Post Pandemic War

Many believe the Peloponnesian War happened in the past, roughly between 431 and 405 B.C.E. It didn’t. It was created in the future and transplanted back in time.

There are too many coincidences to be ignored. Someone must have gone back and wrote under the name of Thucydides, creating a sweeping, complex tale of various economic, political and religious agendas that mirror today’s situation.

One of my favorite bits occurred in 430 bc. Sparta sent soldiers to ravage (yes, that’s where that word came from) the farmlands around Athens. Most of the farmers went to live in the city, behind its strong fortified walls. But some invited the Sparta generals into their farm-houses where they drank the time away, both believing the war would end soon.

How did Athens survive all that ravaging? First, it’s difficult for soldiers to cover vast distances and kill every plant and animal with their bare hands. Second, Athens had a seaport connected to the city, from which it could import all the food it needed. I’m not an expert, but my read is that neither Athens or Sparta felt it was a real war either, as much as a flexing of muscles. Athens flexed it with their navy. Sparta with their army.

Today we have Russia massing tanks on Ukraine’s border. China is buzzing Taiwan with fighter aircraft and bombers. The U.S. and NATO are trying to pick a fight in the Black Sea and South China Seas.

No one in Athens foresaw a plague hitting the city. In retrospect, it seems obvious. Pack too many people into one area and disease will spread. As obvious is that may seem, no one has pointed out the very simple fact in our current pandemic. The size of Wuhan was under 1 million in 1950. Today it’s swelling past 8 million. The same urbanization is occurring globally. In the future why wouldn’t people look back and say “of course, it’s obvious a pandemic hit the world in the early 2000s”.

Gone will be the details, like the Wuhan lab, or each nation’s half-hearted response. Those will be footnotes to the war of 202?.

You’d think, or I thought, that Athens and Sparta would quickly realize the lose-lose situation they were entering into, because of the plague, with tens of thousands of citizens dying (a lot for the time). The harm to Athens is obvious. But Sparta didn’t want to get sick either and never intended to capture Athens, but to rebuff Athens’s power projection through the Greek navy (sound familiar?).

Israel’s paranoia about Iran continues to grow. Turkey doesn’t trust anyone and is supposedly fighting inflation by lowering interest rates —ridiculous. The truth is it’s bosting exports, at all costs, to pay for its ever expanding defense industry. Japan is not about to get sidelined. Europe is waking up to its green energy misadventures. The land-wealth of Africa isn’t lost on anyone. Australia is fearless. None of these pieces may ever get played. My point is that no effort is being made to prevent them from forming an anagram of war.

The history of all wars is the history everyone believing a) that their own plan would win out soon and b) even if it didn’t, it would not lead to a sequence of horrific events like so many wars in the past.

When the pandemic started. Did the world sit down and work out agreements to prevent war? The Greeks didn’t. Why won’t what happened to them, happen to us? Does it make a difference if their messages took ten days by sea and horseback and our ten milliseconds through the Internet. I don’t see how it does.

Nations aren’t communicating more; they’re communicating less. People, in general, aren’t become more compassionate, they’re becoming more callous, cynical and dangerously righteous.

Growing opportunity inequality is already leading the world to greater domestic terrorism. Will nations accept the cost of the pandemic, or will they try to make others pay? I believe they’re already ramping up their efforts to do so.

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I try to write stories that go where the general media doesn’t.

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Max Rottersman

Max Rottersman

I try to write stories that go where the general media doesn’t.

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