First World War centenary and the state of the world

This morning I had a conversation about the state of the world. It is something that has been on my mind for quite some time, as the number of conflicts keeps increasing. If you look around in the news you will see articles about the Syrian War, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, about problems in Iraq, about the war in Ukraine

The world is a complete, total mess. And how? How did we arrive here?

Last week (28 July 2014) marked the 100 years of the beginning (28 July 1914) of the 1st World War. You can click the link if you want a simple explanation about it. There are several ceremonies around the world regarding WW I, remembering all the sacrifices made, all the lives lost. You can check more here. It is not rare finding a monument to the WW I and II causalities. There is this need for to world not to forget the horror of such a war. So why does it keep forgetting?

In this conversation that I had, I said that I “feel” that something is coming. Now, I don’t like to be a misfortune prophet, as it is really not my style, but I do think that in the next 5, 10, etc years there will be some kind of turning point in these conflict areas. Could be good or could be bad…But there has to be one.

With the experience of the two previous world wars, I try to think that the international community is now too smart to let a 3rd World War start, but I am wrong? Tell me what you think!

 

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21 Comments

Filed under America, Asia, Europe, Middle-East, Others

21 responses to “First World War centenary and the state of the world

  1. If history tells us anything as these wars have happened with the Romans, the American Revolution, French Revolution, Rwanda, tribes and countries throughout time. I do agree though that a breaking point will come. Modern weapons make that a scary thought. Are we strong enough as people, global citizens to understand we are all in this together, if we want to create a world that is kinder, gentler and valuing every living thing. Can we see our part in the world and can we understand that what each of us does matter? I often think of John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ as clearly so many things that divide us, be it religion, country or some other belief have served as the rationale for war when in reality it is our similarities as human beings that should bring us together not tear us apart. That being said I also don’t think we have to destroy those differences but respect them and understand my country, my gender, my creed or religion does not make me better or worse than anyone else just different.

    • I do agree with you that is being human should bring us apart, not the other way around. But I also believe that we can make peace… if we open up to it, which I hope countries will do some day. We have a lot more to gain in cooperating than in fighting.
      Thank you for reminding me of the song and for coming by.

  2. yeseventhistoowillpass

    Simply one of the best posts I’ve read! I know a lot about WWI and what led up to it.. You are young and wise… You add light to this world!

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  4. Hi there
    Thanks for this post and thanks for taking an interest in mine. I am now a follower. Maybe … just maybe … we need to consider a monument to the future … our children and their children. Love and hate make such strange allies in our world.

  5. Thanks for liking the post about the statistics of dead and wounded in battles before World War One and what I see as a strange quasi celebration of the start of that war, wrapped up as hand-wringing sombre recollection.
    Here in Britain they staged a surreal theatrical event, telling the country to switch off its lights at 10pm to “remember”. I worry that we are treating this like The World Cup or Christmas, both of which have become media events. We like too much the ‘feeling’ of feeling sad or happy. It is not natural, it is manufactured and that is sentimentalism.
    Please reblog the clippings from the 19th century if you like, or folks can find them at Actonbooks.com

    • Hi, definitely true. That’s why I don’t like to call them celebrations…They are ceremonies. We’re suppose to remember and not do the same thing…However, I really doubt that the same mistakes will not be made…

      • The “ceremony not celebration” message was put about here too, but the organisers undermined any credibility they may have had by the way they have gone about it. Our only hope is the parallelism and globalism of social media. I’m in England; you’re in Belgium/Portugal.
        In WW1 you could only read the papers to find out what the Kaiser or the Prime Minister wanted you to think. Most British or French had never met a German and vice versa. Certain tools of “public mood” propaganda including 24 hour TV news and radio are diminished or fading fast

      • Yes, indeed, nowadays we get much more information and it is really useful to build an opinion, if we filter the partial stuff and focus on impartial articles.

    • Hello actonbooks

      I found the lights going out to be deeply symbolic rather than surreal. When a person dies, their loved ones often talk about them being their light; and the light is gone. Most of my neighbours participated.

      The last few days have caused me to reflect upon somebody I remember who fought in that war. That has been a good thing.

      I do not believe that we are treating this like the World Cup. I cannot see how we are treating it like Christmas. I worry that the ‘great and the good’ have said much about how we must remember and learn but so far I have heard none of them say that it should never have happened.

      And if they will not do so, the rest of us should. A ruling elite took ordinary people into a living hell. I suspect that they would again. The difference is that ordinary people now have some kind of choice.

      The Butler.

      • Dear Butler, Please don’t be offended. If you read the original post at actonbooks.com I did write that it would only be people such as yourself — those who personally remember persons who fought in the war will have a genuine genuine sense of sadness and however you commemorate is understandable and welcome. And it was said in the context of a comparison with the previous battles and wars. The original piece referenced newspapers written in the 1870s and the early 20th century. It talked of 1 million dead on Napoleon’s side and 900,000 allies during the Napoleonic War. After one three day battle, the the world had lost 107,000 men killed or wounded. But there were no telegrams, no war memorials, no War Graves Commission cemeteries for them. I agree that war as a foreign policy ploy is unacceptable and I suspect nowadays impossible.
        Like Christmas? The date has no religious significance for most people. In a few weeks’ time the media and marketing professionals will begin telling us how it will be for us in December if we shop as we should. The Romans ruled with bread and circuses. We are ruled in the same way. That’s what I meant.

  6. Although when you look at Ukraine, Israel-Palestine, the Congo, Armenia-Azerbaijan etc. etc. it looks like the world is riven by conflict, I have read that there is less war in the world now than there has ever been in human history, and that the last number of decades are the most peaceful there has ever been. Now possibly this is a sign that war is fading away form humanity, like duelling and slavery (to pick two once-ubiquitous activities that have now retreated to the margins of human life). More worrying is the possibility that we are living in a quiet period like that of the run-up to the First World War. Time will tell.

  7. I was sick of the media coverage being solely as a remembrance of the past, when it should be a reminder to end all conflict. It was the first item on the TV news, followed by Gaza and Iraq.

    So, thanks for this post!

  8. We have delved into the history of the WW1 and the more we research the more shocking it becomes… one thing that stands out is we haven’t learnt our lesson just yet.Great post 🙂

  9. I tend to go with M. Foucault’s view that there is always a kind of war (or struggle) going on, in various sectors, with many casualties. But I guess you’re talking about the big, visible kind. I’m not convinced we’re beyond that as a species, either.

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