Thursday, October 22, 2009

a world in turmoil

I think it's really interesting that Hobsbawn highlights how engulfed in war the world (and particularly Europe) has been for the last century. It's something that I didn't really think about before, either. Since the shadow of the first world war cast its shadow on Europe, it has forever been in some state of turmoil. Even when Europe was not in a direct war, it has always been surrounded by hostile tensions, if not in between (specifically, the cold war). Even after the cold war ended, tensions within and around the middle east continued to rise, and are still quite elevated. Though only a few countries in Europe are directly involved in the conflicts in the Middle East, the rest are unfortunately just along for the ride.

I think this is prevalent because of how many autonomous groups, or groups that desire autonomy (not even nations, really), in such a small area. It almost forces tensions to be high, because of all of the stepping on toes going on. I know there has been conflict for centuries in the middle east, and an end is still not very plausible, as well as in many parts of the world. I think the world has gotten too small, truthfully, for the amount of people and different groups that live on it. If people would be willing to move to another location and groups were more spread out, and utilized all the space of the world, it might work. But, no one wants to leave their land for various reasons (tradition, religion, status quo, etc).

I wonder though, what caused it to begin? And can it ever cease? Hobsbawn mentions that in the 1870's and before there wasn't even really much thought to tensions and large-scale conflict, but since then it has escalated and deescalated, but never really stopped existing. So how then did it begin, and can the same means be approached and ending it? As globalization becomes a universally shared goal, can we finally lay down our arms and begin to demilitarize? The sad part is, I don't really believe it's ever going to be possible.

1 comment:

  1. In a way i kind of think there is some sort of animal instinct that lives within all people that compels us to treat eachother in this way. And unless we find a way to remove that, i agree.... i think we will be in some sort of turmoil for the rest of our existence. At times it may not be extreme but i think it will definitely return again.

    --Dorothy Smith