I am 77. I have watched the myriad excuses for killing at the one on one level up to the threat of nuclear war. My friend Jim Coffman and I have published a book on "Global Insanity". At my age I must have heard every possible argument for the use of force and violence that could be conjured up. The term "perpetual war" is seen more and more often these days. I guess it is the human condition. Our book makes the case that we are more animal than we realize. Recently diarists have made the excellent point that when our limited capacity for reason fails we resort to violence to make things "simpler".
My long term thesis here has been that we are very primitive when it comes to understanding the behavior of systems. The word "systems" is VERY context dependent and has myriad meanings and nuances.
I use systems in very modern way even though it has a long history as well. We are a very strange species among animals for we are subject to our nature and our limits but have developed mythologies, among them science and religion,that convince ourselves that we really are on top of things. I say we are arrogant fools. If you want to know why read on below.
We live in a time of contradictions about our own mental capacity. Yes we have developed all this technology. Yet most of what our technology has done is to make things more problematic. You do not solve problems with technology. You can use technology to solve problems when you have ideas. Most of the time the technology controls us. And now we are back to the systems idea.
The human mind is limited. It can do wonders. But one of its most severe limits is its inability to see humankind in the broader context of our world and to sort out what we control and what controls us.
So here we sit ready to "solve" another problem with bombs. Never mind that the history of this problem goes back centuries and that the present manifestation has complex, systemic attributes.
Our country has been controlled by those who profit from arms, force, war, etc. for a very long time. We said this in the 1960s:
War is good for business...invest your children. Maybe I should be ashamed for so simplistic a statement in the context of a systems view but it is a facet of of a complex many faceted whole.
The economy is a system within a larger system and the feedback loops are myriad. Those of us who want change are fools if we believe we can get change by voting or protesting.
This system has grown to be so very stable that eats any potential force for change like candy. It will fail. Its own nature makes that sure. Meanwhile we play the theater that says we have a voice. The next round of killing will be justified by "rational" argument which says far more about what our "rationality" is than anything else.
One thing it says is that this "rationality" plays into stabilizing the system in a very important way. In the end we will tolerate the lives lost, resources wasted, and so on because we believe in the system. Here the word system has a different contextual meaning than what I said above.
To the many who disagree with what I am saying I will anticipate and tell you that I have no answer. I have my ideas and feelings. My soul tells me to wish my country would stop playing god. My better instincts tell me that forces within the country use the playing god thing to make even more money. Yet none of them, or us, are in control.
You may dispute that. My challenge is this. Remove any or even all of the present players and see what will change. My guess is that very little will change.
A simple example is the "war on drugs". How many hundreds have we jailed or killed in this "war"? What has it done to the system?
So I await still another step as the lemmings run to the cliff. The system IS doomed and will take most of us with it. You really don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.