Humanity’s Path to Peace: Technological Peace Theory
Among the most well-accepted ideas in political science is “democratic peace theory”, which basically theorizes that democracies are less likely to go to war with one another. Although there is significant disagreement over the definitions used (for democracy, war, peace, etc.) and over the reasons why, the theory is generally borne out well in terms of quantifiable data, regardless of how it is examined. Like so much of political science though – with its massive scope – democratic peace theory struggles to establish controls on the vast mountain of data it draws from. Far beyond simple political motivators, there are numerous other factors that cloud the simple distinction between states and how they interact with one another.
Perhaps the most overlooked alternate explanation though is the one that optimistic science fiction has been hinting at for years: technology. Science fiction has long envisaged a future free of war; liberated by remarkable advances in technology. As much as this notion – a sort of technological peace theory – has come to be mocked in dystopian fiction, the crazy fact is that it appears to be true. Looking at the data, it seems like a quantifiable certainty that the more technologically and industrially advanced a state is, the less likely it is to go to war, particularly with other, similarly-advanced states.