History at the beginning of the century seems to be adverse if not hazardous. The 20th century began with WWI, then progressed to a global financial surge which was rapidly followed by the worst financial depression in modern history, and then was followed by WWII and one of the worst humanitarian acts of homicide ever committed. Although both world wars were supposed to be the “wars to end all wars”, humanity got bored and settled into smaller skirmishes to pass its time. Wars in Korea, Eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America and the first televised war in history, Vietnam, helped countries keep honed at the skills of developing the machinery of death and practicing the art of genocide which has characterized our species dominantly. Finally at the end of the century, war was expanded into the theaters of all media communications including TV broadcast, film and videogames. By the beginning of the 21st century we were ready to graduate to larger platforms and greater arenas of interest. The War on Terror provided a staple source of sufficient dread and entertainment, beginning with 9/11. The United State’s involvement in the Middle East lasted almost exactly 20 years and generated a tremendous amount of attention. Broadcast empires got rich, movie studios got rich, software companies got rich. And lots more people got dead.
Welcome to “the biz”, that’s the way we roll. In fact, on a planet of 7 billion and growing, human life and the balance of warfare resembles more of a supply-and-demand chain than anything else. These days, war has competition though. Currently a global pandemic and the looming threat of climate change are looking to cut into the ‘industry’ of war. At this point it seems that the Covid-19 virus may be growing less lethal and more mundane, likening itself to an annual booster requirement instead of the havoc wrought by its predecessor the Spanish Flu which killed millions in the last century. If you’re the betting type, the global warming hoax is a good investment. Additionally, it should up the ante on conflicts as resource scarcity causes disputes in already struggling nations who are prone to sea level rise and suffer from poor infrastructure and political instability. Don’t discount the fact that several governments are always on the prowl to absorb some of these resources/countries when the opportunity presents itself. “Strike when the iron is hot” as the saying goes. Apparently Vladimir Putin sees this as his crowning moment to reabsorb Ukraine, a long lost state of the former USSR.
One thing that has radically changed about how everything is interpreted and understood in the new century is that media consumption has evolved to encompass almost every aspect of consumer’s daily lives. For those living in first-world countries with all the amenities that technology affords, communications invades and permeates every aspect of their daily lives. In addition to the ubiquitous smartphone, sync that with a smartwatch. If you have a newer vehicle then it can be synced to the touchscreen interfaces so it is possible to drive without missing a beat on your favorite apps. Which brings us to another subject, the world of social media. That is a world unto itself, the evolution of the developing human media metaverse where users can shape the outside, real world they cannot control into whatever they want. America has its own political movement fashioned after a proposed and ever-evolving digital metaverse where nothing in the real world is what it seems. I am of course referring to the phenomenon of QAnon.
Not surprisingly, the QAnon universe closely mirrors that of countries such as China, Russia and North Korea who claim that the media is incorrect most if not all of the time. They also claim that their world views are justified because of secret societies and cabals of elites trying to bring their governments down. Authoritarian regimes always paint themselves as the victims while maintaining strict control over information and media. This, while engaging in alarming instances of human rights violations and a pretty decent share of shady operations themselves. With all of the technology available today it is too easy to manipulate images, articles, even history. That’s one of the advantages offered by escaping into a fabricated digital world that caters to your own personal whims. But why stop there? One up the game and manipulate information in the real world. Any pushback can simply be chalked up to the “liberal media” as fake news.
During the invasion of Ukraine (aka: the Soviet liberation of Communist sympathizers), Russia consistently pushed back against western portrayals of the conflict as, “propaganda designed to cast them in a bad light”. For example, images of a column of military vehicles headed towards the Ukrainian capital were unsubstantiated and photoshopped images generated by media outlets. The destruction shown of public and domestic buildings were actually acts of sabotage by the Ukrainians themselves in an effort to overplay the “alleged” siege on their country. Reports of Russia jailing protesters and dissenters to the invasion are completely unfounded, no one in Russia opposes Putin’s decisions or motives. The west needs to recognize that Ukraine was and always will be part of Russia, they had been allowed to stray for too long but when they are reunited with the Motherland they will see the error of their ways. This reunification will soon be followed by China’s reunification with Taiwan and North Korea and South Korea seeing their country restored to its former glory as simply Korea.
For a country that has invested so much of its history in war and influencing the outcomes of other countries affairs, the U.S. comes off as pretty arrogant sometimes. Its citizens, who largely supported a 20 year campaign in the Middle East and then cut-and-run after it was glaringly apparent that things were not going their way, are now more than willing to stick their noses in business being conducted thousands of miles away. However, ironically, the American government does not see it fit to put “boots on the ground” in this case because the bottom line is that it could provoke WWIII? What happened? Where was this temerity 20 years ago when the U.S. invaded Iraq on the pretense of “weapons of mass destruction”? We all know that Russia DOES have WMD’s and our last President was so in awe of his powers that he decided that cozying up to him was a better strategy than punishment for meddling in elections! The saying “politics makes strange bedfellows” is a great and true saying indeed. Essentially, because Russia has almost as big a “stick” as the U.S. we won’t actively go to war. The media, government and other countries of NATO and the United Nations will just use the invasion to foment concern, panic, and most importantly the bottom line of how it will affect the economy. And that is the end all be all of the world we live in. For Americans, fuel and resource shortages will prompt more inflation increasing the already stunted supply line due to the fake pandemic. And it’s all because Joe Biden stole the election! Why? Because “Q” said so!
If you look at world history, it’s really just a pattern of repeating cycles, cycles of violence and suffering. The 20th century began and ended with war, suffering and staggering advances in technology that human beings struggled to adapt to and control. The 21st century is eerily mirroring many of the same events, right down to the outbreak of a global pandemic. The dawn of the atomic age saw the introduction of the “doomsday clock” which portended the end of all we know it as a result of human-caused armageddon. By the end of the last century it was thought that we had moved farther away from this possibility with some experts even declaring that the notion should be abandoned. Never discount fickle humanity and their propensity for ego over compassion; here we go again. If there is any point to this rambling diatribe it is that everything changes but nothing changes at all. We’ve been here before at multiple points of history only to repeat our same mistakes. There were two world wars within 40 years of one another for crissakes. The only reason we have staved off another is that thermonuclear weapons are a level of warfare that threatens more than simply cities and countries but the environment of the entire planet. Human beings still see one another as individual races and distinct genders, some which remain undefined or forbidden in many cultures. We’re also quickly recognizing the fact that we have made our only habitation more and more hostile to life. The 21st century will once again challenge the assumption of homo sapiens as “intelligent life”. Can we make it to the 23rd century or will our never-ending thirst for knowledge and disposition for violence bring an end to this experiment in a cosmic petri-dish? Tune in next week…