Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Is It Good For? (Absolutely Nothing)

Leaders. Commanders-in-chief. Generals.

Great men.

Great men?

It's a question that I've been pondering a lot recently. Wars have been part of human history since its conception, but the idea still irks me to this day. What is a war, really? At its very core, it's the decision that you're going to take someone else's life for some reason, be it conquest and expansion, or seeking vengeance for some slight, or a number of other equally viable (and ridiculous) issues worth fighting for.

But then, you just have to think about it; the simple man, the smallest unit in an army of thousands, what's his stake in all of this? Is his life even slightly benefited by waging war against his fellow man? Does he even believe in a cause that - most likely - isn't his? It baffles me, how those generals and commanders manage to convince their subordinates to head into a bloody trench, in search of glory that is - by definition - fleeting and momentary. These men-of-war, these fantastical, almost-mythical beings; they are manipulative and deceitful, and they're constantly lauded for how well they do that job. Boggles the mind.

But then, you might come along and say 'No! You fight to be safe! You fight to defend yourself!', and I rightly call you an idiot, for you're missing the point entirely. Your right to self-defense is well preserved, and is not being argued here. The idea is what starts these wars in the first place. Why drag an entire nation into a struggle, a pissing contest, that costs it most of its resources, and - more importantly - youth?

Is humanity really that vain?

Am I so silly as to be expecting an answer to that question that isn't 'of course it is'?

Of course I am.

What is funny (and there is nothing funny about this entire affair) is the fact that human vanity might've started the trend of wars and conquest, but it's greed that keeps this bloodied machine running smoothly. These 'lords of war' here and there, they turn a profit on these little skirmishes, and they're not about to let business dry up.

Is it not magnificent, how human lives are now mere blips that drive cash flows? Congratulations, your much sought-after death is now the reason someone somewhere is buying an arsenal of guns.

And - make no mistake - they will kill you. And they will feel good about it, not because they've defeated their enemy, but because they've validated their exorbitant purchases. It's like that annoying kid who buys an SLR camera, and immediately creates a Facebook page with a shitload of crappy photos, simply to feel good about himself.

You are the crappy photo.

Enjoy your life.

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