The depravity inherent in a war-based culture
It takes us some time to find our place in history. I am 54, and I am just beginning to get my bearings. Recently I watched a film based on the time of World War I. The film is A Very Long Engagement, and it is about a French woman trying to determine whether her fiancee is alive or dead following World War I.
In watching the film I began to think about the context of the time in which this war was fought. Jane Austen died in 1814 and WWI began in 1917, though the events leading up to it began some years earlier. The American Civil War was fought 1861 – 1865.
I hated memorizing dates in school, and I admittedly had to look up these dates. But knowing when things happened is crucial in understanding why, how, and what the impact was; what the implications are.
War destroys innocence. Jane Austen’s stories were written before World War I. So were Charles’ Dickens’ stories. He was born right around the time Jane Austen died. The stories written with Mary Poppins as the heroine were set in 1910.
If you are familiar with any of these stories you know the context of civility and a sort of innocence in which the stories are told. I don’t mean innocence as the lack of guilt. Certainly fictional characters–as well as real life people–have erred in judgment and behavior or there wouldn’t be any stories to tell. By innocence I mean a sort of attitude of predictability: if a character does something he or she typically knows what consequences to expect.
When people don’t know what sort of consequences to expect based on their actions, you have a society that has been destabilized. Nothing destabilizes more than war. Up becomes down and down becomes up. Nice, gentle, caring people must learn to kill: or be killed. Personal ownership is subject to the requirements of whatever army happens to be marching through. Gentle people accustomed to soft clothes learn to kill food with bare hands and eat it raw. Furniture becomes firewood. And so on. Innocence is lost. All bets are off. Then following the war the people are expected to return to some sort of semblance of normalcy. But they are forever changed.
A few years before cultural predictability was shattered by World War I in Europe, it had been shattered in the US by the Civil War. The US was forever changed. The 14th Amendment, while raising slaves from slaves to citizens, lowered everyone else from sovereigns to citizens. The people of the US lost their hard-won sovereignty.
I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to lose predictability. Such a loss can be an opportunity for reform. Reformation can be positive or negative. I suspect such an opportunity is imminent in our time. May we capitalize on opportunity by re-establishing justice and right.
As an aside, in writing this I realized the timing of the installation of the Federal Reserve in the US in relation to the beginning of World War I. The two occurred within a few years of each other.
The robber barons made fortunes in the destabilized time following the Civil War. They applied these fortunes to increase their control on the US via the Federal Reserve (neither federal nor a reserve by the way). The Internal Revenue Service was instituted in approximately 1918. These two institutions together served to harness the income (to some extent life force) of the people of the US to achieve their own ends.
And their (the robber barons’, or, as we now call them, world banking cartel) ends are best achieved by war.
Hiding within excuses–such as terror attacks–for war are the true motivations for war: to consolidate power bases and make more money via the war machines. These war machines are known as the “industrial military complex” which is a beast rather like a shark in that it has few functions: eat and reproduce.
War is not new. But planning a major one in every generation is.
Another function of the shark is to produce excrement. War machines also produce excrement. Dead bodies. Broken men. Children broken at the hands of broken abusive fathers. Shattered dreams. Innocence that has been killed, along with hope and optimism.
Jesus said that peacemakers will be called Sons of God. I suppose this is so because they are Sons of God because making peace is creating something God Himself wishes for. Because He has gifted us with free will He will not force us to live at peace. We must make it for ourselves. Blessed are the peacemakers.
I believe we are more wired for peace than for war. Sure, people get stressed, people “go postal”, people hate and kill under certain circumstances. But I believe killing people without good personal, immediate reasons is not a natural response.
Why do I believe that? Because a trained marine told me that 85% of fresh troops purposely shoot over the heads of the enemy in their first battle. They are not willing, possibly are not able, to take the life of another.
Some rifles found at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg contained as many as seven unfired rounds. The explanation for this is not that the rifles misfired, but that the men did. They did not wish to shoot at the enemy, so they behaved as if they had shot, loaded, and behaved as if they were shooting again.
People don’t want to kill each other. Not really. Blood lust can come on people, as in the Rwanda massacres. Some of the killers had no memory of what happened afterward. I believe expression was given to demonic entities who do hate so intensely that their only wish is to kill, steal and destroy.
I believe robber barons, or, today, the global banking cartel, give expression to the same demonic entities.
The Bible says “…Resist the devil and he will flee from you…” How do we resist these demonic entities? How do we become peacemakers?
Know history and understand the motivations and the ruses of the masters of the Military Industrial Complex. Recognize their tricks. Refuse to hate. Refuse to kill. Insist on loving and nurturing. This does come naturally, not only to mothers, but to fathers as well.
Become known as a “Son of God”.