Last night I saw “The Martian” at the cinema. A special movie based on a very special book. But it is not the movie I wish to write about today, but about the thoughts that have been bothering me since watching it. Can you imagine, only for a second, what could happen, what we could accomplish as a species, if we ceased thinking in a selfish and ego-centered manner?! What if we stopped for a moment in the middle of the madness surrounding us and found a way to cooperate person with person, country with country, nation with nation and continent with continent?! This cooperation should be fueled not by one person’s or nation’s petty interests but by altruism, by the sincere wish to change things for the better, thinking about the present and especially about the future and our descendants.
What are we doing instead? We threat each other with sanctions, with the interruption of structural funds, with taxes and penalties. And all these happen within a Union which is based, at least in theory, on democratic principles, on negotiation and consensus. This maddening situation is due to the fact that Europe is not really able to organize, verify, take over and integrate more and more people who are trying to escape from geographical areas dominated by poverty, wars, shortcomings and what not…
This is the Europe that had no reaction when an important leading representative declared that we should treat nicely and with respect a country that in the 21st century, a century in which we talk about cosmic voyages and colonizing Mars, changed its borders with tanks. After a very short while another powerful representative serenely denied having done such a thing and added that the nuclear arsenal his country possessed could bring an end to humanity as we know it in less than 24 hours. As if the sole purpose of humanity in 2015 is to cremate itself.
Beyond Europe, across the warm waters of the Mediterranean, the is another madness unfurling. And no, I am not talking about the Islamic State, although this subject has been talked about all over the press, being it written or spoken. I am talking about Syria and the rush hour in the Syrian sky, where everybody bombs everyone and they are all doing it in the name of democracy and and against the terrorists. I haven’t managed to understand what are the French, Americans, Saudi, Israeli, Qatari, Jordanians, Syrians, Canadians and Russians doing in the Syrian air space… and all this while the tension between the Europeans and Americans, on one hand, and the Russians on the other hand are escalating with each passing day. Nobody talks about it and nobody seems to be worried about the fact that the Americans are three drones short thanks to the Russians that had been uncomfortable with them around, or the fact that the Turkish brought down a possibly Russian MiG-29 and a drone (or could it have belonged to the Syrians?) that had forced the Turkish aerial space. We find little bits of information here and there, in the on-line press. But the problem is that this information my not be 100% accurate. We live in a century when media manipulation can be easily achieved if one wanted it and an untrained mind could be confused very easily. This is bad because no one understands anything anymore and from this point to the conspiracy theory is one small step.
And let us not forget about China – a country whose territorial claims against its neighbors is rising daily. Even Japan has come out of its latent defensive (if I can call it like this) and has been building and launching aircraft carriers. The latter are, by definition, offensive war crafts. The Japanese claim that these are only helicopter carriers, but they could easily accommodate the new F-35, even though they do not admit this fact.
You may tell me that all this has happened before, during the Cold War, when a plane was shot down from time to time, or a daring submarine was shot upon. But the difference is that the cold unwritten rules were strictly abode by. Today nobody seems to bide by any law, be it written or unwritten. The all play by one rule: who is going to blink first?!
And I, a mere mortal, cannot help but wonder: how hard can it be for a tired or nervous pilot to press a fatal button on his plane handle? Because the world peace resides in a button and, if it gets pressed, there is no turning back. Then spirits will be inflamed and things will unfold much too fast even for this speed century.
I am neither a pacifist nor a conflict adept, because I think I understand how this world we live in works. And I understand that without its army a country may very well cease to exist. I understand that the world is about to re-establish new areas of influence. The world is changing violently, convulsively and as long as this is not affecting us we do not really realize this. The problem of this new change may be the last one, this may be the big war that will end all wars. And not because the world will realize how useless a conflagration is, but because there will be no one to carry another war. We will have disappeared in the nothingness of our own stupidity.
If it were all about us , the human species, maybe things would not be that bad. The worst thing would be that, along with us, everything beautiful on this planet, everything that does not really belong to us, would disappear.