Human nature in the war of the worlds

Hire Writer Like many middle class citizens of the time, the narrator was not vehemently opposed to colonialism, but through his experiences he sees the damage mankind has caused and becomes disgusted at the idea of enslavement. Through the narrator, Wells creates an everyman that we can connect to. As he suffers throughout the invasion, he becomes a moral guide to the reader.

Human nature in the war of the worlds

The first issue to be considered is what is war and what is its definition. The student of war needs to be careful in examining definitions of war, for like any social phenomena, definitions are varied, and often the proposed definition masks a particular political or philosophical stance paraded by the author.

This is as true of dictionary definitions as well as of articles on military or political history. Cicero defines war broadly as "a contention by force"; Hugo Grotius adds that "war is the state of contending parties, considered as such"; Thomas Hobbes notes that war is also an attitude: For example, the notion that wars only involve states-as Clausewitz implies-belies a strong political theory that assumes politics can only involve states and that war is in some manner or form a reflection of political activity.

This captures a particularly political-rationalistic account of war and warfare, i. We find Rousseau arguing this position: The military historian, John Keegan offers a useful characterization of the political-rationalist theory of war in his A History of War.

It is assumed to be an orderly affair in which states are involved, in which there are declared beginnings and expected ends, easily identifiable combatants, and high levels of obedience by subordinates.

The form of rational war is narrowly defined, as distinguished by the expectation of sieges, pitched battles, skirmishes, raids, reconnaissance, patrol and outpost duties, with each possessing their own conventions. As such, Keegan notes the rationalist theory does not deal well with pre-state or non-state peoples and their warfare.

War is our nature

If war is defined as something that occurs only between states, then wars between nomadic groups should not be mentioned, nor would hostilities on the part of a displaced, non-state group against a state be considered war. An alternative definition of war is that it is an all-pervasive phenomenon of the universe.

Accordingly, battles are mere symptoms of the underlying belligerent nature of the universe; such a description corresponds with a Heraclitean or Hegelian philosophy in which change physical, social, political, economical, etc can only arise out of war or violent conflict. Heraclitus decries that "war is the father of all things," and Hegel echoes his sentiments.

Interestingly, even Voltaire, the embodiment of the Enlightenment, followed this line: All animals are perpetually at war with each other Air, earth and water are arenas of destruction.

Alternatively, the Oxford Dictionary expands the definition to include "any active hostility or struggle between living beings; a conflict between opposing forces or principles. This perhaps indicates a too broad definition, for trade is certainly a different kind of activity than war, although trade occurs in war, and trade often motivates wars.

The OED definition also seems to echo a Heraclitean metaphysics, in which opposing forces act on each other to generate change and in which war is the product of such a metaphysics. So from two popular and influential dictionaries, we have definitions that connote particular philosophical positions.

The plasticity and history of the English language also mean that commonly used definitions of war may incorporate and subsume meanings borrowed and derived from other, older languages: Such descriptions may linger in oral and literary depictions of war, for we read of war in poems, stories, anecdotes and histories that may encompass older conceptions of war.

Both could recognize the presence or absence of war. War certainly generates confusion, as Clausewitz noted calling it the "fog of war", but that does not discredit the notion that war is organized to begin with.

The Latin root of bellum gives us the word belligerent, and duel, an archaic form of bellum; the Greek root of war is polemos, which gives us polemical, implying an aggressive controversy.

Human nature in the war of the worlds

An alternative definition that the author has worked on is that war is a state of organized, open-ended collective conflict or hostility. This is derived from contextual common denominators, that is elements that are common to all wars, and which provide a useful and robust definition of the concept.

This working definition has the benefit of permitting more flexibility than the OED version, a flexibility that is crucial if we are to examine war not just as a conflict between states that is, the rationalist positionbut also a conflict between non-state peoples, non-declared actions, and highly organized, politically controlled wars as well as culturally evolved, ritualistic wars and guerrilla uprisings, that appear to have no centrally controlling body and may perhaps be described as emerging spontaneously.

The political issue of defining war poses the first philosophical problem, but once that is acknowledged, a definition that captures the clash of arms, the state of mutual tension and threat of violence between groups, the authorized declaration by a sovereign body, and so on can be drawn upon to distinguish wars from riots and rebellions, collective violence from personal violence, metaphorical clashes of values from actual or threatened clashes of arms.

For example, if it is claimed that man is not free to choose his actions strong determinism then war becomes a fated fact of the universe, one that humanity has no power to challenge.

The implication is that man is not responsible for his actions and hence not responsible for war. Wherein lies its cause then becomes the intellectual quest: Some seek more complicated versions of the astrological vision of the medieval mind e.

In a weaker form of determinism, theorists claim that man is a product of his environment-however that is defined-but he also possesses the power to change that environment.

Again, the paradoxes and intricacies of opinions here are curiously intriguing, for it may be asked what permits some to stand outside the laws that everybody else is subject to? But thinkers here spread out into various schools of thought on the nature of choice and responsibility.

Human nature and war : an anthology of readings (Book, ) []

Such concerns obviously trip into moral issues to what extent is the citizen morally responsible for war? Descriptive and normative problems arise here, for one may inquire who is the legal authority to declare war, then move to issues of whether that authority has or should have legitimacy.Human nature and war.

Albany: The University of the State of New York, The State Education Dept., Center for International Programs and Comparative Studies, © (OCoLC) WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog, helping you find library materials online.

What does the ‘War of the Worlds’ tell us about human nature H.

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G Wells was a man of new ideas and had strong political and moral views, which are prevalent throughout his . There's something important about the human-animal comparison.

The idea that people needed to be more responsible in relation to nature was growing throughout the 19th Century. idea that people need to be more thoughtful about animals was getting more attention around the time when Wells wrote The War of the Worlds. BACK; NEXT ; Cite. The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H.

G. Wells, first serialised in by Pearson's Magazine in the UK and by Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. The novel's first appearance in hardcover was in from publisher William Heinemann of London.

War isn't part of human nature but competition is Not as much war as just competition debating on who is the best such as the Olympics and world's strongest man.

. This specimen of the Martian “vegetable kingdom” is, in fact, specified by the narrator to be “a vivid blood-red” in color (p.

Human nature in the war of the worlds

; II.2)—perhaps symbolically mirroring the human blood that is being spilled, and on which the Martians feed (and, therefore, the blood of humans spilled by humans in the real world, that feeds rampant imperialism).

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