Symptom: War & Terrorism
Since 2001 the United States alone has spent 4.4 trillion dollars to support its wars, not to mention the trillions in the fight against terrorism. 370,000 people died in those wars, 210,000 being civilians. 7.6 million people were displaced. In 2011, there were 4,564 terrorist incidents globally which resulted in 7,473 deaths and 13,961 injuries. We spend Trillions for defense, not for peace, and the death toll of innocents keep rising.
There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide from the shadow of War and Terrorism. It is time to face some tragic truths.
♥ Over 140 large antiwar groups work locally and worldwide for peace and yet according to warsintheworld.com, 65 countries are currently embroiled in wars and violent conflicts.
♥ The antiwar movement has always made strange bedfellows of pacifists, anarchists, socialists, opponents of capitalism and the oil industry: except for our opposition to the war we share few goals in common and don’t support the same solutions. Often we are embarrassed to even be associated with some of the more radical elements supporting our cause.
♥ It’s not that we are not getting people out into the streets: In 2003 alone, 36 million people across the globe took part in 3,000 protests in 800 cities against the Iraq war. We staged the largest demonstrations in history just prior and during the Iraq war and yet the war went on anyway. Getting vocal and staging huge protests did not stop the war machine.
♥ It’s not that we failed to get the message out: A poll by the Pew Foundation found that prior to the Iraq War, 40% of Americans said they had heard too much from the antiwar side.
♥ The media is drawn to the most radical and the most violent protests painting the antiwar movement as extremist or as a thinly veiled socialist movement.
♥ It is estimated that the U.S. spent 50 million dollars per Taliban soldier killed. Our brains are wired to neutralize perceived threats, even if the attempt is likely to create renewed threats. There are cheaper and more effective solutions to the Taliban, yet we are not wired to find them.
♥ The media plays on the public’s fears and paints black and white images, constantly pitting us against them. Our biology responds to fear by shutting down the brain’s highest functions and flooding the system with chemicals that prepare us to fight or flee and not to reason our way out of our problems. So when we need it most we are the least rational and most prone to violence. Therefore, locally and worldwide, we end up with a huge proportions of our resources consumed and destroyed in violence against our own species, which only triggers more violence in response.
♥ It is time to look at our brain’s wiring. Our challenge is overcoming the basic tendencies of a brain designed to handle an environment our species no longer lives in. We must upgrade our understanding and adaptation of our brain to our current environmental conditions.
We need to Leap Forward!
Callinicos, Alex, 2005. Antiwar Protests Do Make a Difference. Socialist Worker. Number 1943.