“War enables a community to recognize itself as a nation”

By Umberto Eco, from his book “Inventing the Enemy : essays on everything”

It is absolutely horrifying to think that wars solve some of the most difficult problems a nation faces today.

Problem of population boost? Wars kill abundant soldiers and civilians under the name of justice.

Problem of excess supplies? Wars consume them and stimulate a country’s economy.

Problem of conflicts between social classes? People no longer care about it because their common and the only enemy is outside.

Problem of national identity? It becomes easier and clearer to define thanks to the presence of enemy.

That could be one of the reasons why we have always been fighting throughout our entire history, because wars were the quick and effective solution.

However, war is not the only solution. It is only that human beings have not found a better one yet. It might sound too idealistic, but I am starting to feel that people are trying new ways of tackling problem by means of democracy. They vote before they declare a war, they speak up using the Internet rather than using weapons and they encounter with people of different opinions, not being able to persuade themselves that there is only one true ideology in the world. All these small changes in our everyday decisions may lead to solve bigger problems in a democratic, clever, peaceful way.

Isn’t it about time that we stopped being acting like a child and being so stupid as to learn nothing from our own history (which is full of basically the same mistakes)? I can not come up with any good solutions to global issues right now but I am certain that wars should never be used as solution again. We must stop this vicious circle of relying on wars.

A better solution cannot be found easily, but it is worth reflecting on…

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