Beyond the Cusp

May 19, 2019

Will World War III be Unavoidable?


The easiest answer is, of course it is unavoidable, it is simply a matter of time. Well, perhaps we should rephrase the question to read, will World War III be unavoidable in the near future? Social scientists actually differ widely on this question from those claiming it might come by year’s end while others have claimed that the human species has grown beyond such levels of conflagration. Then there are many falling between these two extremes. We fall within the group who fear that there will be at least one more conflagration which will rank as being another World War. It is even possible that Professor Einstein got the answer wrong when he reputedly stated, “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” World War III may not result in a full-blown nuclear exchange and sufficient amounts of the world will survive with their institutions remaining intact. Eventually, if the human race continues to have philosophies, cultures, religious beliefs, political theories and alliances, then the possibility of a world conflagration destroying all of human societies will continue to exist. Perhaps, what we need to understand is why is it that the world has already experienced two World Wars on Earth and why the probability of at least one more such conflagrations is still in our future. The reason behind the last two World Wars and any number of similar conflagrations throughout human history regardless of locations boils down to one simple theory which has appeared to be nearly universally, the belief that their concepts which are the base defining principles underlying their societies are superior and require universal application. What these wars all had in common was the desire to spread their civilization across all of the world in order to bring their perfection to those less advanced or sophisticated as their civilization. World conquest has driven some of the most destructive wars and still there are those who claim to have the secrets to the world which they feel must be spread until they become the rulers of the planet. This is the disease which infects those who believe theirs is the only truth which all the people of the planet must adopt as their guiding principles in place of any and all others. In reality, it is unfortunate, but there are as many people, if not more, who have such driving ideas as there are different ideas upon which to base civilization. So, our question boils down to which belief system will be the driving force behind the coming World War III.


All forms of governance, be they rooted under religious philosophy or political philosophy, hold a belief that they should be the universal model. The difference comes down to whether their system requires all to be under a single hierarchal system or they can be independently ruled coexisting with one another peaceably sharing similar basic core beliefs. One can tie all of these entities together by simply considering them all under their philosophical underpinnings. Throughout history there has been one consistency shared by all those entities which began world conquest which led to what would be considered a world-wide war of their period, this was the concept that their system of beliefs were the most advanced and admirable and their leaders divinely chosen and thus intended to rule all of their world. These beliefs originally were almost always religious where their gods and godly systems were the pinnacle of human endeavors. Eventually these driving philosophies also became purely political without the necessity of gods to ratify their beliefs, these beliefs were simply inherently superior. Some have reached points where their claims are so humanly oriented that they claim that there are no gods thus this belief adds to their belief that their political system is superior to any other system which is so primitive as to believe in a deity of any sort. Others claim to have the approval of the only real set of deities, the final rules which present that your religious beliefs replace all previous teachings as it is the most advanced to valid because it came later after the deity or deities decided to provide a corrected version of prophecy. Some even have two separate set of prophesies which can even contradict each other such that those who interpret the religion could potentially decide to completely alter the faith and that which is presumed to be the more important beliefs. Such interpretations can even alter the interaction of such a group from adversarial to accommodating. The basis which will often determine whether a group will be likely to initiate the conditions which lead to a broader conflagration is their ability to accept those who disagree with their own operating philosophy. Those collections of people sharing a similar overriding ruling philosophy who feel threatened by another separate overriding ruling philosophy, then the possibility for conflict between the two greatly increase. That is an unfair way to understand the differences between overriding ruling philosophies. What one need do is to measure the potential for violence by any overriding ruling philosophy without any threat from the outside. The more stable any overriding ruling philosophy within their own borders showing no desire to force their system or rulers upon any other group replacing their overriding ruling philosophy, the less likely such a group is of initiating a war without provocations.


World War III

World War III


This understanding can be used to decide how safe our world is and what are the leading opportunities to start the dreaded World War III. There have been numerous reports which claim that China has been arming to attempt to spread their form of Communism to the whole of the world. Their military build-up has been designed to counter the military abilities of the United States assuming that if they were able to defeat the United States in a quick war, an overwhelming attack, then the rest of the world would simply surrender. There are some who claim that the Chinese are and have been working with the Russians both as the Soviet Union and now as Russia, in their mutual desire to spread Communism. This has been the fear for initiating World War III over most of the past since World War II. Now there are those who claim that Iran might also be working toward initiating World War III and the current threat for hostilities between Iran and the United States or Israel if not both. Were we to take a quick trip back to the middle of last century, the main source for World War II was the United States and Russia with China and Iran not even on the horizon. As time moved closer to the present there was the increasing probability that China would be the threat. Along the way we were sold that Saddam Hussein was a potential threat for developing nuclear weapons and using them, that proved to be less accurate than was peddled. There is one means of minimizing the possibility for World War III, that would be to raise the level of the quality of life to meet the expectations which exist as they exist in each nation. This solution is not all that simple as different peoples under differing systems of governance, religious beliefs and the numerous of other influences upon each society would prove to make a disparate set of demands and desires which would lead to making the people content with their lives. The truth is decent healthcare, sufficient food, decent shelter and numerous personal needs which are universal would make a great start. This would be sufficient challenge that if the nations would work towards the ends of the betterment of humankind the world over, there would be little time or resources left for the making of war. If only the world would actually come together to provide for all humanity.


Well, enough for dreaming and back to reality. Where we may not know who will initiate World War III and may not even be assured as to what will be the full range of weapons which will be thrown between the adversaries, there are some things we can derive from history. One very disturbing truth is that there have been numerous weapons developed whose use was predicted would bring an end to warfare making it too costly for nations to engage. These were most often the weapons which were used by the very people who feared their destructive power in their next war. Greek fire was one of the oldest, the Maxim Machinegun was another and the latest are nuclear weapons. So, if we are to assume the teachings of human history, we can be assured, though we probably would rather not be so assured, that at some point in the not too distant future, nuclear weapons will be the initial weapon of choice, be they be used to generate a devastating EMP, used as a neutron bomb to leave the structures intact and remove the people and other living bodies, or simply used in their most devastating and destructive forms. None of these are very promising, but human nature is a hard teacher and it teaches that our leaders will opt to use the most definitive advantage possible. What this implies is that even if World War III does not resort to the use of nuclear weapons, there will be a war where they are the weapon of choice unless something even more destructive becomes available. The other reality is that humankind has never shied away from conflicts pitting belief against belief with both sides blaming the other for initiating the conflict. As history also teaches, the victor will decide which side was the evil side and decide that they, as the winners, must be the superior philosophy et al. Will we ever learn? Maybe, but we had best hurry and progress, all of us, before it is too late.


Beyond the Cusp


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