How we remember a war crisis, then and now

Every war is a crisis, nothing less, nothing more. It will go down in history and (we) will be remembered. Our deeds and our strength when facing this peril. Here’s a rant about the biggest crisis of this century so far.

Hitler read the trends of his time

Europe’s political landscape was already unstable. Hitler took advantage of the trends and atmosphere of the zeitgeist: extreme nationalism. It was the strongest motivator by far, held in place because of the image of and sanctions imposed on the country. His quick rise and charisma made the disadvantaged empathize and believe in him. He rose quickly, painting an image of a new era, a new empire and more “Lebensraum”. A blitzkrieg and a time of occupation followed.

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Nationalism and Lebensraum. Hitler in 1933.

During the war, the world divided into two camps. This frail form of “balance” changed dramatically over time until only one enemy was identified as Nazi Germany. Every nation on the planet turned against them with good reason, but even that didn’t beat the willpower of the new “Reich” without a fight. It took years of planning and preparing. Without strong diplomacy and a well-planned approach, the Nazi values could have prevailed against all the odds. We were able to understand why and find the way out from there.

Today’s trends as a breeding ground

You can probably see where this is going: ISIS, or the new self-proclaimed empire in the middle-east. Today’s trends of terrorism in the media and anti-muslim sentiment are the breeding ground for a group of charismatic preachers of a new era. They offer a new way to redeem themselves. It’s another coating, it’s the same horror.

Do we go in head first, all with our own army and approach? Or will we think about what makes it possible for the crisis to exist in the first place? The world remembers our war, and the world will remember theirs. There’s just no escaping it.

Homs-war

This is Homs, Syria.

So how do we want to be remembered?

I hope you liked this rant. If you have thoughts, saw typos or want to add something, let me know in the barrenesque below! We’re in this together!

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Warring World, finally fantasy

As I stated two weeks ago, we all know that nature is essential to our existence on this planet, but it can also be one of our worst enemies. Nature generates disasters and diseases. Today, let’s shed a cynical light on the more senseless brother. Human causes of death and despair are omnipresent, and if I bring Final Fantasy X up as an example of natural causes, then Final Fantasy IX comes to mind as an example of the human counterpart.

Kuja artwork Amano

The bringer of war artwork by FFIX’s artist Amano.

The bringer of war

FF IX was Square’s last installment for the first Playstation console. It centers around two worlds, one of which, Terra, is trying to assimilate with Gaia, which is basically the world of humans. The people of Gaia have to die so the souls of Terra can replace them.
“Kuja is a Genome created by Garland in 1776, 24 years prior to the game’s beginning. Garland’s ultimate plan is to assimilate the planet of Gaia with the planet of Terra by replacing the Gaian souls with Terran ones. To accelerate the process Garland created Kuja and sent him to Gaia to encourage war and destruction so people would die quicker and the souls of Gaia could be replaced faster. Thus, it is Kuja’s nature to cause death.” – The Final Fantasy Wiki on Kuja
The way Sin was the face of natural disaster in FF X, Kuja is the face of war in this FF game. It becomes worse. When Kuja finds out all his power was created to be temporary and he is not meant to be the ultimate war-bringer, he loses it and starts his own agenda. He’s a recipe for disaster as he has no sense of morale or consequence, he’s insanely intelligent and his powers are beyond imagination.

The game is full of despair and destruction. Kuja gets involved with the plans of a blood-thirsty queen to rule each of the kingdoms on the continent. He provides her weapons only he can create, called Black Mages. They are soulless puppets capable of using strong magic. That way he wants to lay his hands on the Eidolons, strong creatures that can be summoned. He wants to wield the most powerful one to destroy Terra, as he believes life should not continue to exist without him. This can be seen as an allegory to war in reality. It poses the question if humanity will ever be able to exist without war.

Atomic flower

But there’s hope. The even greater war-bringer Garland created was kidnapped by Kuja and brought to Gaia so he would never rise to the task he was created for. Neither would he ever be a threat to Kuja’s plans. But, he could never have been more wrong. Zidane is the hero of the story. At first, he and his later friends are just trying to survive and find their way in a dangerous world of oaths, thievery, war and magic. They get involved, take a stance and fight a nonsensical enemy whose only goal is to bring destruction and war to an already war-ridden world.

Nuclear explosion, Hiroshima

A power beyond our imagination dropped on Hiroshima.

If you think about it, FFIX can be a prequel to both FFX’s story and its theme. Two worlds/cities fight for dominance and they start a weapon run to overcome each other’s threat. In both cases, leaders get themselves in with powers beyond their control and have to face the consequences in the end. Garland creates the bringer of his own demise and in FFX, the city of Zanarkand creates Sin. A power they could not control and that would keep destroying human civilization over and over again. We, as human beings, try to create stronger weapons than our enemies do. But what would happen if we used all our strongest weapons at the same time? A nuclear disaster would follow. We, as human beings tend to push for more comfort, for longer and better lives, forgetting the importance of nature. It tends to backfire and we have to face a growing amount of natural disasters.
In FFIX, the queen, Kuja and Garland are punished and a story of despair turns into one of hope. In FFX, Sin is destroyed and a story about disaster turns into one of possibilities. Final Fantasy created stories around two of the most lethal forces on our planet and stated that as long as people are willing to challenge reigning powers in our warring world, there’s hope.

Any inspirations you came across recently? Which stories covering this theme can you relate to?