the survival of the fittest the latter in turn was invoked by early anthropological theories to justify the dispossession and extermination by Europeans of Indigenous peoples like the Inhabitants of the Australian island of Tasmania who presumably were doing the very same thing to one another and to their neighbors only using spears instead of guns A minority of present-day anthropologists who object to the current trend in the literature to deny the alleged prevalence of aggression and violence in pre-state society see here a so-called neo-Rousseauian paradigm as faulty as the neo-Hobbesian paradigm of anthropologists of a century ago Thus Keeley writes in this vein that both laypersons and academics-now prefer a vision of tribal peoples as lambs in Eden spouting ecological mysticism and disdain for the material conditions of life 1996170 This author who maintains that both the prehistoric and modern evidence suggests a propensity to warfare among groups in pre-state society sees researcher bias as responsible for its denial Ferguson one of the authors who are included in Keeleys criticism replies that Keeley is seeking to resurrect the long-discredited view of war as fundamental to the nature of man and that although Keeley 1996157- 159 dismisses biology as Irrelevant to explaining war his book Is becoming a touchstone for biologist theories --their missing link nd4 Ferguson for all that by no means denies the incidence of war In pre-state society but does maintain that the evidence indicates it is by no
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