The Politics of War

I just had a three-hour lesson about all the different wars that have been happening around the world since WWII. I was always under the impression that most of the wars and genocidal struggles were between extremist groups. However, there are many cases where one country’s military simply invades another country and simply says, “hey, this is now part of our country.” This might not be so bad, as long as the existing population is allowed to be a part of the new country, and still maintain their language and customs. However, it is often the case that the invading country tries to completely wipe out the existing population, or at least push them out to other countries.

Everyone would likely agree that this is wrong. So, when something is wrong, what do we do? Well, first we have to collectively decide what is “right” and what is “wrong”. After deciding that murder and genocide is wrong, we should then do everything in our power to stop said murder/genocide. However, should we also murder those who are murdering? Should we invade the invading nations? I do believe many wise men throughout the ages have warned against this “eye for an eye” method.

At this point I’d like to compare world politics to a family. It might be easier and make things less heated. We, collectively as the free world, are represented here as the parental units, and the warring nations will be our young children.

When one child takes the toy from the hand of the other, and then receives a slap on the face, then we see both of them in a petty, childish quabble. What do any good parents do? They first separate the two and send them to time-out. Then they ascertain the facts of the situation: child A took the property of child B, which caused child B to retaliate by slapping child A. So now both have done something wrong, and could both be punished – OR the property of child B could be returned to him, and both simply apologise to each other.

However – what if the property of child B wasn’t truly his in the first place? What if it was actually a present from Grandma to child A, who never played with it and it simply ended up in the hands of child B? Some parents might say, “hey child A: you never played with that toy anyways. Why not just let child B keep it?” But what if the toy in question is vital to child A’s health – an insulin kit or something? Or what if it has some sort of sentimental value to child A, even though it truly belongs to child B?

We see how things can get complicated real quick. However, in keeping with the family metaphor, the most important thing is for the family to live peacefully together in love and harmony. Therefore, everyone must be willing to make sacrifices and learn to play together. If just one member of the family makes up his or her own rules and ignores all the other rules, then the family can quickly dissolve.

The last problem that we face, which is also the first one, is: “what is right and what is wrong?” Perhaps the rules set forth by the parents in this family are “wrong”. Perhaps they utilise punishment methods that encourage misbehaviour in future generations, instead of ones that discourage it. That is why it is so very important that the family, similar to a person, stays a self-reprogrammable sentient being.

I would love to go on and say something to the effect of, “democracy is at the moment the only true way in which multiple parties can live together in harmony,” but I think that, for the moment at least, it would be dangerous to start making conclusions. I, like the parental units in our allegory, have to stay open-minded, aware, involved, loving, caring, and stay ever-evolving.

It still seems like every one of my political discussions ends up with “peace and love” at the end of it. Why can’t we just take everyone who isn’t peaceful and full of love out back and shoot them? [sarcasm, catch-22 reference]

peace and love!!!

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