Humanity has always (until fairly recently) been structured around a tribal culture. This organizational paradigm has helped us compete for resources, and furthered the strength of our evolution, as stronger tribes prevailed over less adaptable or less well organized groups. In the modern age these instinctual survival skills manifest as racism, sexism, classism, political parties, sports fans, international war, religious strife, terrorism, and pretty much any other form of conflict humans experience with one another, violent or not. It’s all Us’ns vs. Them’ns.
The dominant groups often tend to look at things from a more naturalistic perspective. Survival of the Fittest… Might Makes Right. The subordinate groups often see the world through an ethical lens, a construct of civilization that allows them to confront the naturalistic view head-on and undermine its power. (Fortunately for us all.)
In America it is currently the white male group that holds the reins to power, and who abuse those subordinate to them. However, because America was created by subordinate groups itself, it had the benefit of laws that at the very least forced “tribal competition” into the non-violent expressions, once the issues of who actually represented human beings was finally settled.
In other countries it is other groups, and depending on the culture of the land, these expressions can not only be violent, but genocidal. This is almost always viewed as “evil” by those using an ethical view, but the fact is that it is simply instinctual human behavior. (Not being evil does not make this kind of behavior any more tolerable or in any fashion a contribution to the greater good. It is only useful for understanding the reasons behind it.) The net result of this being that a dominant group will always abuse subordinate groups, until replaced by by an “ethical” subordinate group, who will quickly become an abusive dominant group themselves. And so on.
I would contend that a large part of the problem here is that people do not see the situation for what it is. It is much easier to look at the problem as “Whites vs. Blacks”, or “Catholics vs. Protestants”, or “Palestinians vs. Israelites” than it is to see it as a natural ebb and flow of human behavior. I believe however, that if this point of view could be changed to pull back the tribal-cultual identities of the participants in these conflicts and instead show the problem for what it is, humans obeying instinctual competitive drives to violence, conflict could be reduced, resolved, or avoided altogether.
Seen another way, fighting is simply the symptom of our problem. Even if you create a solution to the fighting, the problem persists. If a solution could be created to address the problem itself, say by applying an ethical construct to the base competitive tribal drive, then the actual reason for fighting could theoretically be removed.
Of course this is all entirely unrealistic, as nice as it may sound. People are more willing to kill one another than they are to peek under the covers of their tribal identities. This is another survival mechanism. The feeling of place we get from belonging to a group is what keeps dominant genetic lines strong, and protects against genetic weaknesses. It is also the very survival trait that most greatly threatens us all.
P.S. “Klaatu verata nuh…necktie…nectar…nickel…It’s an ‘N’ word, definitely an ‘N’ word.”