Citizen Action Monitor

Humans keep fighting wars to resolve conflicts – War vs Peace must be on our agenda – Nate Hagens (27)

How can the US justify more military spending, when, in a peaceful world, it could be so much more wisely spent?

No 2310 Posted by fw, June 22, 2018

To access links to all other posts in this series, click on the Tab titled “Where Are We Going? by Dr. Nate Hagens” in the top left margin. 

“We have had anti-war movements in the past and hopefully will again in the future – what % of our ‘carbon windfall’ is directed to military spending? In a peaceful world where might it better be directed?” 

In yesterday’s post, Pt. 26, continuum 25, Dr Hagens asserted that America’s culture “has a serious problem” and has “lost some of its humanity.”

In today’s post, Pt. 27, continuum 26, he argues that the developed world has much more energy and resources than we need. Those surplus resources give us numerous pathways to pursue “meaningful, great, fulfilled balanced lives.” But not if we’re on a war-path.

Below is the embedded video of Hagens’ 60-minute address, followed by an 18-minute Q&A session. My transcript of Pt. 27, continuum 26, runs from 38:17 to 39:05.

Alternatively, a video of Hagens’ talk, along with a “loosely related” essay on the talk, are available by clicking on the following linked title. This version, published by, also includes excellent readers’ comments, including responses by Hagens.


Where are we going? by Nate Hagens,, May 8, 2018

TRANSCRIPT (from 38:17 to 39:05)


38:16[Continuum 26: War vs Peace] – Okay, this is as dark as it’s going to get and then it’s going to lighten up. Our species historically, when we ran into problems, we went to war. We need to solve this problem or it’s going to happen again.

38:34 – The good news is that in the developed world we use 50 to 100 times more energy and resources than out bodies need. It’s not like we’re remotely poor. We have many, many, many trajectories to have meaningful, great, fulfilled balanced lives, but not if we’re all pursuing what the current story is. I think war versus peace is a valid spectrum to include in this story.


[ Supplement] — War vs Peace – Historically, in times of fewer resources per capita, earlier human societies (and tribes before them) went to war. But this continuum is so often avoided in discussions that it needs to be mentioned. We will go to war again if we don’t manage to cooperate to solve the future constraints in a constructive way, and there are ways. This time, war would be much more devastating than ever before in human history. We have had anti-war movements in the past and hopefully will again in the future – what % of our ‘carbon windfall’ is directed to military spending? In a peaceful world where might it better be directed?


About Dr. Nathan John Hagens – Hagens, 51, worked on Wall Street at Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers for 10 years before closing his own hedge fund in 2003 to develop a systems synthesis approach to the human predicament. At present, Dr. Hagens is a professor at the University of Minnesota where he teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar called Reality 101, A Survey of Human Predicament. The readings and lectures cover literature in systems ecology, energy and natural resources, thermodynamics, history, anthropology, human behavior, neuroscience, environmental science, sociology, economics, globalization/trade, and finance/debt with an overarching goal to give students a general understanding of how our human ecosystem functions as a whole.

Visit Nate Hagens’ personal website at The Monkey Trap.

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