Tuesday, March 26, 2013

War Holds Us Back From Progress

I've played a couple of different simulator games in my life, but no game offered one of the most probable advances of human kind than Civilization 5, which is the first in the series that I've ever played.  So apparently  for the seasoned players, Civ 5 was the worst, but anyway, I digress. 

Civilization 5 is a game where you choose a civilization out of about 12-15 cultures, and you advance that culture through research and through culture, to a victory of varying kinds.  So for example, you can launch a rocket to space to win, or become elected by the world to win by diplomacy or conquer the world the old-fashioned way.  But what struck me, is that the advancement of mankind is always stifled by conflict.  And in particular, conflict where weapons are manufactured on a massive scale.  One thing that always seems to make a game difficult to win is when I am constantly bombarded with attacks by my neighbors.  Sometimes if you have aggressive neighbors, you become their primary target and they attempt to make war with you at every available opportunity.  This causes your game progress to slow if you’re looking to win by way other than military.  But even if you’re pursing a military victory, you still need enough time between wars to recover, rebuild and build up. 

So where am I going with this?  Where I’m going is that war is a retardant to progress.  We as a society and as a world will find it increasingly difficult to move forward towards new technologies and new discoveries as long as we continue to fight with one another.  The perptuance of war is what stifles our ability to grow and learn and provide for our fellow man.  The defense industry, while making many discoveries relating to warfare, doesn't serve man as a whole.  It serves itself.  War is good for those who profit from it, and those who profit from it are generally the types of individuals who probably should not be making decisions that affect large numbers of people.  The Defense Industry’s Industrial Complex is one of the main culprits as to why our nation has fallen behind other westernized nations in areas like social welfare and the rights of minorities and women. 

The defense industry has grown not just into an aspect of our society that is regular, but an aspect of our lives that is present, that perpetuates it’s own values.  Much of that served in the way of entertainment, video games, movies, and other mediums where the subtle messages of militarism, war, and conflict are reverberated in our society.  It needs to end, so we can move on and become a productive world citizen.  If there’s to be a threat to our existence, then we must, with courage, face that threat as it materializes.  It’s not a threat we should face a lone, but together, united with our European brothers and sisters, our Canadian brothers and sisters, and our Aussie brothers and sisters, as well as any other nation that shares our values for freedom and the end of oppression.  War is too easily tolerated, and it shouldn't be.  It should be disgusted, perceived as vile, and detestable.  It should be exercised cautiously, with great hesitation and only after every avenue of diplomacy is exhausted.

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