Homo homini lupus—man is mankind’s wolf. This claim, put forward by Maccius Plautus in his comedy Asinaria of 195 bc, has struck a chord throughout the millennia. For it reflects what many regard as a universal and eternal truth: the greatest danger faced by humankind lies in our own predatory instincts. Life would be stable and secure for all, if only we could tame that inner wolf bent on aggression against its own kind. Hence, throughout history, humankind has decried the suffering brought about by war, and called for eternal peace, while plaintively accepting...
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