0115 - In The Final Sense - 2019.12.16



I, like all right-thinking people, oppose the horror and waste of warfare. I also, like all right-thinking people, acknowledge that there have been some atrocities in history that render war a lesser evil.

Most of those monstrous reasons that could conceivably justify war - fascism, human rights abuses, state-sponsored terrorism - are eliminated by 2167. Yes, they just are. I don't feel obligated to provide working schematics for future technology that hasn't been invented yet, and I similarly don't feel obligated to explain why, exactly, there aren't Nazis any more. We solved it.

This, of course, only leaves the unjustifiable reasons for war - trade disputes, territory disputes, and personal slights. It's somewhat harder to muster public support for a costly war when there's no concentration camps, but you just want to blow up a trillion dollars' worth of Finland's resources so we can get better access to an Arctic island with really good geothermal vents. It's also difficult to fill the ranks of your army when your citizens can be neither financially obligated to enlist nor conscripted against their wills.

All of this is to say please don't take my writing Caleb's opposition to the 2167 military as being my authour's opposition to current-day military. Of course, I do oppose war unless absolutely necessary, but I do think we may still need it in 2019 (although I contend that just as a featherweight fighting a heavyweight isn't a fair boxing match, we really shouldn't call it a "war" if one nation's military budget is orders of magnitude higher than the other's.)

As human civilization grows and matures, I believe war is a barbaric custom we will grow out of. I choose to be optimistic, to believe that international violence is not an inherent element of the human condition. People like Caleb are, perhaps, the first step.


0115 - 2167/07/06/12:54 - Rosenthal College, hex
OT: So, forgive me, I'm putting pieces together on the fly, here... you quit the military because you didn't feel you were making the world a better place, huh?
CP: "Every gun that is made, every warship-
OT: "in the final sense a theft from those who hunger", yeah, Eisenhower, great quote. We don't really have hungry people, though, any more. I mean, unless someone wants to be hungry on purpose...
CP: ...still an inefficient use of resources. Could be inventing new technology, making new medical discoveries...
OT: Granted, there might be things I'd rather the government do with our tax creds, instead of shipping them overseas and blowing them up, but it's not like the people in charge don't think about this stuff. Modern resource-attrition war is an essential element of international diplomacy. It's how the nations keep each other in check.
[entering Theta building]
OT: ...Although now we're getting into economics and political theory, neither of which are subjects I teach.
CP: It's just... I saw how much money was being wasted, being literally blown up. By me, I was blowing it up. I, uh... I just couldn't any more.
OT: Huh. Y'know, it just occurred to me, maybe that's why the Martians are so much more advanced than us, both technologically and culturally. They don't have a second country up there to go to war with.
CP: Well, there's the colonies on Europa and Titan, but I don't think they'll be disputing whose surface area is whose any time soon.