Tuesday, April 9, 2024

It's Not Your Imagination - The Universe Is Out To Get You!

Conflict and controversy are the not an anomaly, but the norm.

Disband NATO?  Whodya think is behind that?

Peace activists complain about war.  "Why can't we have peace, man?" even if it means to surrender.  From their point of view, peace is the default condition of the world, and conflict and war are some sort of aberration.  The opposite is actually the case.

I wrote before how there is a war in your backyard, with termites trying to kill off carpenter ants and vice-versa, the winner getting to eat a tree.  Trees stretch skyward to hog the light, leaving lesser plants to deal with permanent shade.  Of course, wily vines will let the tree do the heavy lifting and then climb up for a free ride - often blocking the sunlight from their host and eventually killing it.

In your lawn, weeds vie for space, nutrients, and water with your precious grass.  The moment you stop spreading weed-killer, they take over - and kill off most of your fancy-pants grass.  Down below, grubs gnaw at the tasty roots, killing your precious lawn, while moles and opossums dig down to eat the tasty grubs.  Eat or be eaten is the law of nature - we are just too used to not being eaten to notice.

As you move down to the microscopic or even molecular scale, the law of survival persists.  One form of bacteria eats another - or eats you.  And even fractions of life - viruses - multiply and spread and often kill off their hosts, who have an extensive array of defenses against such viruses.  Your whole body is at war with its environment at any given time.

Even atoms steal electrons from one another or smash together to form molecules.  Oxygen attacks everything, causing corrosion - entropy must be appeased, everything breaks down over time.  Even tiny photons (particle or wave) wear down everything from the paint on your car to your own human skin, turning healthy tissues into cancerous ones.

Peace?  It really doesn't exist, so get used to that.

In recent years, it seems like we are more conflicted and antagonistic than ever before.  Politics are polarized and war is breaking out all over the world.  As the world population increases, we fight for resources - land, minerals, oil, and even water.  Precious water.

But the idea that humans should be at "peace" seems to negate the pattern of life or even physics, of our entire universe.  We are a warlike species because we evolved from warlike animals.  The lion does not lay down with the lamb, except in the Bible.  In real life, the lamb is eaten - otherwise the lion would starve to death.

This may sound depressing at first - and hopeless as well.  How can humanity survive if the norm is strife and violence?  The answer is, in part, that we have survived so far with our base human tendencies, albeit with a lot of unnecessary suffering along the way.  Of course, in the last 80 years or so, we have devised ways to lay waste to the entire planet - either through war or overpopulation and the resulting pollution.

The good news is, that, we seem to be on the cusp of an historic change.  Part of humanity looks at the way things are and says, "we can do better!"  These are the voices arguing for peace and logic in our lives.  Sadly, they are often drowned out by the warmakers and the selfish who want power and to keep everything for themselves.  And they do this by programming a vast number of uneducated or under-educated people to believe in superstition and lies.

Those under-educated folks believe the latest war will somehow bring them prosperity, even as their son comes home in a casket.  Or that billions more for the rich will somehow "trickle down" to them, even as the rich get tax breaks and the minions get their Social Security cut.

It is an interesting divide - between those who want a new dark ages and those who hope enlightenment will somehow save humanity.

Of course, even if we follow the path of enlightenment, it is assured that someone, somewhere, will start some kind of conflict as there is a lot of profit in conflict, both for the warlords and their weapons suppliers.

Maybe that is the problem right there - war is just too damn profitable!

And thus, maybe inevitable.

UPDATE:  This posting may seem depressing - after all, there is no hope for mankind!  Or is there?  Peace means nothing without war to compare it to, just as "pleasure" means nothing without pain to compare it to.  There are a lot of bad people in the world, which makes us appreciate the good ones so much more.  If everyone was good, what would "good" really mean?

We have to embrace the good parts of life and of people - while expecting the norm to be bad.