It's Remembrance Day here in Canada, and as always, I feel conflicted about the poppy I've been wearing for the past few days -- and not just because that little exposed pin has left me covered in tiny puncture wounds.
I wish there were a way for my poppy to tell other people that, while I fully support and respect the people who've made enormous sacrifices so that the rest of us can live in safety, I don't support the idea of war in general, especially in recent years, when wars seem to be fought less and less for ideological reasons and more and more for the sake of transparent corporate interests. (I'm not naive, by the way. I know that financial gain has governed many a conflict, and that the idea of war as a battle between good and evil is largely an early-twentieth-century construct. It just seems that, in those days, people at least did a better job of pretending there were more altruistic reasons behind their decision to take up arms.)
On the other hand, I find it interesting -- if confusing -- when people say they don't believe in war. "Believe" in it? As if war were the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy? Or, more probably (and less facetiously), they mean they don't believe in its efficacy as a solution. This is an interesting position, largely in that it's pretty much gone untested. Because war IS the solution we collectively leap to -- a little too readily, it seems. Whether it ultimately solves the problem at hand is debatable, but hey, we haven't blown ourselves up yet, right? Does that count as success?
Someone once said that war is the failure of reason. That's one way of putting it. Another way of putting it is: war means that some power-hungry asshole somewhere got a stupid idea, and the rest of us had to set aside whatever we were doing in order to deal with it.
These are my incoherent thoughts on the subject, and this is the point in my post where I should wrap things up with a grand summation. But I don't have one. If I did, it would be a solution to this messy, stupid, tragic failure of human nature. Wouldn't that be wonderful?