War: It’s good for absolutely nothing … but inevitable
In past decades, the fight for peace has become an enormous part of our culture. When people think of the 1960s, they undoubtedly think of peace signs and war protests. In the decades since, it has become ingrained into our daily lives. Everywhere I go, I see a girl wearing a peace sign T-shirt or peace sign earrings (and most of them don’t even know the history of it … that’s another column).
Something that is also a massive part of our culture is peace’s opposite. War.
On a daily basis, the average person sees war just about everywhere. In the news. In video games. In films. In books. In history class.
War has been around for a long time. I mean a long time. Since the beginning of time, even. For billions of years – or thousands, depending on your beliefs — animals and human beings have been fighting one another over land, resources and ideology. For as long as history goes back, there has constantly been a war or battle happening somewhere. Many have lasted decades. Even in times of peace, people are just waiting for the next war. It’s a never-ending cycle.
In recent history, even the peace-making is what caused the next wars. In the aftermath of World War I, the “War to End All Wars,” a treaty was signed causing problems with Germany, Italy and the Middle East. Throughout what is known as Interwar, all of Europe, and even the world, knew it was only a matter of time before another major war broke out. And a major war did break out, and following that war came the Cold War, which lasted half of the 20th century. The Cold War was a constant state of fear of nuclear war and a constant political struggle, including two more traditional wars. War was ever-present.
In current times, we are in this same condition. The conflicts in the Middle East have been ongoing for decades. Even in times of supposed peace, we are waiting for the area to turn to chaos again. The United States has been involved in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade now. We are in a constant state of war.
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, a well-known counterculture writer, wars are as easy to stop as glaciers. They have always been and always will be. There’s no stopping them.
So wear your T-shirts and jewelry promoting peace, but know … it’s never going to happen.