I don’t know how long this post will be, I wouldn’t guess very long. It is cold in the living room, my coffee is quite delightful, and I’ve got the rest of the day ahead of me. Life is bright and jolly, kind of, and because of this I don’t want to dwell on this topic too much. But I would like to delve into how silly war is, just how unbelievable it is to me that while blood letting, trephinations, and witch burnings have ended we still have not mentally grown out of war. I’m going to be saying “people” often, I realize that not everyone fits these blanket statements, but enough people do to make war happen and that’s all that matters when lives are lost.
It’s a matter of impatience, people want instant gratification when they set out to complete something. Do you have a faith you think everyone should be following? A popular tactic is to give people a few quick options, convert now or die. It works very well, hypocritical most times yes, but very efficient. Efficiency is king when you are a mortal being. However what is quick and efficient now is rarely best for the long run.
More common to take 50 dollars now than 100 dollars a month from now.
Impatience is something that children have in spades, children are impulsive creatures who want to feed their brain and all its insatiable cravings. Television and video games have been so powerful because (in part) they can provide incredibly wide ranging and continuous stimulation to the brain. New things cause releases of dopamine which get folks high, we don’t really consider it as such but it is mechanically the same process.
When you grow up this is something you are supposed to get over. Patience is a virtue, or so I’m told, yet when given the options of diplomacy (slow) or war (fast) the latter is almost always chosen. Most modern diplomacy is structured in such a way that it fosters war. Treaties built on harsh limitations and embargoes, the underlying plan to reignite war and move gears quicker. World War II is becoming ancient history quickly, it happened last century and almost every person involved in it has died or will be gone soon. The median age of a WWII vet is 86 years old. But before these people went from regular joe to GI Joe, there was a treaty made with Germany after WWI. The Treaty of Versailles is the foundation that the next great war would be built upon. Tens of millions of people died because of the impossibly strict and vindictive treaty.
Pearl Harbor? The Japanese had been performing military actions in the Pacific, one of the most notable at the time was the harassment, murder, and sexual trafficking of Koreans. The US gave the Japanese an ultimatum of either ending all aggressions or they would lose access to all oil. Japan does not produce its own oil and was given the option of either destroying the pacific presence of the US (Pearl Harbor) or going back to a prior human era without modern fuel sources. They chose the latter and another agreement was met with millions dead and the unleashing of the world’s most horrifying weapon on two separate civilian locations (which were saved from firebombing which had leveled many other cities, remarkable coincidence).
You can find these same patterns in other wars, past and present. In all these cases you have completely arbitrary land regions that are in combat with other completely arbitrary land regions. I’m sure most people played tag as children and had “safe zones” this is absolutely no different. It’s utter and complete imagination.
Which is the second way that it is a Children’s game. Impatience and Imagination, where we live and the value of the currency we trade are both entirely reliant on imagination. This swath of land in the United States is no different from some region in southern Europe from space. Do you know what causes a depression? People lose faith in their currency, mass withdrawals as the imaginary value begins to come into question. What causes a boon? When confidence in the currency increases, when the imaginary friend becomes a little more tangible.
How do people wage war? Quite uniform really, in fact that’s a big part of it, playing dress up. Hundreds of thousands or millions or people dress up in matching costumes. Extra flare declares your position, special hats, or jackets, its just like Halloween but for weeks, years, or decades at a time. The strong connection with death and the celebration of death (kill count markings) are just extra points in the Children’s game.
This is important to the previous point of imagination, dressing up your enemy and your soldiers. You don’t want either side to realize the outlandish nature of the actions they are about to commit. If people are in uniform they cease to become people, this is entirely intentional and something that will never be given up. You want it easy, you want the entire environment to be engrossing and permeating.
Impatience, Imagination, and Dressing up. These are just the tip of the iceberg and all for what? A few more believers, a few more feet of extended borders, a few less political parties, and millions dead. These things are utterly outlandish and just another sign of how becoming an adult is really just about taking the things that made us children and stretching them to the most preposterous extremes. Every loss of life is a failure of humanity, be it from bullets or cancer, each day that people are lost the whole of humanity is lesser for it. Short sightedness will be the ultimate downfall of the vast majority of humans, it already has been. There are currently 7 Billion people in the world, there have been roughly 108 billion people in human history. This means, in my eyes, humanity has failed itself 101 billion times. How many more minds will be lost to Neverland? How many more people are never going to grow up?