The next war to end all wars, no, really

Just when you were starting to get over it…here’s a thought from Tobias Stone on Medium…most of us have a 50-100 year perspective on history; historians, archaeologists and dinosaur hunters aside. We don’t really think about anyone before that period as being real people, they’re just historical figures, names in dusty history books or cracked paintings in galleries and dusty busts in dusty old buildings. They’re myths almost in many cases, Richard III, Robin Hood, Harold and Will-I-Am the Conquerer, Samuel “The Great Barbecue” Pepys, Vlad the Impaler, Genghis Khan, Conan the Barbarian, Queen Victoria (obviously not that penultimate one). We think we’re different, that those wars and genocides and plagues happened to people who aren’t like us.

This is hubris.

Before the so-called war to end all wars (aka The Great War, WWI), some bright people had spotted the growing problems, the tangled web of treaties, the national and international dysfunctionalities. They knew of a political powder keg, the lit fuse that was nothing more startling than a bullet that killed an aristocrat called Franz on a bridge and years later inspired a Scottish indie rock band to ask someone to take them out. At the time, those bright people were dismissed as crazy…just as are those who are warning us about Putin, Brexit, Trump, Jong-Un…but that powder keg was lit with FF’s bullet and the rest is…err…history.

Trump says he will Make America Great Again. What a tw*t. In terms of health and wealth, America is great right now, even if there are some insane and tragic events taking place on an almost daily basis (they’re happening in Germany, France, the Middle East, and beyond too, and have always done so for centuries, just ask Plato). Trump, says Stone, “is using passion, anger, and rhetoric in the same way all his predecessors did”, as a charismatic narcissist who feeds on the [gullible and easily duped] crowd to become ever stronger. Plato understood this. Putin is doing something similar but in a slightly more dictatorial style. The evidence is mounting that the recent embarrassing hacking and leaking of Democrat emails in the US was commissioned by Putin’s people to disrupt the Amercun election in his favour…although why he wants Trump in power is hard to discern.

Moreover, we on this side of The Pond, have Brexit to contend with. I reckon Brexit is going to divide Europe, it’s going to wreck it, in fact. France is hoping the UK will push the Article 50 button soon, Germany is saying nein to any kind of free movement deal and the so-called Commonwealth is already hinting at not taking on trade deals with the UK alone; meanwhile Scotland wants its own Out of the UK into the EU deal. There will be broken apart treaties and friends turning against friends as neonationalism (nazism) spreads in the name of “taking back control”, “protecting our borders” and all that other Leave campaign bullshine…remember their promises of a better Britain with more money for the NHS. Hah!

Maybe all of this will become obvious to historians in 50-100 years time, after the “honestly-this-is-the-war-to-end-all-wars” moment of our timeline. Meanwhile, if any of your mates insist that you call them Archduke, please keep them away from any bridges in your area especially if you live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If they really must cross Balkan bridges, do insist that they wear a bulletproof vest and pretend to be a fruitpicker or something…just in case.

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