My dream of what could be.
In 2016, after realizing that humanity had been at war for some 6,000 years with seldom a break of even a single year – and very often in a dozen places at once – a simple thought appeared in at least a hundred young minds scattered across our planet:
It’s not the evil old men who keep all the wars going; it’s us, the 18-year-olds.
The problem, they saw, was that they kept obeying the bitter and rapacious old men. Swept along by authority and the fear of standing alone, they had been – for millennia – marching off to kill other young people exactly like themselves.
The 18-year-olds on the opposite sides of all the battle lines had been doing precisely the same thing: obeying the orders of their own bitter and rapacious old men.
And then a very simple thought struck them: If the 18-year-olds in every country agreed to not fight, who would?
After all, the old men never fought for themselves.
And so, being a generation gifted with worldwide communication, they began to find each other and to talk among themselves.
Some of them dug into military literature to see if they were missing something. Others read studies in the psychology of killing. A few researched guerrilla warfare. And then, one by one, they began to study economics, cooperation and consent.
Within months, they had no more doubt; war was almost wholly dependent upon them.
Old men with bloodlust would never stop the killing; once they passed 50 or 60 years old, they were never going to change. But that wasn’t really much of a problem, because a sufficient number of 18-year-olds could stop war anytime they wanted.
And so, in a matter of days, they wrote an agreement to be published in every country. They agreed they would carry it to their schools and to the streets of all their cities… they would eventually confront every young person in the world and encourage them to take their vow and add their names to the list of 18-year-olds who refused to march off to war.
Their agreement read as follows:
We, young men and women of all nationalities, hereby vow not to kill each other at the behest of old men and women.
We don’t want to fight. We do not want to die. We do not want to see our friends dismembered, nor do we want to dismember others… or even to assist in it.
We want to live and love. Most of us want families. All of us want rewarding lives. And we do not want to live with the nightmares of war.
If the old people want war so badly, let them go fight it. They’ve already had their families and careers.
Bitter old men and women will send us off to war forever if we let them. They’ve been doing just that, continuously, for 6,000 years; they’re not going to change.
The jungle warlord and the militant senator are precisely the same in this; they need war. For 6,000 years they’ve issued orders to us, and we – confused and obedient – have marched off, in thousands and even millions, to kill each other.
But no more. We, the 18-year-olds of the world, hereby affirm that we will not go to war. We will protect our home towns if necessary, but we will not march off, based upon the fears and intimidations of old men and women, to fight other 18-year-olds like ourselves.
We are confirmed in this resolve by the wise words of Albert Einstein: “Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.”
We therefore jointly refuse. Let the old men kill each other if they care so much.
This, their agreement, was presented to young people in almost every school in the world, in thousands of town squares, and in countless homes. The names of more than 10 million signers were posted to Internet pages before they were certified as “domestic terror sites” and hijacked. After that, they moved to the DarkNet. At that point, the old men and women panicked, banned the evil, unpatriotic document, and threw thousands of the young people into jail cells.
But there were too many, and soon there weren’t enough obedient enforcers to attack the young petitioners and not enough government cages to hold them.
* * * * *
If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.
It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.
You may never look at life the same way again.
Get it now at Amazon ($18.95) or on Kindle: ($5.99)
* * * * *
23 thoughts on “The 18-Year-Olds’ League”
Agreeing not to fight the wars of others won’t prevent 18 year olds from starting their own. The problem is the basic nature of people. The inner city gang bangers aren’t fighting anyone else’s war. Utopia, like socialism, only works in classrooms and on paper. Envy, greed, and pride are part of the human condition and from them springs all human conflict.
And which 18 year-old is it that will raise a million-man army?
Crime and war are VERY different things.
Paul, I missed the line “My dream of what could be” on my first reading. Realized that I’d have heard of the movement. Loved the concept. And for those who think it couldn’t happen, recall what DID happen during the Vietnam war when thousands of 18+ year olds refused the draft and left the US. It did make a difference. Would that the movement had continued. And the internet could well spell the difference. It has been fairly recently in a number of countries when the young revolted. So your concept is hardly out of the realm of possibility. The children of the world are changing. And now they can all talk with each other.
The Secret About Nitpickers: What They Won’t Tell You! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzPVQuHVSC0
So what? Do nothing then? Say nothing then? Because there is another set of issues, don’t address any of it and just keep doing what has always been done? Really – that excuse for a solution amounts to head up your own darkest place. I leave you to work out where that is.
The power of saying no is real indeed, but often times the personal ramifications of doing so are immediate, while the overarching objective — while good — is anonymous. What I mean is that each April, millions of us make the choice to continue providing the funding needed to buy all of those instruments of destruction. We do not like it but we do it because we like having dinner with our wife and kids and going to the beach on the weekends. The cost of this is many many dead people that we generally do not know. Whereas if we did not provide such funding, we would be separated from our wife and children while confined to a dreary life in a concrete jail cell, but if we all did this, perhaps our anonymous neighbors across the sea would live. I despise being forced to make this choice. Voluntary associations would not be utopias but at least they would remove anonymity from the equation — perhaps making it a bit harder to steal from our neighbor and kill people we do not know.
It can be difficult indeed. So, start saying No where you can, and move on from there. 🙂
How about every paycheck.
And….I had no choice.
please inform us when you get through to 1 and a half billion islamists who hate the infidel.. not to forget the communists….
There are endless reasons to do nothing.
If you see something that needs to be addressed, start addressing it.
Well, in this day and age, The muslims will kill you outright if you do not fight them.
Your choice, go down without a fight, or prepare to defend yourself.
I do not believe this to be true. There are definitely elements of the Muslim faith that are hell-bent on destroying the infidel, but the vast majority of those seeking to kill westerners are seeking good old payback for 50+ years of US meddling. I bet “terrorism” would all but disappear if we left the middle east with a equally good old apology.
It’s your head.
I will fight for mine.
I’ll leave you to it.
Yeah I will likely fight for mine too, but in order to arrive at a good overall solution, you have to properly assess the root cause. If you punch someone in the face they are likely going to punch you back. The enemy is the unjustified initiator of force and violence.
When, out of fear, psychopaths
who make up what we like to think of
as “a dominant power” take certain steps
to keep their competitive psychopaths at bay;
these actions ultimately lead to
war between the 18 year-old subjects, who are
under control of the two groups**
** wording changed by Sam to eliminate subservient thought processes promulgated by far too many authors who are with the stevedores, but not yet on board, the anarchist ship-of-no-state.
You got it backwards. The US government has been slaughtering muslims for the past few decades with the approval and participation of France, Brussels, and the UK. The terror attacks are blowback, acts of revenge, and will continue until Americans stop their government’s killing machine.
LL take action to protect our own homes and lands. Only that they will NOT go traipsing off to the nether regions of the planet to kill and destroy at the impassioned behest of the “old men and women” whose only dog in those fight is their own desire to control others or to enrich themselves. They want to let the youth of tose other places fight it out amongst themselvrs.
This is NOT the typical “Peace. brother” with the V fingers upraised. Perhaps it might even be the beginnings of a return to the intent and acutal meaning of our Constitution, which prohibits the nation from maintaining a standing army, requires COngrees to declare war, prohibits federal agents from law enforcement, makes a place for “letters of marque and reprisal” (if you don’t know what those are, go and learn…. they are powerful tools but not used for at least a century), and assigns the task of “repel foreign invaders, and to be called up to quell riot or insurrection” as the ONLY purposes for military. Other than that, “the securituy of a free state” (civil society, not the political organisatini we now refer to as states) rests upon THE PEOPLE, who work out their own means of keeping the peace within their own communities, with local control and accountability and responsiveness.
It’s a good thought. We tried that in the 60’s. Finally put a stop to the Vietnam war but it was a long haul.
But, please leave the women off “…Bitter old men and women will send us off to war forever if we let them.”.
Most women want no part of war or sending their kids to war.
You’re right, of course, Juanita: Women, on average, are better than men on this subject. However, there are bitter old women in high US offices who fit the model all too well. So, I decided to be inclusive.
Nice idea but why restrict it to 18-year-olds, who will only continue to be 18 for 11 months at most. A Young Person’s League would be more inclusive and effective.
This is good….. if we grant that the Second German War (and the first, for that matter) were indeed just, and unprovoked by behind-the-scenes string-pullers, (both premises somewhat questionable) then no conflict, war, police action, peacekeeping “action” since then, anywhere in the world, was really a true military conflict, all were political and/or economic. Even the Twin Towers Attacks were largely the result of blowback to punish us for decades of meddling where we oughtn’t have done. Perhaps the last legitimate war we were justified in fighting was the War of 1812 when we were attacked by the Brits who were still miffed we’d had them out of our land thwenty years back.
I’d like to see these young folk, by the tens of thousands, begin to learn of the background and progress of our War for Independence… how long we endured the tyranny of the Crown, and how it truly was the man on the street, and his young sons, tok up their own personal weapons and, largely at their own expense. worked together as a nation to drive the oppressors off our continent. People took up arms as a last desparate measure to end the no-longer tolerable oppression. The best resource I know of for the story is David Hackett Fischer’s amazing book on Paul Revere. He was about 40 at the time of his famous “midnight ride”, but had been part of the resistance since he was sixteen.
A noble sentiment eloquently put, unfortunately we only get a say in our childrens education until they reach the age of about 8 or 9, after that they belong to Apple, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Samsung, Coca Cola and Google.
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