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Duped by Folly of National Boogie-Man No.1

Updated on September 9, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

Existential Fear Creates Enemies out of Thin Air
Existential Fear Creates Enemies out of Thin Air

Are We Historically Conditioned to Have Enemies?

Once upon a time a mighty king visited a wise man and asked: "I have enemies in my kingdom; how can I get rid of them?" - The wise man replied: "Start loving them". - The king, disappointed exclaimed: "Wait! But then I won't have any enemies to defeat!"

It was that brilliant neuroscientist Dr.Candice Pert who came up with the evidence about our addictions to emotions---positive and negative alike. Let's fast-forward over some neuropeptides as chemicals produced by emotions and fitting nicely into our cellular pleasure receptors to produce this nasty addiction to have enemies, after a turbulent prehistory filled with all kinds of four legged predators which found us delicious.

In short, we had so many enemies that our trigger-happy fight-flight mechanism of survival gained an autonomy in our nervous system to the point where we started missing them when times got more favorable for our survival business. Indeed, thanks to that addiction to have enemies, any prospects of having peace on earth almost sound scary---so we started creating them.

Being in War Has Always Been a Profitable Venture  to Some
Being in War Has Always Been a Profitable Venture to Some

Obvious and Hidden Payoffs of Having Enemies

Inventing enemies has a log history, and it certainly didn't start with a couple of mobsters visiting a corner store and warning the owner about "unfriendly neighborhood" and his need for a protection---for a fee involved, an offer that the poor guy could not refuse. No, that came much later, long after a greedy tribal chief announced that those folks with different feathers in their head-set were "enemies".

Being a leader from ever somehow suggested "being right", whether we are talking about our modern "decision-makers", or those dudes with a few extra feathers decorating their power-hungry heads. Those followers knew---and they still know it---how little sense it makes to question the authority. Long after it stopped being fashionable to lose your head for trying to use it---came these civilized times when all protests are just ignored.

So, if your leader points at a nation and says you have to bomb the hell out of them, don't bother asking if they are "really" after grabbing your house, raping your daughter, and your wife too if she is still young, and kill you while you are looking for that gun. Simply do what the boss says---for just in case.

Now, I don't consider myself to be anything like an amateur historian, but nothing is preventing me from having my own opinion in that field of guessing---for anyway, it's all only "his-story". In my version of it, the history of all wars coincides with masses of followers becoming brain-washable.

If There Was No One to Do the Shooting, No Instigators of War Would Be Effective
If There Was No One to Do the Shooting, No Instigators of War Would Be Effective

It never Takes a Leader to Start a War - but a Follower with a Gun

We might as well take a good and honest look at the very concept of war. All patriotic and political cosmetics aside, it boils down to one human being telling another human being to go and die for his ideas---and the sucker agrees.

How does that sound to you? So, when he is done killing all those poor bastards who didn't personally do anything to him, maybe you could tell him to get rid of that noisy neighbor of yours too. Why not?

You see how absolutely degrading it is to a "follower" to put his life on line for ideas of any current 4-year-administration, while the next one may call that war completely unnecessary waste of lives and money.

The next thing we hear and see on our TV is almost a mandatory tail-wagging between the leaders of the once warring countries, "starting a new era of friendship and mutual support, cultural exchange, and what other slogans you get to hear." Hello, why the hell did all those people die, so many of them innocent civilians? - Well, that, my friends is the "glory of war", according to my never written textbook on history of human gullibility.

Ordinary Folks Don't Hate Other Nations
Ordinary Folks Don't Hate Other Nations

Why People Start Massively Hating Others

I had a good laugh the day when it crossed my mind that different nations, as well as followers of different religions have absolutely nothing against one another---all until their leaders instigate that hate.

Indeed, replace all diplomatic representatives at the United Nations with ordinary folks---jury style---and see how quickly they will resolve all their "ideological" and religious differences. People don't hate people, everybody is just going about their daily business of working, raising their kids, and watching their favorite sport events on the television.

Great majority of Americans didn't even know there was a country called "Vietnam", let alone hate those folks. How did they become so bitter enemies---only to start that "new era of mutual...blah, blah, blah", thousands of dead corpses later.

All You Need for a Conflict Is a Bunch of Hotheads
All You Need for a Conflict Is a Bunch of Hotheads

What Makes Enemies Necessary

Political power-struggle comes to mind first. But then, there is another possible reason. You see, in those olden times of kings and knights it was relatively easy to manipulate the masses. You, the king had your rebel beheaded, well, not before a torture, just to make your point a little more clear. With that being done more or less publicly, all other pissed off subjects lost any further inspiration to protest.

Not so long after, we got a garden variety of dictators, who happened to go to the same "home security school" like those kings before them. Meaning that suppression of any unrest was only a sneeze away from "law and order".

But then came around this so called "democracy", with people having rights and freedoms, people being educated and daring to use their own heads. Well, not too much, I must say, but enough to have a special department under the umbrella of homeland security to "watch the public mood", because too educated, too free may turn hazardous to the very institution of government---as such.

Smart as they are, they use the simple scare-psychology of parents when they want kids to be obedient and cling to their protecting hand---they invent a "boogie-man", oh, pardon, I meant "an enemy".

Never Enough of Those Tombstones
Never Enough of Those Tombstones

Boogie-man, a Crafty Solution

Indeed, as long as there is a potential threat hanging in the air, everybody sticks together like sheep looking up to the Big Daddy for a protection. So, do you care if daddy is spending money unwisely? Do you care if daddy lied to you about those birthday presents? Of course not---because at the top of your priorities is saving your butt from those enemies, who are, quite curiously always somehow present--- just like that boogie-man in that closet.

First it was Hitler, and yey! he is gone, and let's everybody celebrate peace on earth. Oops!, not so fast, for there came the Soviet Union and their nukes. Yey!, they fell apart, finally some peace! Are you kidding? What would the world do without some fresh enemies, it would be too quiet.

So, there comes that freshly created enemy---the terrorist. Well, I am just wondering, who will qualify for that position after the last of ISIS and Al Qaida, and Taliban become a history. Maybe extraterrestrials, what do you say? Why not?

Those Unnecessary Trophies of an Unnecessary Heroism
Those Unnecessary Trophies of an Unnecessary Heroism

Ex-Enemies in Embrace

Some time ago I watched an emotionally loaded documentary on the You tube. It was about a happy version of a meeting between a bunch of American and German WW2 veterans---the last time facing one another over the machine-gun barrel.

Apparently, there was a fierce street battle in a small Italian town that lasted for over a week, and ended by both sides exhausted and bleeding. Now, it was a heart warming scene, as the survivors met in that same Italian location, forming two lines, facing each other, and pinning a medal of bravery on each other's chest---following with a long bear-hug and some tears of regret falling on those ex-enemies' shoulders.

Really, does anyone know, why we always need some enemies? Is the global peace really a luxury reserved for some generations that will use heads for more than for wearing hats?


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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      This was a great article. We should to delve into the psychological need to harm others. Are we all mentally ill to some extent or is there a real reason to fight? We may fight for natural resources, but can't we have a collective (corporation) process the raw material and sell it? Are enemies simply a projection of our own negative emotions?


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