Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
The best way to defeat an enemy without violence is to make them believe they're better off with you than without you. How you do that is open to interpretation, but often the introduction of a mutual threat that can only be vanquished by cooperation can be enough to unite warring factions.

For an example, see "Watchmen."

Then there's the Absolute Defense model: If you have a defense the enemy can't beat, they can't defeat you.

For an example, see "The Great Wall of China."

Another tactic is to simply surrender to the enemy: Accepting the rule of a prospering society may be preferable to destruction.

For an example, see "The Mouse That Roared."
I think war is often started by a leader, whereas often the rest of the group don't want to participate. Playground antics. The bully starts a provocation, and tries to rally others to side with him against his "enemy." But there are usually those who want nothing to do with the conflict.

In fact, some sci-fi stories tell of aliens who "waited" to conquer earth until the humans had pretty much destroyed each other.

I keep thinking back to Close Encounters. We saw contact with aliens just at the end. But what if the contact had continued? Would mankind have been so stupid as to suggest fighting them? I have no doubt as to who would win in such a case (hint: not us)..

And any aggression would be to "show superiority." But truely advanced races wouldn't get into any "I'm better than you" challenges. They would be above that. They would be interested in learning; in exchange; in mutual growth. I think that's what the aliens in Close Encounters wanted.