The Psychology of Warmaking, by Roberto Vacca, Eruditio – Journal of the World Academy of Arts and Science, University of Florida, Issue 5 – September 2014
Abstract – Historical, cultural, juridical and information theoretical arguments collected to substantiate the conclusion: the only way to prevent nuclear war is then the neutralization of all nuclear weapons. * * *
Why should we analyze the psychology of warmaking? Because understanding its mechanisms should suggest measures to avoid suffering and destruction of resources entailed by war. To prevent even minor local conflicts is impossible – just as to prevent any crime. The vital issue is prevention of major war. In 1932 the issue was debated in a correspondence between Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. It was published in a pamphlet (“Why War?) which had minimal diffusion and impact. Both authors treated the problem agreeing on two main points – discussed quite superficially
The first was the notion that humans are subjected to the instinct to conserve and unify – to love – and also to the instinct to hate and destroy. Each of these being as indispensable as its opposite. The phenomena of life were considered to derive from their interaction.
The second point was that the war impulse could only be opposed by forming a superior class of independent thinkers upright and able to enlighten and guide both the intelligentsia and the masses so they would follow the dictates of reason – an utopian hope in the view of the two authors.
We shall discuss these naïve views both based on historical evidence and on theoretical grounds in the substantive conclusions of the present document.
Obviously in the 21st century THE major war would be a thermonuclear war, possibly producing The Holocaust. Assume, then, that we accept the categorical imperative of preventing the major war. Note that the London Charter of August 8, 1945, signed by the plenipotentiaries of the governments of France, United Kingdom, USA and USSR established the principle that “the mere preparation of total war constitutes an international crime against peace and humanity”. The intent was sensible and meritorious, but in almost seven decades no attempt was made to apply the principle – although the four original nations advocating it and a handful of others have indeed prepared total war vastly more devastating than those experienced up to 1945.