Should war be banned?
I am a pacifist who looks upon warfare at best as insane, at worst as an atrocity foisted us by corrupt leaders, regardless of the cost in human lives. It is easier and more profitable to start a war than to discuss problems and negotiate rational solutions.
I know everyone will think, “what about the Nazis?” It would have been impossible to have rational negotiations with a psychopath—Britain tried—war was inevitable in that case. But no war fought since then had a plausible cause, apart from controlling natural resources and making arms manufacturers richer and more powerful.
Picture credits: Right, Guernica – Wikipedia.
Left: Vietnam – La Progressive
One writer’s idea
I read a science fiction book once about a world that tried to ban war. Without war, the people became increasingly restless and discontented, so they tried to solve this by providing the people with entertainments and sporting events. This worked for a while, but gradually, the people again became restless. The response was to make the entertainment more spectacular by ramping up the violence and creating more perilous scenarios. This continued until eventually, they ended up re-enacting a world war with all the weapons and enormous numbers of casualties.
This scenario, to some extent, reflects the situation in the world today. While no one has outright suggested banning war, if such a thing were even possible, many advanced nations adhere to the idea that new and more terrible weapons will prevent war.
This is the excuse arms manufacturers use to cover their greed, and which governments use—along with threats to national security—for spending such horrendous amounts of their national budgets on so-called defense. As any sane person would respond, balderdash!
What we need is a new paradigm
If something doesn’t working, upping the level is useless; it only exacerbates the problem. Violence breeds violence. Problems are not solved by violent confrontation, they are only amplified by it.
Without doubt, human beings need to pit themselves against something, to conquer something, but there are many things upon which their energy could be expended.
Instead of exhausting so many resources and so much drive on destroying one another and the world around them, why not use the excess energy to combat the world’s problems? The only thing holding us back, the only obstruction in our way, is the lack of political will.
We should not have to depend on the hundreds of Non-Government Agencies funded by ordinary people who care about these things. The NGOs are doing remarkable work, but they can’t cure the ills of the whole world. It’s governments that should be working on it.
We must change the way we think, however at this time in our history, there is an almost insurmountable obstacle. It is virtually impossible to overcome the entrenched profit motivation and greed of the people currently controlling governments around the world.
We have a choice
We can destroy the world, wipe out every living thing, or we can start to do something to prevent those outcomes.
Earth is dying under the weight of our irresponsibility and destructiveness. We were given a paradise to inhabit and how do we show our gratitude? We turn it into an overpopulated trash heap.
This is our only home in the entire universe. Even if we could find other habitable planets, we could never reach them, so we need to take better care of the one we have while there’s still time, or our race will die, forever.
The focus of scientific investigation needs to be diverted from the production of more death and destruction towards healing the ills we’ve brought about. There is ample work for an unlimited workforce—there are so many problems that need fixing; it’s hard to know where to start.
- Poverty, possibly the world’s biggest problem and the cause of most of the other troubles
- Finding cures for disease and providing universal healthcare
- Fighting famine, a problem already out of control and getting worse by the day
- Rehabilitation of the world’s oceans
- Cleanup of environmental damage
- Rehabilitation of areas destroyed by war, desertification, and global warming.
- Education; much of the world’s population is badly educated, under-educated, or uneducated. Knowledge of truth is the path to understanding.
- Human relations; we must learn to get along and solve our problems rationally instead of resorting to hostility and violence every time there’s a disagreement.
I hope we come to our senses before it’s too late. I may not be around much longer, but I care about those who are coming after, and I love this world.
How bad are things?
In the 1980s, I played a computer game the focus if which was to fighting pandemics. The objective was to defeat the plagues that were threatening the world using the resources provided.
I recently came across game called “Epidemic” which I thought would be similar, but the objective in this game was to create the deadliest pathogen possible to destroy the greatest number of people.
That’s how bad it’s become. Everything is about destruction and violence nowadays.
Below is a game I’ve played a few times that is filled with monsters and killing. Every few seconds, you have to kill something or someone.
A writer’s view
Being a writer means being interested in everything; one’s curiosity is endless. A writer cannot stop reading, inquiring, investigating. The Internet has compounded these tendencies, adding immensely to all the information available from libraries, newspapers, magazines, and people’s minds. But receiving so much information can also overwhelm the mind’s ability to handle it. That’s where writing comes in. It starts with an idea, engendered by the information being processed, and nurtured by imagination.