A Time for Peace, A Time for War

This September the world celebrates 71 years since the end of the Second World War which summoned global solidarity to ensure such atrocities will never be repeated again. But for those born in times of peace the legacies and lessons of war are simply words and words are wind. The lack of internal conflict in some developed nations leads to the fake assumption that they are in a state of peace, whereas they may be heavily involved in military operations around the world.

The latest Global Peace Index (GPI), which can be accessed here, reveals that only 11 of 162 countries covered in the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP) study were not involved in any form of conflict. Violence strongly affects the global economy costing 13.4 % of the world’s GDP. It is common sense to think this otherwise wasted capital could be used for the betterment of peoples’ lives around the world, that nature may be cruel and we don’t have to be, but the origin of violence as part of human nature is a matter of sociobiology and I will leave that for another time.

2015 Global Peace Index

The Global Peace Index for 2015.

Global security is decreasing and more people are currently displaced than at any point since the end of the Second World War. This bleak state of affairs should serve as a warning to the world’s leaders that once again inaction and individual interests pull the society back from progressing. The German philosopher Friedrich Hegel said “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history” and numerous voices in the past century echoed this statement. We may ask how did the world end up in such a precarious state again, didn’t it have it’s share of fire and blood? Apparently not.

Even the European Union, a once shining beacon of peace, is crumbling under its own weight as if its foundation was built from the fragile bones of all those who fought and fell for freedom. The global financial crisis and the Arab Spring have led to the displacement of millions of people and the current refugee influx into Europe has created an unprecedented chaos for the Union which showed its Member States are anything but united. To me, the EU’s response to the migrant crisis proves two things: we are far too naive for this world and we lack the self-confidence of the United States. The EU could definitely be able to process all the asylum applications it receives without that monstrous deal with Turkey, which is probably one of the worst ideas in recent history simply because it does not solve anything much and it comes at a great financial cost. Plus, it is saddening to see Europe bows down to the personal ambitions of an increasingly authoritarian leader.

It remains to be seen if the EU wakes up even though the hour is late, but what is certain is that doing nothing is no longer an option. However, most European countries would rather raise fences between themselves than talking some sense into each other and acting together towards a common goal.

The current global crisis is a child’s play compared to the ravages climate change will cause by the end of the century. Thus, I expect the global political landscape will be altered greatly on the principle of survival of the fittest and countries which will fail to deal appropriately with organized conflict will have to surrender the reins of power to a new generation of world leaders who may or not be willing to tend to the flickering flame of democracy.


Opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.