Sunday, 8 April 2018
Sane, Honorable Men
Influenced by Aldous Huxley, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Quakerism, I used to be "pacifist." Now I recognize that many people with military careers are both sane and honorable - although what seems sane in one society may not be so in another.
Military conflicts occur because conflicts of interest exist and are compounded by misunderstandings. Decades ago, my mother read a serious daily newspaper and also watched the television news every day yet was consistently misinformed. When an employer dismissed workers who joined a union, she thought that this was the union bullying the employer. She said that she sympathized with the workers who did not want to join the union. When, having heard a striker speak, I informed her that the strikers wanted the right to join the union but did not want to force anyone else to join it, she then asked what the dispute was about!
With such disinformation, misunderstanding and bitter, entrenched conflicts circulating in general consciousness, it is hardly surprising that governments resort to violence to resolve their disagreements.
The Gwydiona who do not understand wars do not understand themselves. The Eloi fear the Dark Nights when, we learn, the Morlocks come to the surface. The Gwydiona should fear Bale Time when their own Night Face surfaces but, for the rest of the year, they cover it with talk of "God." Wells' Time Traveler and Anderson's space travelers must look below the surface of seemingly paradisal societies.