War and Escapability

Jason Stone
2 min readJan 9, 2022

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The Escapability Heuristic states that the less escapable an arrangement is the less voluntary and, therefore, the less coercive the arrangement ought to be. Nation states provide most of us with a style of living that we value, however, they include advanced militaries that may enter into conflicts without explicit permission by the citizenry. During a conflict, citizens may be targeted for death. Since being a member of a nation state is difficult to avoid while maintaining a reasonable quality of life, perhaps it should be easier to escape the danger of being killed in a war that one did not choose.

One approach might be to allow voting at a regional level to determine which regions within a nation support a war proposal. Those regions that do not vote in approval of the war could be protected by special war crime laws as long as attacks are not launched from the region. Citizens that supported the war effort could relocate to regions that voted for it and those who did not could relocate to regions that voted against it. Most nations would feel some motivation to avoid a total war in which any citizen may be targeted for death. If a region that did not approve of a war is attacked, then treaty agreements could obligate other nations to intervene against the transgressing party.

Even if this approach is unhelpful perhaps it may inspire the search for effective ways to reduce the violence associated with war. If peace loving individuals refuse to participate in shaping the use of military power then the field may often be abandoned to those who are ideological committed to unnecessary violence.

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