There was a 2 century long period of peace during which little war was fought in Europe. People at the time already called it the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), and it was started by emperor Augustus of the Roman Empire. The economy flourished, and politics were stable. It ended in the year 180, when emperor Commodus gained power. The Pax Romana is a perfect example of political stability in past times that seemed endless at the time, but proved unsuccessful in the end. Major technological advancements were lost, and it was not until the industrial revolution that materials like concrete were rediscovered. Interestingly, it was the same industrial revolution that paved the way to ‘The War to end all wars’. Fast forward a century and the war with the optimistic name is now called the first world war. We are only 80 years into our own Pax Europa, and even that statement is being put to the test already.
It will happen
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like war. But considering the past it is only a matter of time before the next missile strikes Europe. Putin is creeping westward, and NATO has not been particularly neutral in supporting a non-member state. I think supporting Ukraine is a moral duty, but I also think that being allowed to join NATO in time would have been even more so. War is not something from the past, we just happen to be born at a time when Kinder chocolate is illegal or aerodynamics can be calculated for irrelevant stuff like cows. Surely no global power would dare to go to war against the West that thrives economically and produces immense amounts of plastic straws, CO2 and atrocities against humanity. Wait what?
War is not something from the past, we just happen to be born at a time when Kinder chocolate is illegal or aerodynamic can be calculated for irrelevant stuff like cows.
War is fought right now. It’s just not here. After the second world war, Europe has made great efforts to unify, but if we’re not considerate of ourselves, WW3 might be just around the corner. And the West has been a very naughty boy. Some parts of the middle east have been bombed to shreds and even before the 9/11 attacks, countries like the USA have waged wars against simple rice farmers over supposed freedom. Propaganda might not be delivered in an active way as before, but I think that the subtle way of freely telling stories about IS fighting with Russian guns without any form of self conscience does not help (it is arguably even more dangerous).
In the end I think democracy is the best thing we have, but poses its own risks. Freedom of speech allows me to criticise our current modus vivendi, but also allows celebrities like Donald Trump to spread fake news and become president. Even so, he is allowed to do that. Voters must simply always be wary of their own emotions. Also, a not-so-innocent notion is that American presidents who started wars have seen positive effects on their approval ratings.1 If we want to prevent war in Europe, we might want to be more considerate of our own provocative attitude. So to come back to politicians losing their minds, is it them who are evil, or us that bat our eyes?