The inspiration for this brief essay is Lao Tsu (or Tzu), generally accepted as the author of the classic, Tao te Ching, sixth century B.C. (or B.C.E.). I first read it in 1974. I believe it's one of the most important books ever written.
Should you become bored with this post, please at least read the last full paragraph.
The concept of Zero Aggression has been around for a very long time. Very simply, it puts forth the idea that violence should always be avoided...except in self defense. In other words, violence should never be initiated. I suspect that most sane people accept that concept...even embrace it whole-heartedly. The more I look at human history, however, the more it is apparent that we have a growing number of seemingly insane people on Earth...of course, not us, though. We only engage in self defense, or so we've been told.
History always has fascinated me; it still does. I remember being taught in elementary school that Jamestown (in New England) was the first permanent, European settlement in North America. Our history book made a big deal of that "fact". As I learned much later, that was totally false. In 1598, Spain established the first permanent, European settlement in what is now the State of New Mexico...several years prior to Jamestown. The Spanish had even earlier settlements in Florida, but they turned out not to be permanent. The point is, one must be careful when reading History written from only one point of view.
We've always had aggressors in our species, and it's looking as though we always will have them. Not always, but very often the aggressors win the day...and then write the history. Case in point: the invasion of the Americas by the Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English (and a few others from Europe). After the history was written by them, one would have thought that the indigenous peoples of the Americas had been "saved", rescued from poverty, paganism, savagery, ignorance, and the like. Too bad there's almost no truth to that.
As far as I can see, every developed country has an Oligarchy, the elite, relatively few who "run" things...some of them in government, some not. They appear to be overwhelmingly aggressive...in the worst sense. If you disagree with that, objectively examine human history. I think you'll change your mind. Most of the time, the Oligarchs utilize propaganda to convince their People that the actions (involving violence or the threat of violence) undertaken are not aggressive, but rather are in self defense. Even Hitler used that very ploy. I never thought I'd see the day in the USA when pre-emptive war would be sold as "self defense". That now has become standard thinking at the highest levels of our Fed Gov't. Incredible. That concept is an abomination...and is based on the premise that somehow the Future reliably can be predicted. It can't be done with any consistent accuracy; there are too many variables. The point is, Oligarchs use Edward Bernays-style propaganda to mold public thinking and lead people to the use of naked aggression.
In my relatively long life, over and over it has been my observation that Aggression primarily is due to one or more of the following: propagandized "true believers"; history (whether accurate or inaccurate); and the insanity of some of the Powers-That-Be. These are the formidable enemies of a sane world and Zero Aggression. Throughout most of our history, we humans have relied almost exclusively on a top-down form of governance...at least, in the developed world. That has brought us untold riches, but unfortunately, aggression, wars, inequality, and a sort of suffocation of the spirit as well. Some probably feel that our system in the USA is bottom-up governance...representative government...but surely a truly objective examination of our situation will reveal that's simply not so. As Alexis de Tocqueville stated, we're subject to "mild despotism". More and more, it becomes less mild and more harsh.
There is an imperfect, but better way. First, though, we must stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid. Examples--- Despite what we've been told--- Much of the History we've been taught is wrong. CIA "Blowback" is a fact. Our Gov't really does lie to us...and not just for our own good. War IS Big Business. Mega banks often have funded both sides of a conflict. The U.S. Fed Gov't really is bent on Empire. We really are inundated with Propaganda. Mega corporations really are setting up a world economic structure with unelected people as the Heads of it. The Constitution really is being violated almost every day by the Fed Gov't. Our Gov't (not We the People) really is an Aggressor. The NSA really is out of control. And on & on. Most importantly--- none of this is a "conspiracy". It's mostly right out in the open for all to see. Some secrets exist, but their existence does not prove a conspiracy. The words "conspiracy theory" are used by Oligarchs in order to cut off discussion of controversial subjects.
Just my opinion. Be Well