Friday, June 21, 2024
  War in the New Normal     Source
New Normal War

There was a discussion on OffG recently under the latest column by CJ Hopkins, about whether the current spate of wars were “real”.

Opinion was sharply divided. Binary you might say.

On reading it the thing that occurred to me was that before you can have a meaningful discussion about whether or not a thing is “real” you need to agree upon a definition for that word.

What is “real” in terms of war?

Our standard definition can be summed up as a situation in which the oligarchies/monarchies of two or more nation states decide to compete over some land or resources by sending in proxy armies of obedient proles to fight and die for their masters. After an acceptable interval the side whose proles have died in the smallest numbers or who have held on to the most strategic territory will be deemed to have “won” and peace can be allowed to return, while the victorious oligarchs/monarchs enjoy their spoils.

That’s the classic definition of “real” war as we are encouraged to understand it, and most wars of the past are parsed within this understanding. There will usually be additional, often spurious, moral binaries applied to the combatants, but this doesn’t change the basic concept of what “real” war entails.

But what if things get a little more fuzzy?

What if oligarchies and monarchies see other advantages in war beyond a basic means of increasing land or riches?

What if Oligarchy A has some social unrest going on at home and wants to get those troublemakers out of their hair, so they decide to invade the territory of Oligarchy B and just muss things up for a while until the social unrest is forgotten? Or what if it’s more complicated and Oligarchy A has the social unrest going on but also really wants to get their hands on some of Oligarchy B’s lovely natural resources.

Is the ensuing conflict a “real” war?

Probably most of us would say yes. Wars are messy things fueled by many interlocking motives and pressures.

But then what if Oligarchy B also sees the advantage of starting this war – because they too have social unrest at home etc etc?

So both sides invent an essentially bogus casus belli against the other and launch their armies into the killing zone.

Is this war of mutual oligarchical benefit still “real”?

And how about if the oligarchies become a little more sophisticated in their appreciation of class interests and have a chat about their mutual benefit and agree that, while a war is rather useful to them right now, they don’t want to get silly about it and risk things getting out of hand, so they will have some ground rules that ensure only the expendable die and all the most important infrastructure and all oligarchical fortunes are left intact.

Are we still justified in defining any ensuing bloodbath as a “real” war?

The deaths are certainly real.

But death isn’t the definition of war.

Conflict is the definition of war.

Two oligarchies mutually agreeing to send their proles to kill each other for mutually beneficial reasons is arguably the very opposite of conflict.

So – would this be “real” war – or mass murder for convenience?

I don’t think this is a semantic or trivial question.

Back in 1948 Eric Blair already had a more sophisticated understanding of the applications of war than most of us seem to have today. In 1984 he defines a world in which the ruling elites of the three major power blocks understand the mutual benefit of a forever war that

– cements the power structure
– consumes resources and creates (or excuses) perpetual shortages
– creates binary thinking and loyalty to the system.

He is well aware that this forever war is actually vertical not horizontal – a global war of the global elites against their own populations.

In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished.

In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact…”
George Orwell, 1984

And of course it’s a corollary that the stability of all of the power blocks depend upon no one realizing or acknowledging this.

Is the war in 1984 “real”?

Real rocket bombs drop on real people (the proles mostly). Real blood is spilled in the streets. Beyond that, neither Winston, nor the reader, knows. Are the announced victories real? Do the claimed battles happen? Julia, in the novel, thinks not.

In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, “just to keep people frightened.” This was an idea that had literally never occurred to him.”
George Orwell, 1984

Is Julia correct? We don’t know and ultimately perhaps it doesn’t matter. Whether the battles are mere narrative or whether real proles are sent to fight each other and die, behind the fabricated concept of conflict there lies an unacknowledged mutual benefit contract – and this makes the “war” a lie at its very heart.

The foundational lie that permits the tyrannies of Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia to maintain themselves in equilibrium.

How far are we today from Eric Blair’s definition of war?

I think this is one of the major questions of our time. Because “war” is very much de rigeur right now, with the mainstream and most of the alt media.

We are told to pick a side and that the divide is simple – between right and wrong, good or evil.

But oh look – ALL the sides we get to pick from are on the X-axis. And NONE of the popular narratives look much beyond the classic concept of what war is or can represent. Nation A versus Nation B. One good, one bad. Simple binary. End of.

Even suggesting we look beyond the A versus B story is derided as “anti-[insert preferred term here] propaganda.

Even pointing out the obvious signs of continued cooperation and mutual benefit between these “sides” is deemed outrageous, and inevitably you will be accused of being a “CIA troll” or a “Putin bot” by people who seem genuinely unable to disentangle their thinking from the binary.

Is this enough?

Post-covid and what it told us about how closely our ruling classes really work together behind the scenes, is this really enough?

Are we just going to ignore the fact that right when the pandemic narrative was failing along came the first of a series of wars that miraculously picked up every aspect of that failing narrative and repurposed it?

I mean if Oligarchy A and Oligarchy B can mutually agree to lie about a pandemic and murder their own populations as a result in pursuance of their own interests, why do we balk at considering they might have started a war, or a series of wars and be murdering each other’s populations for the same reason?

But no, since 2022 your chosen psychopathic gangsters get a total reprieve from interrogation don’t they.

In times of war the baddies bayonet babies and the goodies rescue kittens.

And YOU are always on the side of the angels

Everyone knows that.

Question this comforting reality and you get an avalanche of indignation and assumed moral outrage.

What, are you saying bayoneting babies is ok?

Do you actually want more kittens to die?

But you see, I think we are actively helping to promote the continuation of war by refusing to interrogate its potential motives beyond the superficial.

If all you do is purchase one of those comfortable simplistic narratives and consume it, regurgitate it, I suggest you have little right to deplore the loss of life. In fact you are potentially actively promoting the continuation of violent death by reinforcing the narrative that justifies it.

Of course Oligarchy A and Oligarchy B both want you to do that. They want you to wave a flag (either flag, they don’t mind which), and they expend a lot of money and effort on creating propaganda on multiple levels to persuade you to do that.

They want you to buy their definition of war as a horizontal conflict and nothing else.

They want you to look at the killers but not at who put the weapons in their hands.

They want to you to weep over the slaughter but never ask why it’s being televised for you.

They want you to watch those videos of anonymous tanks being exploded or drones taking out unnamed persons in unidentified locations, but they don’t want you to ask who pays the production teams to put out this endless stream of war porn complete with action-movie sound tracks.

They don’t want you to think about the Y-axis. They don’t want you to remember Eric Blair’s definition of war.

They certainly don’t want you to see war as a mutual agreement between ruling elites to slaughter their proles for convenience, entertainment and profit.

I mean once enough of you start seeing it that way, you might get up and leave the movie theater before the show even ends.

And start remembering yesterday. And looking at the bigger picture. And thinking your own thoughts.

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