What To Expect, When You’re Expecting War

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Recently by Paul Rosenberg: It’s Official: Facebook Is the Department of PreCrime

     

It looks like war is is coming upon us once again. Aside from the recent eruptions in the Far East and Middle East, I say this because of three basic observations:

  1. The financial problems of the major governments are not going away; rather, they are getting worse. That leaves the operators of these systems with a choice: They can either find a foreign devil to blame, or they can take the blame themselves.
  2. The people of the modern world have no real purpose in their lives. They live according to scripts promulgated by others and get all their thrills vicariously. War will fill a huge gap in their lives by giving them a ‘noble’ cause.
  3. Big media in the West is the obedient hand-maiden of the state. This has been true for a long time (look up Operation Mockingbird), but never so much as now. Real news is available on the Internet, but the large mass of people still get their news from controlled sources.

These last two points suggest that the rulers can go to war with majority support, provided that the events are scripted well. And since big media is under their control, they can create and insert whatever narratives they like.

And perhaps I should add a fourth point: Lots of people make big money on war… people who are in the habit of employing politicians to secure and increase their profits.

It certainly looks like motive, means and opportunity are all coming together.

To cement the point that it is easy for rulers to stir up War Fever, let me give you a few quotes from people who have famously done so in the past:

The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

~ Hermann Göring

If there were no Jews, we would have to invent them.

~ Hermann Göring

The cult of xenophobia is the cheapest and surest method of obtaining from the masses the ignorant and savage patriotism, which puts the blame for every political folly or social misfortune upon the foreigner.

~ Mao Zedong

People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be.

~ Vladimir Lenin

WHEN IT COMES

When war hits big, we will be confronted with the same old stupidity, the same old death, dismemberment, pain and suffering, and the same old mind-bending nationalistic crap. Bloodlust and hate will storm into vogue, under the flag of righteous indignation. All that is required are a few horrible video streams and some emotional words. The talking heads will fall in line with the state’s propaganda, as they always do.

These things are exciting, after all, and that matters in a world where almost everyone lives mundane lives.

The people who do the loudest cheering, of course, will be insulated from actual bleeding and dying.

All that said, there will be legitimate fear mixed-in with all of the above. Large numbers of people die in wars; people just like us. That is authentically scary. And if nukes, or bio-weapons, or other technologies of mass-killing are used, things will get VERY scary, and reasonably so.

(This is, of course, why we should never give politicians the ability to start wars. But, that is another subject, for another day.)

WAR FEVER

The perversions of war affect everyone in a culture, to whatever extent they are in that culture. Willful blindness, chanted slogans, the glorification of generals and the lauding of soldiers (who are among the worst victims)… all are common in the time of war. Reason is quickly pushed away and the basest "us versus them" mentality rules.

The sterile existence of the ‘good citizen’ falls immediately away once the excitement of war appears. Here, to illustrate, is a passage from War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, by Chris Hedges:

The invasion transformed the country. Reality was replaced with a wild and self-serving fiction… All that was noble and good was embodied, like some unique gene, in the Argentine people. Stories of the heroism of the Argentine military — whose singular recent accomplishment was the savage repression of its own people — filled the airwaves.

Friends of mine, who a few days earlier had excoriated the dictatorship, now bragged about the prowess of Argentine commanders. One general, during a dispute with Chile, flew his helicopter over the Chilean border to piss on Chilean soil. This story was repeated with evident pride. Cars raced through the city streets honking horns and waving the blue and white Argentine flag. Argentines burst into the national anthem and ecstatic cheering at sporting events.

There is a very powerful psychological trick behind these things — a trick that makes people feel potent and righteous:

By making the enemy purely evil, we make ourselves purely good.

Reason, of course, would kill the trick. That’s why reason dies so famously at such times. The bottom line is this:

Because there is no moral clarity in normal life, people run to it when it becomes available during times of war.

This is what we can expect, if and when war really cranks up. And it will not be pretty.

WHAT SHALL WE DO?

The forces behind war are huge, and they have a long pedigree. You are not going to stop them. But if you want to help yourself and others, try some of these things:

  • Opt out of the main culture and start building your own, new culture. Turn off the TV and start talking about other things. Let people think you’re weird.
  • Start doing business differently. Separate from the rigged system. We already have the tools we need; we need only to start using them.
  • Be different. Let people see that you are different. Our way is a better way. Stop hiding and start living.
  • Spend your time with others who are also different.
  • Stay away from politics in all its forms.
  • Be polite, but don’t try to convert people who are in the grip of War Fever. Let those whose eyes crack open come to you.
  • Stay ready to adapt in any way necessary. I don’t really expect the big weapons to come out, but if they appear, do not delay — act and keep acting to survive. Do whatever it takes, promptly.
  • Remember that wars can spread wildly. You may have to use violence at some point, if you wish to survive. Start getting used to the idea. Yeah, it’s ugly as hell, but it’s also among the clearest lessons of history.

War appears to be coming. Do something about it now.

Paul Rosenberg [send him mail] is the author of Free-Man's Perspective, a monthly dispatch on virtue, courage, science, art, history, philosophy and personal growth.

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