Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– Albert Einstein (attributed)
The insane dream has streamed endlessly through my lifetime. I saw it as a boy, and I see it still. It has never really produced any results, and it certainly shows no promise of doing so in the near future.
In fact, by all historical accounts, the dream is nearly 100% false – the results are opposite to the hopes and prayers of the dream.
And yet, nearly the whole world believes in the dream to one extent or another.
What can be said about such a thing? It never works, but everyone keeps believing in it all the same. And when I say “it never works,” I mean that its failure is clearly demonstrable – in visible, concrete, measurable terms.
What Is It?
Okay, I’m about to tell you what this dream is, but please be aware: Your defenses are about to jump up against it. Slogans are likely to fly into your mind unbidden. You can expect emotional reactions.
Here we go:
The insane dream is hoping and praying for politicians to bring us peace.
Understand this clearly: It doesn’t happen. It has never really happened. Politicians do not prevent wars; they start them.
Sure, politicians sign cease-fire agreements from time to time, but they’re also the same guys who started those wars! And they’ll happily jump into new wars a few years later!
Please understand, I am not attacking or defending any political party, nor am I promoting any particular cure for war. I am saying one thing only, which is this:
Politicians – rulers of any type – have never really created peace, and they never will.
I say this for a very simple reason: In all of human history, they never have. That goes for all parties, all systems of rulership, and all periods of time.
We’ve just come out of the bloodiest century in human history, and yet we still have a dozen wars going at any point in time. Politicians have started all of these wars. And yet, by some peculiar insanity, most people still expect politicians to save them from more wars.
Are you seeing my point? This makes no logical sense at all.
People all around us are hoping, praying, and begging for politicians to preserve us from war. They may as well pray for purple unicorns to direct traffic in New York City.
I ran across a study on war back in the 1980s. It found that since 3600 BC, there have been more than 14,000 wars. That’s 14,000 wars over 5,600 years. And ALL of this took place in systems that were controlled by rulers of some type: politicians, princes, and so on.
We have 5,600 years of evidence, and yet people are doing the same thing that failed in every one of the previous 5,600+ years. Can you see why I opened with the Einstein quote?
Political systems have shown themselves utterly unable to create peace. They’ve failed every year for nearly six thousand years running. We’re certifiably nuts if we think that next year (or the years after) will be any different.
But Why Not?
This is the next question that people bring up, but I’m not going to explain it today. There are good answers as to why politicians can never really stop war, but I don’t want to derail my main point.
Today, I want to be very clear on one point only, and to let it stick:
Hoping for politicians to give us peace is crazy – fully crazy.
If we have any pretense of thinking rationally, we have to let it go.
I will, however, devote a few lines to internal issues.
The True Opiate of the Masses
Hoping is an act of imagination, divorced from reality and reason. You can hope for anything, and it produces… nothing!
Hope is the true opiate of the masses. Once you make people imagine how great they’ll feel when the impossible blips into reality, they may as well be on drugs… strong ones.
Opium makes people feel good for a while. So does hope.
Opium is addictive. So is hope.
Opium wastes you. So does hope.
Like I say, I want to keep this simple. On the question of politicians creating peace, you have two choices:
- On one hand, you have approximately six thousand years of clear, unambiguous evidence.
- On the other, you have an addictive opiate and emotions divorced from reason.
You might think about going with the evidence.