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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The Blurry Edge

Our ancestors lived in a world with a nice blurry edge to it. You could just sail off the map and disappear, no matter where you were. Our generation is told that edge does not exist anymore. We are being lied to. The blurry edge exists, and will always exist, right where the money stops.  It is right in your own town, right now. A bunch of lunatics, rushing off the edge as fast as they can. You know who they are. I recommend them to you. Watch them run. Listen to their rambling tales of what lies beyond the edge.

Our governments have failed miserably to deliver on the promises of science. You have an excellent computer and we are all here together chatting about what went wrong while the rockets lie behind us unused. This is not an accident. But enough looking behind you. Please direct your gaze back to the screen. The pressure is upon all of us to conform. To do what is good for the company, by changing a lot of things about ourselves so we look like our boss, which does not help the company in any way.

So walk up to the edge and take a nice long look. Travel to a place where the edge REALLY gets serious if you want to. Just don’t forget that it is still there, no matter how many of us wear ties and run in circles trying to convince ourselves it doesn’t exist. Never forget that edge is there.

great waterfall looking like the end of the world

“Never forget that edge is there.”

Unity for the Philippines, Hayian’s wake

Destroyed area

The trail of destruction the typhoon left in its wake.

Everyone surely knows about at least one of the prophecies that predict the end of the world in different ways and following different causes, most notably the one from last year, which was told to be predicted by the Maya’s. Most of the contemporary ones tell about how the world will be destroyed by nature. For the centre part of the Philippines, that apocalypse has already taken place.

Typhoon Haiyan

Haiyan is bound to be counted as one of the biggest typhoons that ever made landfall in recorded history. It smashed into the archipelago on friday last week (8th of November 2013). So far, rumors talk about 10,000 dead and about 600,000 displaced. Even in it’s mediocre stage, it was being labelled a category 5 storm. It will easily get into the all time top 15 at least. If we add to this severity the actual physics of the land it hit, it becomes clear why we can compare this storm to an apocalypse. The biggest problem is that the area it hit consists of islands, which are not capable of stopping a typhoon. Above that, many people live near the coast and there was only little natural covers like dense forests and mountains.

A man cries out in pain after his three daughters were snatched from his protecting arms by the surge that came with the stormy winds and rains. Hours later, he managed to find the two youngest of them, buried by debris, dead. His oldest daughter is still missing, his house has been reduced to a pile of rubble and most of his belongings have been destroyed. But the biggest problem at the moment is the lack of food, water and other supplies. The stench of death still hangs in the streets and some parts of the affected area is unreachable. The situation turns ever more gloomy as reports pour in about people pillaging stores and warehouses and taking up arms in an attempt to protect themselves or fight for food. Chaos and anarchy are born when there’s not enough to go around.

Imagine the apocalypse

Aerial shot of Haiyan

What Haiyan looked like from outer space.

When storms of the size of Haiyan would occur all over the world at once, supported by some Earthquakes and other disasters, our world would be in danger. Not because everyone dies, because unless for example our sun explodes or the composition of the atmosphere changes in an instant, there will always be survivors. And while many stories tell about how humanity gets a second chance after a disaster, and while that might be what happens, it’s more likely the aftermath will destroy us. Our world and society are built with technology and is all about progression. In most areas, the connection with nature has been lost for a long time. Even though in some countries survival is still a struggle, these kinds of storms tend to change established power structures as well as make you question everything you know and believe in.

The survivors of this global series of disasters would be secluded from overseas communities, trapped in their new small world. There would be no one left to travel to the affected areas with supplies and helping hands. The wounded will die and the healthy will find themselves fighting for anything useful they can get their hands on. Not from the start of course, but when resource reserves are depleted, it will be the survival of the fittest all over again. People will pillage and raid as gangs thrive. There will be no soldiers left, as they are trying to protect their own families at that time. Add to this anarchy the disasters occurring in the wake of the apocalypse, like nuclear spills (2011), aftershocks and tsunamis (2004), and humanity will be left to die and rot, and wither like an obsolete harmony of colors and scents. Where unity fades, all that remains falls apart.

So…

Nature will not destroy humanity, but nature can strip us from our resources, which would leave us to die a slow death. While the Philippines will eventually recover thanks to the help from others, a divided world in this situation wouldn’t. Add to this the fact that it never rains, it pours, and you can see why the desperation in the Philippines could be an example of what an apocalypse could look like. We have to understand the importance of supporting each other. In the wake of typhoon Haiyan too, we must prove we can achieve unity for the Philippines, and for each oter.

Haiyan survivors in need

“Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” – Cicero

Desperate people in need of help

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – J.K. Rowling