Analysis of the Human Nature Ideas in Thucydides' Work, The Peloponnesia War

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The Peloponnesian War was a conflict between the two prominent states of ancient Greece: Athens and Sparta. The war was long and destructive lasting from year 431 to 404 BCE and came to an end with the defeat of Athens by Sparta. Through a Modern analysis on Thucydides’, History of The Peloponnesian War, one can be informed of current events and traditions carried on to the modern world today. The best way to do this is to analyze and evaluate Thucydides theoretical examination with a contemporary insight. First, it is important to describes human nature and human convention in relation with power and justice. Secondly, to show that if certain conventions such as justice, human nature, and a lack of checks and balances are not applied then; civilizations could fall into anarchy resulting in chaos throughout human history.

Thucydides intended his work to make a passing impression on future generations and throughout the readings he presents that our complex modern society has not completely made past experiences irrelevant and null to the problems of today. He states that history is meant to last in that “it be judged useful by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future, which in the course of human things must resemble if it does not reflect it”. Which means that he believes human nature is forever on a repeating cycle of cruelty and injustice in our history. In addition, Thucdydies believed that human nature cannot be controlled properly without the presence of the State. Both human nature and power when regulated are great achievements but, without restraint they are capable of creating depraved criminal action; with the ability to shift a civilization into complete anarchy.

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Thucydides provides a basis on how to best approach a complex contemporary ideal though understanding wars aspects of continuity and discontinuity. This idea is present in our current history because without a state structure, i.e. Democracy, a nation would turn into chaos of depraved criminal actions. Secondly, Thucydides believed that the laws afford EQUAL justice while in social standings is based on reputation and that everyone is free to support their own beliefs but it does not make man lawless. Without this ideology then justice would not exist because everyone would be treated different under the law based on social standing or reputations. Which will cause an unfair bias to higher class citizens compared to the majority population of a nation, the lower class. Thucydides believed their is a point where a rising power can become too powerful to control and at this point conflict becomes inevitable. This is because allies are angered by the actions and dominance of another nation and seek to overthrow one another for rank. Sometimes a warms political objective is influenced by intimidation to fight rather than actually wanting to fight for whats best for their nations. Sparta was originally the established power seeking to maintain control, and Athens was rising, in hopes to change and reshape the world to fit their influences.

Therefore the cause of the ear was due to one empires honor being challenged and made another nations intimidating fear of not fighting. This shows how political tensions can push nations to a point of complete anarchy. If there was a control for checks and balance as well as justice throughout human nature, then the nations could reign in unison with shared assets and successful co-exist as powerhouses to create the strongest allied opponent.Thucydides seems to claim that there is no moral universe that determines the fate of an individuals' s life. However, that one should be constructed to suppress the human tendency to rule through self-interest only and “inevitably” lead a nation to self-destruction. If citizens decided to all reject the importance of having a trestrain on the rules and laws in a domestic nation then things such as, plagues and civil wars, take place.

Ultimately, in relation to our world today, Thucydides’ analyse forces people to reflect and see the notion that: war as a form of power will destroy human nature under the restraints of conflict.

For example, relations between the U.S. and China are being tested due to differences in structural policies in relation to the balance of power and will test the U.S./Chinese relationships. These two nations can easily be trapped into dangerous paths of dependency in opposing one another's interests and necessities, causing tensions and arguments over little oppositions, which ultimately could lead to a larger problem (if following Thucydides concepts:War) Both the U.S. and China are two major powerhouses and the spoilt between these two allies could cause a dynamic rife in global order during the 21st century.

Lastly, Thucydides explains that creating a winning strategy is influenced by all of these choices in military strategy and state culture.Some things a state decides could be the right choice and others not; but the outcome will either result in victory or collapse. I believe Thucydides argument is valid because in our modern times his concvepts of war and human nature are still commended and taught to students which presents his arguments successful in being a “ possession for all time.”

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