The wars of mankind are like children's fights….

Lord Hylton

“The wars of mankind are like children’s fights – all meaningless, pithless and contemptible.  All their fights are fought with wooden swords, all their purposes  are centred in futility.” – Jalaleddin Rumi

This quotation comes from a 13th Century Islamic mystic, one of the great  men of the Sufi tradition.   He was born in modern Afghanistan, but later had to flee westwards to central Turkey, now Iconium

2 comments for “The wars of mankind are like children's fights….

  1. Francisco
    22/05/2009 at 7:00 pm

    When I feel exasperated about conflicts, I sometimes wonder whether it would be better, instead of sending a high-level negotiator to a conflict zone, to send a primary school teacher.


  2. senex
    27/05/2009 at 8:27 pm

    From the BBC link below: “Contrary to popular belief, we are born violent. Until the age of three, our impulses run riot. There is no stopping the urges which come from the emotional centre in our brains.”

    What fascinates me is the prospect that somewhere in human antiquity some mechanism worked to produce the humans we are now. Reading the research done in Russia on the taming of silver foxes it leaves one to speculate, did human breeding in a controlled way lead to the cognitive abilities we have today.

    From the DOI link below:

    “Foxes bred for docility demonstrate a friendly response to humans similar to that of domestic dogs. In contrast, foxes from a strain selected for aggressive behavior are aggressive toward humans and difficult to handle.”

    If humans did indeed undergo selective breeding to remove aggression then it opens up a can of worms regarding eugenics, Darwin and natural selection. It is this can of worms that led to the holocaust in Germany during its national socialist years. It was also behind their attempts to create a master race.

    India is particularly fascinating in this respect given its 5000-year-old caste system of selective breeding. It was the prospect of loosing this that led to the murder of Gandhi and the loss of a great humanitarian.

    Ref: BBC: Are we all capable of violence?
    Kukekova et al.:”Measurement of segregating behaviors in experimental silver fox pedigrees.” Behavior Genetics, Vol. 38, Number 2, March, 2008, 0001-8244 (Print) 1573-3297 (Online), DOI

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