Why is there war?

Every man of normally strong emotions knows, from his own experience, the subjective phenomena that go hand with the response of militant enthusiasm. A shiver runs down the back and, as more exact observation shows, along the outside of both arms. One soars elated, above all the ties of everyday life, one is ready to abandon all of the call of what, in the moment of this specific emotion, seems to be a sacred duty. All obstacles in its path became unimportant; the instinctive inhibition against hurting or killing one's fellows lose, unfortunately, much of their power. Rational considerations, criticism, and all reasonable arguments against the behavior dictated by militant enthusiasm are silenced by an amazing reversal of all values, making them appear not only untenable but base and dishonorable. Men may enjoy the feeling of absolute righteousness even while they commit atrocities. Conceptual thought and moral responsibility are at their lower ebb. As a Ukrainian proverb say: "When the banner is unfurled, all reason is in the trumpet.

--K. Lorenz