I just finished a book called “War is a Racket” written by a Major General Smedley Butler in 1935. The book is a short critique of war and war profiteering in the years during and after World War I.
War is a Racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes”
This was a conversation going on almost 100 years ago. A conversation brought to the public by the most decorated marine in United States History. Still nothing changed.
Truth be told I am sure these same conversations were happening 1000 years ago. I see this pattern again in again in almost every philosophical or political subject I take the time to study. History, it seems, is an unstoppable and constantly repeating cycle. We have no control.
Without Control: Finding Happiness With Self
It seems like the only sure thing we can do is to find happiness and justice within ourselves. To live life by our own code. To focus on the self, internally, rather than those things outside our own control. We have to make a conscious decision to live life and pursue our own paths of justice and righteousness.
Mankind taken as a whole is an average. A powerful combination of humanity’s natural inertia that cannot be stopped. That average tumbles along through the years and becomes history and is our future. A timeline of humanity constantly repeating and never straying far from a standard deviation. Repeated again and again, to some degree, in a never ending cycle. Some men rule, some are ruled, some people are good, others are bad. Ad infinitum.
Ultimately, we are the helpless subjects to the king of the inevitable force of history, but the rulers of our own state of mind. Futility and power.