Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Quick Rundown of War

War has been waged for centuries upon centuries for many different reasons. These reasons range from territorial expansion to resources to political disagreements but there are always some common factors in waging a war. War demands that an army of people are willing to fight for you, your first step is to have something you can actually fight with. Secondly you need the resources to go to war. Each and every soldier needs to be outfitted with the latest equipment and war materials need to be manufactured at rapid speeds. Thirdly, and perhaps the most important in this day and age, you need your country behind you. It is impossible to start a war if your people are unwilling to fight. Politicians are in the know of the way things are run behind the scenes in the world, and although not all may be crooked, some misguided politician may see fit that it would be in our nation's best interest to wage a pointless war over something like religion. How could a politician gain enough support for a war effort? Propaganda coupled with a psychological theory or two. The politician must find some means to convince the people that they have a common threat that must be eliminated, or else our very way of life is at risk. Since people now a days are mostly too inconvenienced to bother looking up information themselves, they will take what is spoon-fed to them at the leisure of convenience. All the politician has to do is gain control over the media and we now have a mass propaganda delivering machine. Simple catch phrases and slogans are enough to stick in the back of people's minds, and if we point out all the negatives of a single country average Americans will soon harbor a subconscious bias towards that country. Then once a common enemy has been identified the politician gains more power by growing their own organization or political group by filling it with new members. This increase of support for the war causes group polarization and group think to occur, creating more extremist thoughts within a group. Group polarization is the tendency for people to make more extreme decisions when they are in a group rather than when they are alone. (changinggminds.org) The above factors are all steps to creating one massive “in group” in a population. As the war group grows in political power and numbers fewer and fewer people will dare risk arguing against the war group's claims out of fear of political ruin or humiliation, thus limiting any opinions from any “out groups.” Soon the words of the popular new war “in group” have become etched into the minds of Americans, and has become our new truth that the enemy must be eliminated. The people then march headlong into a righteous, grandiose war to end all wars believing that we are bleeding and dying to eliminate some sort of threat, when at the end of the day we may all have just been used as pawns for political gain. To prevent ourselves from being tricked humanity is up against an enemy that grows in power in this modern world, our own apathy. I fear that by the time we as men finally decide to act on our beliefs and re-take our responsibility to learn the truth, the world may have already undergone a catastrophe we may never fully recover from. Mankind will ultimately decide to keep dreaming in this modern, convenient, politically correct world, however one day we may discover that what we thought was reality was just a fabrication.
Sources: http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/group_polarization.htm

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