There are moments in a game of chess, so I’m told (I’m no great shakes at the contest), when a grandmaster will sit back and ‘see’ the inevitable strategy of his opponent and know that the outcome has been decided. Win or lose, this moment is a gripping one: all of the many possibilities begun however many minutes or hours ago have now materialised into an end. Or, to put it another way, it’s like peeling a mask off a stranger and recognising the previously disguised face.
In the realm of real world politics, however—unlike chess—there are no true endpoints as strategies are deployed, with the exception of ‘mutually assured destruction’ occasioned by nuclear war. There are, instead, movements, realignments, transitions, pawns on the march driven by the propaganda of the Elite, by holy crusades, by desperation and fear and greed, by the wish too, for a healthier world, no matter how painful the medicine.
Now, I think, is the time when any reasonably intelligent person may step back and cast an eye over the past fifty years and see something.
To those of us growing up in the sixties and seventies we thought for a while that another Vietnam could never occur, that peace would win the day and that the world’s greatest power would confine its might for something like greater good.
The attacks of 9/11 catalysed a new and much more lethal phase: the rule of law, constitutional and international, was subjugated to the depredations of Power buoyed by ‘patriotism,’ and vast swathes of the world—Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and, too, the Ukraine—have been bloodily torn apart. The calculus of misery for those innocents unlucky enough to have been born in these areas is immeasurable. Vast migrant movements inundate the Old World simply because this is the world closest at hand.
The Russian bear is being backed into a corner and China has been warned and the relentless and relentlessly illegal bombs continue to drop, whether ‘mother’ or ‘father’ or, ironically enough, christened with names like Tomahawk, names appropriated from the lore of Native Americans who have themselves been subjected to the genocidal campaigns of American democracy.
But this “Great Game” is nearing its strategic end, clear for anyone to see. Internecine belligerence in the face of the twin pincers of runaway global boiling and radiation sickness can only mean the dissolution of all intelligent life.
How much more wonderful, surely, for the governing Elites to allow us all to use our human arms, in this tsunami of troubles, for a pacific embrace? Although peace has come to have a bad name, these days, although the voices of those against war are branded as traitorous, and all that is great and good seems connected to soldiering, there are many, many more of us who want nothing more or less than peace, the noblest of aspirations. There are many, many more of us who know that our precious world is anything but a game, “great” or small: it’s all we have.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 1 May 2017.
Dr. Garcia is a Philadelphia-born writer and physician who now resides in New Zealand as a dual citizen of his native and current country.