War: A Culture of Death

There is hardly any environment on the planet that has not been scarred, scorched, poisoned, mined, radiated or otherwise brutalized by war. Intelligent beings from another planet might well wonder what kind of crazed animal wreaks such damage on an otherwise beautiful planet, one that seems so suitable for life. They might be even more surprised to learn that the damage was and continues to be done by the species considered the most intelligent on Earth -- Homo sapiens.

Why does a species with such a short lifespan spend so many of its precious years making life as miserable as possible, even hastening death for so many of its own kind? One might conclude that they are possessed by such a deep hatred for life that they are willing to attack and poison the only known planet that sustains and nourishes them.

Whatever the pathology in the wiring of some human brains -- inexplicably those in the heads of men likely to be leaders of countries -- its major symptom is a monstrous self-deception that war and national security are inseparably linked. In pursuit of this illusion, governments spend most of their economic and human resources manufacturing, selling and buying weapons of destruction that only increase insecurity and threaten all life on the planet.


Excerpt from essay published in the North Atlantic Review, No. 15, 2003-2004.

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