Getting rid of war, on the other hand, seems to me far more difficult. It demands at least one, and probably two, psychological developments radical enough to be called breakthroughs, and our progress in developing and utilizing the psychological sciences has so far been disappointing.
The really necessary advance would involve some method of eliminating the almost universal human attitude that one's own rights are as important as anyone else's.
Not more important. As important.
I am not saying that people shouldn't feel that way, or don't have a right to feel that way, or that it's immoral or even unreasonably selfish. I simply say that unless and until it changes, conflicts of interest will continue to lead to violence in the name of right, freedom, and The People. What specific situation starts things off — the population of a landlocked country believing that it has the right to a seaport of its own, women believing that they have the same rights as men, or junkies believing that they have a right to a fix at public expense — is trivial beside the general principle that my right is as important as yours. If a way were actually discovered to alter this bit of human nature there would be screams against the dangers of psychological research; and if a government or some other group tried to apply the techniques, plenty of people (including me) would fight for the right to their own minds.
Please note that death, destruction, and mayhem are not primary aims of war. They may be secondary ones, as when a cannibal tribe attacks its neighbors for meat, but more usually they are just inconvenient by-products. The aim and end of war is to impose one's will on an opponent.
Unfortunately, imposing one's will on another includes the situation in which your will is merely that he not impose his on you.
From "Chips On Distant Shoulders" by Hal Clement