I dont know what the following has to do with Core Warming, but I think that it is important to consdier the political situation surrounding the global warming crisis, and to understand that the political situation facing us today may well make it impossible to survive global warming unless we find some kind of solution to our present instability as a global civilization. The following is a consideration of the global instability facing us today.
After watching an episode of Barbarians 2 on the History Channel on my cable TV, I realized something about our present situation as a society engaged in a war with “terrorists” world wide. These “terrorists” look very similar to the hoards of Barbarians around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire.
Though there are obvious differences,e.g. religious, social, ethnic, etc and the fact that our “Barbarians” are some fifteen hundred years removed from the Goths, or the Saxons, or the Vandals, the fact of the matter is that they too stand against our own civilization in a manner that is somewhat reminiscent of the barbarian’s stance against the Roman civilization.
Just as we try to push them away from our civilization, for one reason or other, and just as the barbarians of old refused to accept “Roman Rule” for whatever reasons, so too do our own barbarians, who refuse to accept our rules, and our insistence on having them enter pretty much at the bottom of our civilization. In the end the similarities are much more striking than the differences.
I know that many will point to the tragic specifics of our war with the terrorists and say that I am being inconsiderate, or even unpatriotic for reducing our present situation to a mere historical simile of the Roman empire versus the Germanic tribes which attacked it, but quite frankly tragic specifics have occurred throughout all of history. War is hell, and there will be casualties and many of these will be innocent(indeed, we are all innocent at birth.) The Combatants are especially brutal when warring against a group of people who are not supposed to be part of their “civilization” in the first place. What consideration are we or they supposed to have for one another’s children, or family? They are not our children, they are not our family! We are mutually bitter enemies, are we not? Was this not the same rationale that afflicted the Romans, or the Byzantines? At some point in a bloody war, does this rationale not come to the rescue of our concience,for otherwise who could really justify the true barbarism of war against someone who might even remotely be considered a member of their family? War,especially at it’s latest stages is so horrific that we could not continue to fight it without detaching ourselves completely from any real consideration of our opponent’s humanity, for that humanity, if supposed to exist would instantly relate them to ourselves, and consequently weaken our resolve. We are forced to conclude that they, our opponents, really are inhuman, and that we really were justified in waging war against them in the first place(most especially if we were the aggressors.)
Yeah Yeah I know what I just said, but do we as a people understand the implications? Or are we simply trying to pretend that we are, afer all,”civilized” while our adversaries are, afer all, “Barbarians”? Is that not the same argument made by Rome? Is that not the same argument made by the Byzantines? Is that not the same argument made by the British during their struggles with their “Barbarians”? Is it not in fact the same argument made by the Japanese in World War II? Come to think of it, is this not the same argument made the Germans in World War II also? Whose the “Barbarian” anyway? “What we Huns”?
Yeah Yeah Yeah I know I know we are better than they are. We are “Civilized”! They are “Barbarians”, “terrorists”, “insurgents”, “trouble-makers”, “evil people”, etc etc etc.
What I surmised is that somewhere down the line we are going to have to realize that history is repeating itself. That we are Rome, we are the Byzantines we are the Brits, we are an empire of sorts, and that they, our adversaries,are in fact “Barbarians”, outside, looking in. Wanting, waiting, fighting for the chance to live, for a chance to rule, for a chance to become “civilized”!
Did I say that? Did I say that our adversaries want to become “Civilized”? Yes, I sure did. Therein lies the inway to success I think; for them, and for us as well. You see, we must understand, that making the same mistakes that the Byzantines made(only to fall to the Turks), or making the same mistakes the Romans made(only to fall to the Germanic tribes that surrounded their empire) is not a luxury we have at this point in history. You see, if our civilization should fall to our bar- barians, our “Islamo-Fascist” ,”terrorist”, “Barbarian”, “Animals”,etc etc etc there will be no civilization to rise out of the ashes! There will be no renaissence to come to the rescue of European civilization. There will be no New New World to ascend into space fifteen hundred years after the fall of Rome! There will not be another “civilization” to replace our own fallen “Civilization”. Our enemies will not really win anything at all. Rather they, like ourselves, will almost certainly taste a black unfathomable death from which no human pheonix shall ever arise again. They will die with us!
The Germanic Barbarians, like the Mongols, or Turks after them had no weapons of mass destruction. They had no way of annihilating every living thing on earth. No matter how much damage they did, there would always be someone left to carry on human society. They themselves would live on to create a new civilization from the fallen one.
Not so in our case. If and when our “barbarians” do overcome our civilization, you can be assured that some pretty nasty weapons were used by both parties. You can also be certain that somekind of “collapse” occured within our own civilization! That is to say, somehow we cracked. Somehow we broke down. But in our break down, weapons of the very worst kind were either used, or freed for use by someone. Somewhere our own weapons will be used against us! If our Rome falls it will carry with it the seeds of ultimate death! Once those seeds are planted(assuming that they have not already been planted)the end is only a matter of time, and not much of it. I am saying that if our civilization collapses, and is somehow overrun by our adversaries(careful here they be more than meets the eye) the end of all humanity comes with it! In the final analysis, we can’t afford to lose!
So what can we do to prevent the end of the world? In the end I think it will come down to showing our enemies that they have more to gain by joining us, than by opposing us. This is what Rome might have been able to do, this is what the Byzantines might have done. Had they been willing to pay the price, and had they known how to bargain.
Assimilation is not cheap, and it will cost a pretty penny in one way or other. But the price for assimilation of our enemies within our own world is a lot less expensive than the price for defeat, or for that matter “victory”. For military victory over our enemies would most likely result in an inherent defeat within our own walls, for such a victory will likely be unacceptably brutal and so the net result will be defeat for our beliefs, our morality, and ultimately for our civilization. Our only chance is assimilation. To absorb our enemies, and essentially make them one of us. Military brutality will not expidite that process at all. In the end only persuasion can win this “war” for our “civilized” world. We must persuade our enemies that in our own world there is the potential for them to actualize their own most prized aspirations. That by joining us, they may come to find a possibility for existence that far outweighs anything that can come from our defeat. Though this may sound difficult, I believe that once it is understood that death to this present civilization will mean death to all human kind, I think even our enemies will have to listen. In the end it is better to live together than to die alone.
I know that this sounds a little too simple to be realistic. It’s true it is simplistic. In point of fact we ourselves are not ready to do what it takes to aquire real peace, and stability. Though we are tempted to think that our civilization is ready to achieve any goal it aspires to the sad truth is that we are ourselves growing, learning, struggling, and in many ways desperately trying to hold on to that spirit that justifies our own existence. We ourselves are weak. The odds against us are actually growing by the day. Global Warming could easily become the death knell of our civilization, if not of our species itself. Our world economy is teetering on collapse, and I suspect it will take great skill to hold it all together in the next twenty to thirty years. If our economy fails significantly, how long before our stability fails altogether? We are struggling. We are trying to build a world, but the road is dangerous and at any second a nice day can turn to a storm of unpredented proportions. No I am not being dramatic. I am being honest.
In fact this is what we all must be:honest. We must tell the truth whenever we can, and we should try to make that always. Without the truth our own integrity comes into question. Without the truth our own credibility becomes questionable. We will not even be able to convince our own children of our worth as a civilization if they are taught that they can only “understand” us, and our civilization through a web of intricately constructed lies that vaguely imply our real motives and aspirations. In fact, let me just tell the truth here too. If all we can tell our children is that their sole purpose is to make a buck, frankly we’re doomed. That’s just not good enough. If all we can tell them is that if it was good enough for me, it’s good enough for you. It’s over. If we intend for our civilization to survive we had better get used to being able to justify it’s ways to our children, and to ourselves! If at any point we find that we cannot do that, then let me tell you, it’s over. We are done not only as a civilization, but most likely as a species.
Yeah Yeah, I know you are convinced that I am being dramatic again. I assure you I am not. Everything I say, I believe is true. If we fail as citizens of our nation, as citizens of this global civilization to understand the justice of our existence, and if we cannot pass that understanding on to our youth, the immense complexity of our civilization, the “weight” of our global existence, will become unsustainable and we will collapse in a cataclysm! On the other hand we cant simply believe that someone else has got a hold on the problem. In a democracy we are all responsible. It is our business, not some other person’s. Each one of us is responsible for the world in which we live. Our elected officials are there to represent us in government, they are not there to run our lives for us, or for that matter to think for us. It is up to each one of us to let them know throughout their entire tenure what our wishes are. At each turn we must impress upon them the importance of our existence within this civilization so that they will respond by creating laws that advocate that existence, and fascilitate our intellectual, and spiritual growth. True our financial well being is utmost in the mind’s of our politicians, but man does not live by bread alone. It is up to us to have a relationship with our elected officials, and with one another. We must become an organized force within our community and by so doing allow our representatives the oppertunity to enact the laws we require for our well being as a community. The time for dictators is over. Dictators can never sustain this world which we have now fashioned. We need democracy because we need people to do what must be done on their own, without somebody having to tell them to do it! That’s why democracy works in the first place. Democracy is effecient! Period. People do what they must and no one has to tell them to! But for this same reason, each one of us must know why we do these things which we do. If it’s simply to buy ourselves a car, or a computer, or merely to satisfy some selfish urge or other we are lost. The common truth must be proclaimed for the common good.
Please understand I know how many good people there are in the world. I know how much people sacrifice. But in the end we must be able to communicate this truth to our children and to our fellow men and women. The only way to do that is to be honest. To tell the truth! It’s simple, yet it’s the hardest thing in the world to do. If we do it, I think we have a good chance to live and prosper as a global civilization, and one day we will absorb our “enemies” and they will find a place to live and prosper as well, within our own world. If we fail to tell the truth we will confound ourselves, we will become lost,dazed, and confused, and disillusioned; and the collapse of our civilization will only be a matter of time, and not much of it, at that.
Did we not assimilate the Japanese? Did we not assimilate the Germans, and Italians? We are even now trying to assimilate everyone else, including the Europeans, Chinese, Indians, and all the other Asians. We want to do the same with the Africans, the Arabs, and the South Americans. In the end we seek to assimilate the entire world into one civilization. We will have to try to assimilate our “enemies” as well, and if we manage to do that, we win, and they do too. Yet we will have to use all our knowledge, all our craft, and cunning, and political skill to do so. The task is hard, but it can be done if we proceed with care, and if we can be honest to ourselves.