A thought on Memorial Day

Last night I watched an old science fiction movie. The plot revolved around a group of scientists who sought to put an end to war by creating an enemy common to all Mankind. They reckoned that if all nations had a common enemy, they’d cease fighting among themselves.
They reasoned that such a common enemy would motivate the nations of Earth to unite and form one world government.  By their reasoning, such unity would mean an end to war.
Perhaps, if any one government became powerful enough to control the entire world, there really would be no war as we know it. Strong men, such as Tito and Saddam Hussein have been able to suppress ethnic hostilities. If this is possible in regions such as Yugoslavia and Iraq, then in theory it could be done throughout the world as well.
But at what cost? As diversity increases, within any given area, our liberties diminish. If a given area is defined as “the world,” then our liberties would be few indeed. We would have reached maximal diversity – and minimal liberty.
We often hear it said that our soldiers “died for our freedom.” Yes, I think they did. They died for our freedom because they helped perpetuate a world of rival nations, of rival interests and rival governments. Only in such a world can we enjoy individual liberty. Given human nature, it seems to me that there are but two paths we can take: 1) A multitude of nations – and regular warfare or 2) A united world with no large-scale warfare. With option number one, we suffer the horrors of war, but we might enjoy a measure of freedom. With option number two, we are slaves to a remote and unseen master.
To be sure, there are times when we enjoy both peace and liberty. But such peace is inevitably punctuated by war. The fact that these wars tend to occur about once every generation implies that, horrific as they may be, they serve some functions. One of these functions is to reinforce our divided world of rival nations. Perhaps this lack of unity is a necessary ingredient for liberty. Since such wars cannot be fought without soldiers, we do indeed owe them our gratitude.
They died for our freedom. For this I thank them.

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6 Responses to A thought on Memorial Day

  1. BX says:

    Good post. The idea that humans can exist as a single brotherhood-of-man with no war or conflict that may lead to war, and at the same time still have their different cultures and freedoms, is fantasy. It’s simple and childlike and, if the laws of physics and human nature allowed it, an honourable goal. But in this universe at least it’s not realistic.
    The thing about culture and diversity (obviously we are constantly bombarded with the idea that diversity is an end in itself, not to be questioned) is that it can only exist by *differentiating* itself from *other* peoples and cultures. The moment you have and nurture diversity, you have DIVISION. And as JAY points out, DIVISION/tribalism/diversity/call-it-what-you-will causes conflict and wars.
    Yet the humanity loving liberals, in love with diversity, are blind to the fact that it can only be achieved by creating division and hence inevitable conflict. So, as JAY points out, we can either have no diversity and no conflict, or we have true diversity, in the form of different states harbouring different cultures, and inevitable conflict.
    Personally, I’m all for diversity, TRUE diversity, that is, of many cultures confined within their own national borders. And, I’m all for culture-*preservation* (as opposed to culture-disintegration which we currently have in the West).

  2. Stary Wylk says:

    What commonly passes for peace is war more nearly one-sided.

  3. icareviews says:

    I agree with this post as far as the business about increased diversity leading to diminished liberty, but not so much about cyclical episodes of “regular warfare” being a given and something that just ought to be expected – and presumably tolerated? Most of the conflicts in which America’s government has involved its citizens have been entirely fabricated crises. Had America’s involvement with Japan or Germany or Korea or Vietnam or Iraq not occurred, was there any risk that Germans and Americans, or Vietnamese and Americans, would have ceased to be distinct peoples? If anything, war accelerates the one-world government movement. Before WWII, European countries were largely sovereign, but post-war Europeans have been living in occupied American or Soviet territory ever since that time, and then got roped into the European Union to further consolidate the movement toward dissolution of nationalities. From economic integration to cultural Marxism, modern war, and particularly American belligerence, is an agent of anti-nationalism, I would argue.

    • jewamongyou says:

      True. I had intended to point out that even though war serves a purpose, when done in excess, and to an extreme, it can have the opposite effect it usually does.

  4. Joe Bloch says:

    Wasn’t that an old “Outer Limits” episode?

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