- Mental Health
National Boogie-Man No.1
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.
Obvious and Hidden Payoffs of Having Enemies
It has a log history, and it certainly didn't start with a couple of tough guys 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 suggested "being right", whether we are talking our modern "decision-makers", or those dudes with a few extra feathers decorating their power-hungry heads. Those followers somehow figured - 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 your head - 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.
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.
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.
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".
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 yay! he is gone, and let's everybody celebrate peace on earth. Oops!, not so fast, for there came the Soviet Union and their nukes. Yay!, 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?
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 falling on those 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?