by Lipton Matthews
The triumph of peace in contemporary societies is expressed as an obvious fact by mainstream intellectuals. Noting the relatively peaceful state of the world is part of a broader narrative to paint a positive picture of humanity. Yet there is a kernel truth to the assertion that quality of life indicators are improving, as explored by Marian Tupy and other optimists. But the game of warfare is more complicated.
Steven Pinker in his compelling tome The Better Angels of Our Nature posits that warfare is declining. Numerous graphs and statistics are adduced to marshal his case for the ascent of peace. But since its publication in 2011, Pinker’s thesis has spurred internecine debates. But before embarking upon an exploration of Pinker’s audacious claim, we must assess the right variables.