Brief thoughts on riots and war.
A few years ago while living in Thailand and observing the riots and political unrest that roiled that country at the time a number of friends expressed concern for my safety. In an effort to reassure them I wrote the following:
In 1968 I was living and practicing law in Rome Italy. The student riots of 1968 were going strong throughout Europe and the US. International media had been focused on the barricades set up by the students at the University of Rome blocking the main gate into the University. Media shots of the students hurling stones and whatnot at the police as they charged the barricades dominated the news. It appeared as though Rome was about to go up in flames. Actually there were many gates that led into the University, none, other than the one appearing in the news reports, were the least bit blocked. I along with everyone else who had things to do at the School simply strolled through those gates unmolested and went about our business.
Until WW I and WW II wars of total destruction, one could usually sit on a hill somewhere far enough away to be relatively safe and watch the periodic reduction of surplus young males. Now unfortunately beginning with the first American war for the defense of the military/industrial complex (MIC I) through IRAQ (MIC V) total wars are limited to third world countries. Nevertheless, many countries still have internal political squabbles whose escalation into violence is usually localized. So it was in Thailand. Neither side had the resources to engage in a countrywide conflict of mass destruction as a result whatever battles are waged occur in locations that best provide for ease of media coverage.
It reminds me of another story. In the ancient Celtic countries, each King (and there were many) worth his salt had his own Bard (Scop), usually a blind harpist. When rival kings decided to commit mayhem on one another rather than play soccer, the Bards would retire to the next valley and have a sing off, each singer singing of their King’s great victory in the battle under weigh nearby and the song that won the competition would go down as the official record of the battle no matter its actual outcome. (Sort of like what the southern states historians did following their defeat in the American Civil War.)
For more from Trenz Pruca and friends see: