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This week, we continue our study of Paper 70, The Evolution of Human Government with §2. The Social Value of War. Wars seem never to cease on our world and their consequences to each society so engaged is ever more devastating. Still, in more primitive times war and its organizational imperatives were a decided step forward. Let's examine some of those social values together.
In past ages a fierce war would institute social changes and facilitate the adoption of new ideas such as would not have occurred naturally in ten thousand years. The terrible price paid for these certain war advantages was that society was temporarily thrown back into savagery; civilized reason had to abdicate. War is strong medicine, very costly and most dangerous; while often curative of certain social disorders, it sometimes kills the patient, destroys the society. (785.6) 70:2.1
During past ages war was a social ferment which pushed civilization forward; this result is now better attained by ambition and invention. Ancient warfare supported the concept of a God of battles, but modern man has been told that God is love. War has served many valuable purposes in the past, it has been an indispensable scaffolding in the building of civilization, but it is rapidly becoming culturally bankrupt — incapable of producing dividends of social gain in any way commensurate with the terrible losses attendant upon its invocation.
At one time physicians believed in bloodletting as a cure for many diseases, but they have since discovered better remedies for most of these disorders. And so must the international bloodletting of war certainly give place to the discovery of better methods for curing the ills of nations. (785.14–786.1) 70:2.9–10
Please come join us for what ought to be a relevant discussion of recent developments in our current affairs!