8,000 Years of Violence

I am not and have never been a violent man, I have in my life been in three fights, I won one, drew in another and got smashed to a pulp in another. Let’s break that down into some sort of perspective, I was eight, fifteen and twenty one. The first two fights counted for nothing and the final one had dubious reasoning behind it. Walking home one night in Leicester I was approached by two men, they were angry. One of the men’s girlfriends had been beaten up by an Asian lad and they therefore they had to beat me up. I was a victim of perverse racism. I was lucky. I ran. They didn’t.

Even now I wonder why as a species we are so violent. It is true that we are at our best and worst in war. Great leaps forward are always seen in wartime. Yet in peace time these same leaps forward are never in the news. Second World War. Split the atom. Peace. Dark matter discovered. Everyone remembers Hiroshima but no one will think of Zurich.

Eight thousand years of violence. War after war. Man against man, woman against woman, father against son, brother against brother, creed against creed, faith against faith. We are a godless species for if we actually believed in our faiths, violence would end. Maybe we should all give athiesm a try. We forget our history. We do not learn, we create new gods, new icons, new ways of killed each other. One day we won’t even bat an eyelid when a billion people die in the touch of a button. We will shrug and say, what can one person do? This is the way of the world. It is not. It is the way of men. The way of women. Not the way of humans. We build memorials to the glorious dead and quickly forget that they were our youth. We all move forward in cyncism, we all see the horrors on the news, we all buy into the lies and we all nourish the beginnings of our own two thousand year stare.

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