I would like to know people's opinions on the following philosophical question.

Is It necessary for people belonging to different populations to mix in order to ensure peace among them?

What is history's perspective on this?

If more suited to history stack exchange, then please migrate my post.


  • Mix is not necessary of contingent for peace. People mix and then peace (or war) occurs, and not the opposite. Rephrase your question, please.
    – RodolfoAP
    Sep 14, 2022 at 5:53

3 Answers 3


No. Why would you think that? Consider how much Russia and Ukraine have in common, recent and ancient political unity, the fleet admiral for Russia was born in Ukraine.

Various groups have had dietary and other rules that prohibit mixing, yet had peaceful relations with other groups.

Peace is about being able to resolve tensions in non-violent ways. That generally means, having the social technologies to solve the emerging problems a society faces, without fragmenting or decohering. Durkheim, and Joseph Tainter have good accounts of social cohesion and social collapse respectively.

  • Russia and Ukraine are an excellent example - indeed, many Russian militarymen, oligarchs and other prominent figures have manifestly Ukrainian origin (as can be seen, e.g., by the names ending in characteristic "-enko", which may suggest that they come from mixed marriages). On the other hand, many Russians involved in the military actions are manifestly of non-Russian ethnic origin (e.g., the Chechens, the commanding officer at Bucha). In addition, a significant part Ukrainian population are ethnic Russians, speaking Russian as their first language.
    – Roger V.
    Sep 14, 2022 at 8:17

Freud's 'narcissism of small differences' is a theory that closely similar cultures are more likely to antagonise each other than vastly different ones. For example Roman Catholics & Christians have historically rubbed each other up more than Roman Catholics & Buddhists. The reason being that pronounced difference can be seen clearly and recognised, respected, while similar and only slightly different cultures draw close but the fundamental differences destabilise the shaky foundational constructs of the populous, leading to rejection. At least that's the theory. Tell it to the crusades. Tricky to separate from territorial resource conflict.

  • Roman Catholics ARE Christians. Catholic just means "universal" so it was intended to be the sum total of all Christians... But that only partially worked/works (it's the largest denomination within Christianity) as there are also Protestants and Orthodox and some smaller sects that also claim Christianity. So it's not even "neighbors" it's family or estranged family or something like that.
    – haxor789
    Sep 14, 2022 at 14:02
  • 1
    Thanks @haxor789 - good point, I guess I meant non-Catholic Christians, but it's just an example of similar groups diverging on a schism. Sep 14, 2022 at 14:53
  • There was not much contact between Christians and Buddhists to warrant large-scale conflicts. On the other hand, Christian rubbing against Jews and Muslims was pretty tough.
    – Roger V.
    Sep 15, 2022 at 13:30

That kinda makes the "racist assumption" (no personal offense) that you could neatly divide people into different groups that would be internally homogeneous and externally distinguishable. So far any generalized attempt to do that has failed and the failure often let to catastrophic results.

It's almost physically impossible for a group (2 or more individuals) to be fully homogeneous and that impossibility increases with group size and complexity of it's members.

Assume for a second there is an algorithm (some sort of step wise tutorial on "How to ..."). Doesn't matter what this algorithm does, could be language, cuisine, how you build houses, how you express emotions, how you make friends, how you are polite, ... or whatnot. Now assume that algorithm works 99% of the time. And because that's fairly good EVERYBODY is doing that. Now for the first time and for the first 10 people that might work perfectly, but either over time or because the group size increases you approach the law of large numbers where, on average, for in 1 out of 100 cases, it fails.

Now how would you rate that failure? Is that person for whom it fails from a different group? Did a different group just emerged from the different result? Is it mixing of groups?

Either way the membership of the group does not tell you how any individual will perform on that. Meaning in return the membership of the group is not a general description of the individual. So either the algorithm must be dumped down so that it works 100% which likely comes at the price of it's usefulness/versatility or you need to narrow down the descriptive power of group membership, so that they would only share one attribute/ability/behavior making it rather superficial. You could also decrease the complexity of the members, but that likely is received as torture. While the more attributes you want to combine the smaller the group gets to the point where it makes more sense to think of them as individuals.

And as a consequence of that every larger group is essentially a conglomerate of subcultures and every individual is a member of a multitude of different groups, none of which individually would describe them in general while being meaningful.

So depending on the feature that you're distinguishing, the idea of "mixing" might make no sense to begin with because the group is vastly heterogeneous in the first place. So it would already be "mixed".

Which makes this narrative of "mixing" a quite insidious one, because it's not really about introducing something, but it's about dealing with something that is already there or rather the attempt to NOT deal with it, by alienating the problem and the person having that problem even or especially if that is not the person's fault but rather a symptom of failure of a popular narrative or cultural algorithm. Rather than admitting it only works 99% of the time and working on alternatives for when it doesn't, the narrative is that the exceptions to the rule just do it wrong/are different are themselves the problem.

So it's not really about "mixing of groups" it's about broadening your circle of compassion in terms of who's in your group and who's perspective also matters or whom you can ignore as "others". So you don't really need an external group for there to be conflict and war you just need to have an internal situation that is not seen as a problem by some and seen as unbearable by others.

Now getting into contact with people with different experiences and listening to their accounts and trying to understand their perspectives might help in getting around misconceptions but that doesn't mean that there aren't still conflicts within society and the wider human community. Whether there's war or peace depends on whether you can and want to solve these issues and knowledge about them is necessary but not sufficient alone.

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