Perhaps democracy is a way to sample the possible outcome if we were to go to total war. By allowing the majority to have their way, we are saying if we went to war the majority would get their way with high probability. So why pay the price of going to war?
Is there a way to extend this concept further to save millions of lives? What if we sampled the probable outcome of total way by having an organized competition where real suffering, mutilation and death where an actual possibility? This could be performed in full view of the public bearing witness to avoid corruption and validate the result. Alliance teams from several communities could participate as well and the winners would have to preregister their demands. Requiring the demands to be preregistered inspires them to be reasonable so that the competition will be pursued instead of immediate total war. If the result is not accepted total war could still occur, but why go through all that suffering when the probable result is already known?
We could also all have an interest in avoiding a monopoly of force from forming. If you can’t be sure who will have the monopoly at all given times, then perhaps it’s best to work tother towards avoiding one from forming at all.
It would be sad to watch, but is it not sad when our people die unknown and outside the public view in a war that is likely to grow corrupt? Even the losing party would have its heroes. They would die showing us that we should not risk more of our lives - including the lives of our children. We could live to fight another day. They would be our heroes forever.