There is a line in the song -"to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause." History is full of conflicts fought in the name of one god or another. The Crusades saw Christians
attacking Islam. We live in a world marked by terrorist attacks from a radical sect of Islam against the West.
There have been wars fought between nations sharing common religions - so clearly religion is not a cure all for conflict. Christianity is split between Catholics and Protestants. Islam has Shia and Sunnis. Ireland and its troubles show how violent conflict between Catholic and Protestants can be and our incursion into Iraq showed the schism between Sunni and Shiites.
Pick a period in history and at best you might find the occasional peaceful region. Per Wikipedia, the longest continuing period of peace among currently existing states is observed in Sweden, which has had peace since 1814 (for 203 years; if Swedish participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Libya is not considered) after its loss of major parts of the country to Russia in the Napoleonic wars. Swedish peace may partly be explained by its geographical position, partly by non-participation in military alliances during peacetime, resulting in a certain level of Swedish neutrality during wartime, and partly by the periods of relative peace in Europe and the world known as Pax Britannica (1815-1914) and Pax Europaea/Pax Americana (since 1950s).
Other examples of long periods of peace are:
- the isolationistic Edo period (also known as Tokugawa shogunate) in Japan 1603 to 1868 (250 years)
- Pax Khazarica in Khazar Khanate (south-east Turkey) about 700-950 AD (250 years)
- Pax Romana in the Roman empire (for 190 or 206 years).
That is not a particularly impressive record for humanity's time on this third rock from the sun. And with more nations reaching for their own version of the brass ring. More changes. The stage is set for additional conflict. Global resources are shrinking and - for whatever reason - the global climate is changing. We have the capacity to eliminate life on the planet with nuclear weapons so clearly it is in our best interest to keep working on the peace process. The answer has to be out there somewhere.
I am essentially an optimist and expect things to work out although the current polarization in politics here does have me worried a bit - especially when the chief advisor to our new president has a stated goal of destroying the administrative state. But that is a topic for another day. Me? I will continue commenting on things, and listening to music that matters to me while I watch my 7-year old grandson does little boy stuff with reckless abandon.
That's a quick shack take on the topic Ramana gave us this week. Be sure to check the other LBC folf for their takeon the topic - Ramana Pravin and Maria