“Mommy, Daddy, what was war?”

When I talk of strategies for peace within a generation, some skeptics raise the question:

What makes you think world peace is possible? People have been fighting wars for thousands of years!

Similar arguments were heard in the 19th century to argue that the abolition of slavery was impossible.People argued that slavery was natural, that it had always existed, that every society had slavery, that it was in the slaves’ best interests, that freedom would bring misery and low birth rates leading to extinction, that freedom would result in bloodbaths and chaos, that abolition was foolishly utopian or impractical, and that improving enslavement was the best way to deal with the problem.

Much like slavery, war has no moral or biological basis, and the fact that it has been an institution for thousands of years is no reason not to end it. If we resist defeatist and simplistic arguments, future generations of children will likely be gifted with peace. This question will be music to the ears: “Mommy, Daddy… What was war?”