Sunday, August 21, 2011

1984 - War Is Peace

If we think of peace in terms of harmony and equilibrium, the apparent contradiction of the slogan, War Is Peace, makes some sense for some people. When viewed from this narrow framework, the person who feels their life is in harmony is the person who experiences less stress and little worry.

For the average individual, war IS stressful and much cause for concern. There is the fear of dying. There is the fear of having your property damaged or destroyed. There is a fear of losing one's national or regional identity. And there is the overriding fear of having the world you know turned upside down and inside out at a moment's notice.

But with every incidence of war, there are some people who benefit mightily. The military brass -- the ones far from the front lines -- can gain tremendous amounts of prestige and, possibly, political office. The political leaders often are granted expanded powers as the citizens rally around them in a nationalistic fervor. The group that tends to benefit the most are those business interests who supply the weapons and logistics for war.

For this latter group, war provides the gale force winds that sets their profits sailing. No longer are they buffeted about in the sometimes rough seas of the free market system. If the hostilities last long enough or several occur one right after another, in a sense, the corporate boardroom is set on autopilot.

It is for these three groups -- the military brass, politicians and the war profiteers -- that war can bring peace...of mind. The status quo of war becomes a gift that keeps on giving. It means ever more prestige, expanded powers and big profits. It provides them with a sense of harmony and equilibrium that they can't seem to attain in any other situation.

This series of posts based on George Orwell's novel, 1984, will be rather avant-garde. My focus will not be to explain Orwell's premises or what HE meant -- it is more about what his prose stirs in me., often in relation to the way I view the world today. Some of my observations may fall in line with Orwell's intent, but others will go off in a wholly different direction. To read my intro to this series, go here.

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