Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

War in a Bowl

I have just read through a long list of quotations on the subject of war, courtesy of my friend Avens (practicallyfame of LJ). Most of them, not surprisingly, are opposed to the idea. War, in a vacuum, is a bad thing. Except... the image that I could not escape, as I read, was a Petri dish full of yeast, and the lesson it contained.

If you fill a Petri dish with nutrients and add a single yeast cell, the yeast will reproduce exponentially until it has nearly exhausted its food supply, and then the growth will slow, and stop, and the dying will commence, and eventually the last yeast cell will die.

Humanity did not invent war to serve as a counterbalance to our tendency to breed until we have destroyed our environment, but we DID invent war, and it DOES serve as such a counterbalance. It is a bloody and ironic serendipity.

The problem is not war, it is humanity itself. If we intend to survive into the next century, we need to become, as a species, something better, something other, than we are now. I am not hopeful.

My favorite from the list of quotations?

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."--John Stewart Mill

To be worthwhile as a human being, you must be able to identify something for which you are willing to die, and something for which you are willing to kill.

Uncle Hyena
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