Outward Momentum

This will be a brief post, but an important one, I think.

A realization struck me the other day: no government ever wants to win a war. That sounds utterly preposterous on the surface, of course, but try to follow my thinking here. What happens when a war is finally over? Soldiers come he and have to reintegrate into society, infrastructure needs to be rebuilt and the economy has to shift back over to peacetime products, and you have a huge mess in some country or another that has to be cleaned up or at least paid for. Dealing with the consequences of the aftermath are expensive, time-consuming, and (quite frankly) boring. No government wants to have to do these things.

That’s why the war never ends, or is never allowed to end. This way we keep our soldiers overseas where they’re stuck with whatever situation they land in, we can keep spending stupefying amounts of money on military production, and we can allow our domestic infrastructure and economy to crumble and sputter. After all, what self-respecting patriot would push for spending on improved roads or bridges while our brave soldiers are dying in a war overseas?!

And so we push ever outwards, looking for new enemies, new struggles, new wars, so that we can turn a blind eye to the problems here at home until they blow up in our faces and then we just blame the faceless enemy for all our problems. 

A system has been designed to sustain this campaign by militarizing our youth. Now, making American soldiers heroes in the eyes of their children is not a bad thing, or, frankly, a difficult one, but the psychological intervention goes deeper. 

You hear from time to time a number of upset parents complaining about the amount of violence in television programs and video games. They make a good point, but not necessarily the correct point. Television was just as violent “back in the day.” The Looney Tunes used to beat the ever-loving crap out of each other with hammers, baseball bats, anvils and dynamite. But only on the rare occasion did these characters do this dressed in military camo fighting America’s enemies.  Nowadays, the greatest attractions for young people feature American soldiers as the heroes, especially as the playable characters in video games (the Call of Duty series comes to mind). We are training are youth from a surprisingly early age to interested in an enthusiastic about military duty especially active combat. If I may be permitted to quote music icon Marilyn Manson:

We don’t like to kill our unborn
We need them to grow up and fight our wars

And there are a host of social issues ranging from birth control rights to women in combat duty that tie into this military-machine culture we have created for ourselves.

Now you may find yourself thinking that this is not your fault: that corporate enterprises and government officials are to blame. Well, America: you buy from those corporations and you voted for those politicians, so yes: you ARE to blame.

Outward expansion has been a driving force in some of the greatest empires ever established on this earth, but with one critical flaw: it is not and can never be eternal. Sooner or later, you run out of room to expand.

Any competent physicist will tell you that momentum is conserved when objects collide. Consider these examples: you slide a ball into another ball on a table and they both roll away slightly slower, or you throw a ball against a wall and it bounces back. As our campaign of outward expansion continues, we bring along those objects that can be moved to join us until we encounter something that cannot be moved, and then we will bounce backward.

Once that expansion is fully and unequivocally rebuffed, our outward momentum will reverse to inward momentum. As we are forced to leave behind resources we acquired while moving outward, the speed with which the inward collapse proceeds will increase accordingly until it slams back in on itself and implodes.

I have not been the first to say these things, though I doubt I will be the last. Stop following the bouncing ball, America. Reel this country in before we hit that wall, because make no mistake; it’s out there, and we’re getting closer to it with every passing day.

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