Absolutely Nothing

December 20, 2004

In the parking lot where I work there is a car sporting a bumper sticker that reads "Slavery, Fascism, Nazism, Communism were all ended by War." It just amazes me that someone would actually believe this statement.

Economic slavery exists in the world today. From sweatshops in this country filled with frightened illegal immigrants to countries whose entire economy is based on harsh working conditions and extremely low wages, slavery exists. War didn't end it. (And the war I suspect the sticker is referring to, the American Civil War, wasn't fought to end slavery; it was fought to prevent the Northern states from losing their economic advantage by having a large inexpensive work-force in the Southern states, i.e., slaves.

Fascism is alive and well too. Depending upon how you define fascism, a strong case can be made that the United States of America is teetering on the brink of becoming a fascist state. War hasn't ended fascism, in fact the mere fact that we are fighting in Iraq furthers the argument that we are inching toward fascism in America.

Nazism, while no where near as powerful as it was in the 1930s and 1940s, still exists as a political party in the world today. There are neo-nazi groups in the United States and in Europe. War may have ended the occupation of Europe by Hitler, but it did not end Nazism.

Communism, too, hasn't been ended by war. The old Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight. Communist China is still communist, and Cuba has stood for over 30 years as a communist country. To say that war "ended" communism is obviously untrue.

That someone would buy and apply a sticker that promoted war as a solution because it "ended" all these bad things, is a strong indication to me that America is populated by people with no critical thinking skills whatsoever. We are so indoctrinated to believe what we are told without reflection, that we are susceptible to false claims. The recent right-wing victory in the US Presidential election is a prime case in point. There were numerous false allegations made and yet no one noticed because, 'if it's on the "news" it must be true.'

With the exception of slavery, Nazism, Fascism, and Communism all relied on a populace that was willing to go along with policies and direction from their leaders without questioning the basis for those policies. And in the simple application of a patently false bumper sticker here in America's heartland, I see the same willingness to be blindly led into disaster.

War. What is it good for... absolutely nothing.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.