This is Essay Nine in the series Lighten the Load, a back-to-basics re-think of government. What should a government be and do? What should it definitely NOT be and do? Is it even necessary at all? If so, how much and why? How do we decide, against what criteria?
The wrong “solution” to a problem adds more problems.
War is a primary example. Someone presents, for example, war as “the only solution” to some real or fabricated problem a nation is having (he says) with some other nation.
This is always a lie because war cannot ever truly resolve any problem between nations because, short of the Earth falling into the sun, it is the biggest problem with which humanity has to deal. It is more inimical to human survival than any other situation man can devise.
You don’t solve a problem by dumping an even bigger one on top of it and making things worse than they were in the first place.
For instance, one could ”solve” the problem of the leaky tap by shutting off the water supply: no more leaky tap. But one has created an even bigger counter-survival situation: no water. The problem has not been resolved in the direction of increased survival but in the direction of decreased survival. There’s not much point to it unless you don’t desire survival or you are so bored, so short of things to do, that you’ve just got to create more problems for yourself. And if boredom is the problem it would be better to fix the tap and give yourself a more pro-survival problem like installing a swimming pool or building a conservatory.
So far as war is concerned, it is always bigger and more difficult to survive than the problem it was supposed to handle.
Whatever problem Hitler had with the rest of Europe, it paled compared to the problems that accrued from his “solution” of waging war on his neighbours.
And by not resolving the problem of Adolf Hitler earlier – for instance by insisting their banks refrain from financing his rise to power and his building of a war machine – the Allies found themselves with an even bigger problem of having to “handle” him in war.
The best we can say about war is that it creates such an overwhelming turbulence and distraction everybody soon forgets what the original problem was.
This is not, by the way, an argument for doing nothing or being “nice” to ruthless dictators. It is perhaps an argument for not installing and financing them in the first place, but the main point is that wars occur not because reason failed but because reason was either never used or was abandoned and insane men are doing the solving.
Where there are wars, there are insane men doing the “solving.” Wars result from the actions and decisions of criminal men. Criminal men have crimes. That they are not always recognized for what they are is what gets humanity into trouble. That they often successfully conceal their crimes or persuade us that their crimes are “strong leadership” makes this no less true.
We embark upon war convinced that it solves some problem because there was something about that problem that was not understood by us.
Usually that is because the problem was never fully or truthfully described to us in the first place.
Or someone was really trying to solve some other, hidden, problem.
Next in this series:
Who is Doing the Solving?
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