There is No Instinct for War
III. An Example of Warfare Page 4

Title Page

I. Introduction
Page 1

II. Motivational Systems
Page 2

III. An Example of Warfare
Pages 3 - 4

IV. History of Warfare
Pages 5

V. Warfare and Marriage
Page 6

VI. Conclusion
Page 7

Page 8

(Continued from previous page)

Stage two, the group's decision on whether and how to attack, is made in a special secret session that is attended only by the men of the community. In this stage, one social motivation is probably essential: the motivation of group contact. As Meggit says, "although no man who has the right to be at a clan assembly is forced to appear, only a man who was profoundly indifferent to his clan's welfare would voluntarily absent himself." Meggit's description of these meetings indicates that they are carried out without any great passion or emotion. He uses words such as "indicate," "argue," "solicits responses," "speak," "contribute," "make their points with elaborate oratorical flourishes," "clarified the issues," "carefully dissected the facts," "summarizes the main arguments," and "announces the decision reached." The description could easily be one of a congress drafting a law or the board of a corporation making a marketing decision. There is no reason to consider that offense or defense, i.e., anger or fear, plays a critical role in this stage.

Stage three, the preparation of weapons and supplies, is carried out with a minimum of emotion or other sign of social motivation. The one possible relevant motivational system is grooming, since the warriors may deck themselves rather elaborately with ornaments or blacken their faces or smear their bodies with soot or earth or clay.

Stage four, the march to the place of attack, is made in silence in order to be sure that the attack is a surprise. It seems likely that the warriors feel many emotions during the march, including the excitement (display) caused by the group's movement and the fear (defense) caused by the possibility that they may be injured or killed in the fighting to come. However, it would be difficult to argue that these emotions and their corresponding motivations are necessary to this stage of warfare. To the contrary, they could be contradictory if the display led to shouting that alerted the enemy or if the defense led to fleeing or freezing behaviors that interrupted the march. On the other hand, the motivation of group contact, may be essential. It is probably this motivation that keeps the warriors together and counteracts their fear.

Stage five, the attack itself, involves strenuous and dangerous activity. Meggit describes it as "forcing doors, shooting arrows into the houses, burning the thatch. ..and cutting down fugitives." If prolonged, the fighting may turn into a war of attrition with alternating periods of fearful watching and fierce fighting. All of the social motivations may well be aroused during the course of such battles; certainly group contact, offense (anger), defense (fear), submission {shamed obedience), and display {excitement). Are any of these essential, however? Once again, group contact is probably essential. With regard to fear, however, it is taught that fear is to be avoided, and, if necessary, "a frightened youth may also be publicly shamed." This suggests a more critical role for submission than for fear. With regard to anger and display, the instructions to young warriors do not emphasize passion, noise, and violent movement; instead, they emphasize careful deliberate calculated activity. For example they are advised to "watch your enemy carefully," "remain still if you see the shaft of an arrow, but duck if you see only the point," and "if a house is burning, especially your own, do not watch it lest you are dazzled by the glare and miss seeing an enemy on your flank."

In summary, it would appear that only one social motivation proves to be essential for warfare, and that is group contact. Without group contact it would seem unlikely that the planning assemblies or the marches that are necessary for war could take place. Submissive behavior may also play a role in training warriors to avoid acting out of fear. The aggressive motivations, offense and defense, may well be aroused during some causal incidents and during the actual attack, but they do not appear to be essential to the process. Grooming may also play a role in preparation for warfare but would not appear to be essential. Other social motivations seem even less important.

(End of chapter)

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