It is a trivial exercise to show that the reason that war is possible at this point in history is the widespread acceptance of the idea that it is inevitable. With this idea so firmly entrenched in the minds of millions, few bother to question it. There is no sense in trying to understand the reasons for war if it will not lead to any change. If the real causes of war were generally understood, surely we would not allow them to be fought in our names? It is Mankind’s oldest and greatest dream to rid the world of the scourge of war. Yet at a time when the US military unquestionably dominates the rest of the world, Americans continue to accept the obvious lie that they must waste their resources on the destruction of other nations. In a 2013 poll, over half opposed cutting the military budget even while funds to care for the poor are slashed. Are they such cowards that they will accept seemingly random US state-sponsored terror in the name of “freedom” and “security” and if so, is there any price they will not pay?
The answer to most of these questions seems to be that most Americans are ignorant of the real cause of war. European citizens, despite having experienced war directly within living memory, are not much better. In the modern era, warfare is simply the way in which capitalist governments are used to secure resources for the benefit of economic elite that control their foreign policies. Wars have always been about competition for resources, a fact that was well known prior to the revival of the archaic notion of “democracy,” the idea that people can rule themselves. Somewhere in the generations since the American civil war, that fact has been forgotten.
The ruling class never really relinquished its power. When the concept of divine rights of kings was questioned, the economic elite dusted off the ancient idea of democracy and systematically encouraged the masses to delude themselves into believing that they controlled their own national destiny and through their governments, protected their rights from foreign tyrants. The allure of the idea of democracy was so powerful that Americans failed to see the rise of tyranny within their own government. Somewhere along the way, the delusion of democracy became so ingrained that a majority seemed to accept the insane notion that the root of terrorism was that perpetrators were “jealous of our freedom.” What could be more ironic?
It is said that no two democracies have ever fought a war against each other. To the extent that is true, it is no coincidence. “Democracy” has come to be defined as any form of government that submits to the will of the Anglo-American Empire and thereby concede sovereignty to the international corporations that dictate its foreign policy. “National interests” are defined as synonymous with defending and expanding the wealth and power of the global elite that control these corporations. While citizens of NATO nations have come to equate democracy with the power of the vote in the absence of any other evidence of its presence, the majority fail to realize that their governments do not even apply the same minimal standard to others that they label “democratic” or “despotic,” friend or foe.
The simple rule is that the enemy of the enemy of corporate power is their friend, regardless of how a government treats its own people. The specter of Soviet-style “communism” was held up as the enemy of freedom and democracy for decades, while the prospects for either were systematically undermined in the West by the corporatocracy. The world is full of such potential enemies, of course. Any nation that does not submit to the dictates of the global elite and in particular the international bankers who are the real Puppet Masters of the show is by definition an enemy.
When the symbolic enemy of the Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of its economic inefficiency and the need to maintain an enormous military, it was not hard to find a substitute. Former allies became the enemy, as has become an ever more obvious pattern. It used to take years or decades for a former foe to become an ally. The process accelerated after WWII, when the US government made common cause with former Nazis where it served the purposes of the national security state and the economic interests whose interests it exists to protect. Today, yesterday’s enemy is today’s ally.
The Mujahudin were recruited to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. It leaders were listed in a CIA data base that became known for its Arabic name: al Qaeda. These useful idiots were later put to use in Bosnia, the southern tier of the former Soviet empire, the Mideast, Africa and even the US. The Empire has abandoned any pretense of forming alliances based on defense of “democracy.” It is openly using the same fighters it claimed it sacrificed thousands of Americans to defeat to wage war on weaker nations whose resources it covets. Millions of innocents who are killed, maimed or displaced are dismissed as collateral damage. Its naked aggression has become apparent to all but the most casual observer.
That is why it is our duty to draw attention to the fact. If we believe that democracy is possible, then we must believe that humans are essentially good. Good people do not knowingly allow atrocities to be committed while they stand by. While willful ignorance helps explain inaction, so does the sense of helplessness that comes from blindly accepting the self-fulfilling prophecy that war is inevitable. We must help those blinded by a culture of self-interest to see the connection between war and the failure of democracy. Citizens of NATO countries are so distracted by their economic problems that they fail to see that those who have undermined their standard of living are the same economic elite who are expanding their Empire through economic coercion, bribery, murder and war in even less fortunate nations. They must be made to understand that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Democracy cannot exist in a society that tolerates injustice because it requires the acceptance of inequality that is antithetical to self-governance.
Time is running out for humanity to decide. Will we stand by as the last, greatest hope for Mankind vanishes from an Earth dying from the ravages of exploitation, of which war is the most glaring example? Or will we fight for real liberty and justice, using the tools of nonviolent resistance while it is still possible? Democracy will only become real if we can see ourselves as basically good and capable of ruling ourselves in the best interests of all. This will not happen naturally. It will take our best efforts. Each of us has something to contribute and together, we can end war. It starts when we abandon the self-imposed distinctions that divide us, and work together to free the 99% forever from that which has always been the greatest ambition of the global elite: The enslavement of the human race.