On the Role of Anger in War and Peace
II. There Is No Instinct for War Page 2

Title Page

I. Introduction
Page 1

II. There is no Instinct for War
Page 2

III. Why There Are So Few Women Warriors
Pages 3

IV. History of Warfare
Pages 4

V. Warfare and Marriage
Page 5

VI. Conclusion
Page 6

Notes and References
Page 7

In order to confront the myth that warfare is "instinctual." I have made a motivational analysis of a well-documented example of warfare in a stateless society and found that anger does not play a critical role in it (Adams. 1984). The example consists of the warfare of the Mae Enga people of New Guinea which has been carefully described by Meggitt (1977).

The motivational analysis is applied to the five stages of Mae Enga warfare: 1) the immediate event that caused the war; 2) the group decision on whether or not to attack; 3) the preparation of weapons and supplies; 4) the march to the place of attack; and 5) the attack itself.

The most common events that cause wars involving the Mae Enga consist of disputes over land or theft of pigs, events that mayor may not require the emotion of anger or other related motivations.

The decision to attack is made in a special secret session of the men in which an emphasis is placed upon rational, not emotional discussion.

The preparation of weapons and supplies and the march to the place of attack may involve the emotion of fear, but not necessarily that of anger.

The attack itself involves strenuous and dangerous activity that calls forth emotion, but the training of warriors emphasizes that they should not be distracted by emotion, but should concentrate, instead, upon the proper use of their weapons and careful avoidance of the weapons of the enemy.

In summary, I have found that only one of all the social motivations could be considered essential for warfare: the motivation of group contact. Although anger might well occur, there is no reason to think that its role is necessary.

In modern warfare, anger and other related emotions are even less necessary and more dangerous to the warrior as a possible distraction under battle conditions and in training. Instead, modern warfare emphasizes careful rational planning, hierarchical command structure, and the rational use of weapons under conditions of minimal exposure to the enemy.

A very similar argument is presented in this symposium by Professor Kirsti Lagerspetz of Finland.

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