Conflict or Peace, but Never War

Posted March 9, 2018 @ 12:12pm | by Tripp

Once upon my desk, there was a burrito. It was delicious. Chorizo and scrambled eggs made for a delightful and spicy break to my mid-morning overthinking. The burrito is gone now. Consumed. My overthinking, however, yet lingers. This is why I am writing this brief missive. 

There will be no peace until we choose to be at peace. This is the horror of living with one another. There is only one reason for warfare: human agency. Once upon a time in a Freshman history class far, far away, Dr. Edwards assigned a single question final exam. "Why is there war." He didn't care what your thesis was as much as he cared that you didn't simply give him a list of wars and say, "See? It's kumquats." 

I failed this exam. Utterly.

So, I still think about it from time to time and wonder why there's war. There is, of course, no one answer, but if I were forced to fail another semester of college history, I would say, "Choice. We choose war. It is not inevitable. It's a choice founded upon a perception of scarcity of resources, various prejudices, and lust for power." Or some such nonsense. I would. I mean, he'd likely still fail me, but the idea that one thing "causes war" leads me down this rabbit hole every time. 

We choose war. It is always upon us to make warfare or not. No one can make us do it. So, if you want peace, choose it. Don't choose war.

Choose, instead, the hell of living with people you cannot stand, with whom you disagree, with people who fear you and whom you fear. Choose these things and all the pain that comes.

War is the fantasy of the end of pain and suffering. It is the fantasy of the end of conflict. It is the fantasy that divisions can be overcome and concord is reached through the eradication of whole communities. War cannot redeem.

Only conflict can do that.

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