Do you know what the silliest human concept is, in a single word? "Religion," you say? Damn. All right, I'll settle for the second silliest word. "Freedom?" Twice a pox on your first-born! You're making trouble again, aren't you? Won't you people let me make a simple point? No, I speak not of religion or freedom. I speak, dear friends, of that obnoxious little word: war.

Three short letters combined to make an equally short word. The first letter, W, is alone longer than the word it helps to create, when pronounced out loud. "Double-you."
The second letter, A, is certainly innocuous and gentle.
The third letter, R... well, I'm not exactly what to make of it, so it presently falls under the category of "mostly harmless," as letters go.

Put them all together, however, and they form a word that is small in stature but massive in scope. How can a word so small mean so much to so many people?

For such a small word "war" is fairly versatile. Countless derivatives of it exist. Warmonger; warrior; war-like; war hound; warship; warble (a discontinuity of words, or a war of words that is perceived as unintelligible)... the list, I'm sure, goes on. But I'm not really interested in its grammatical tomfoolery in English. Nay, I would rather inspect its real magnitude.

Mankind has "enjoyed" a grand history with war. From jihads of Old Persia to the "Cold War," it's become as regular as menses- we can almost set our clocks by it. Indeed, many people do and have centered their daily routines around war- not just military personnel, either, but average citizens from all walks of life. For literally millions of people, perhaps billions, worldwide, war is as significant as bread and butter, a necessity.

Through the ages war was pretty innocent, as "innocent" as altruistic destruction can be, growing more sophisticated with its progenitors. The "bigger" Mankind got, in relation to mass transit, communication, religion, commerce, exploration and so forth, war got "bigger" to compensate. Bigger bombs, higher fatality rates, smarter weapons, faster vehicles, quicker response times, tougher soldiers, sterner defenses, more invasive offenses... bigger, better, faster, more. At this point in history Mankind can communicate instantaneously across two hemispheres within seconds. It only makes sense, given its steady record of growth, that war is capable of devastation at an equally alarming rate.

Get this: In 1939, when research and development on the atomic bomb was just gaining steam, killing off 10,000,000 people with conventional weapons of the time would take upwards of 20 years. As of 1979 it was possible to eliminate, unquestionably, the same number of human lives within 20 minutes, from launch to strike, with atomic ballistic missiles. That was in 1979, before the popularity of the Internet struck the world like an avalanche. In the year 2000, now, levels of communication have amazingly enough increased. War was up to the task of keeping up, wouldn't you know it? Now, in 20 minutes, it is possible to eliminate 2 billion (!!!!!) human beings, and in some cases launching a missile isn't even necessary. For such a small word "war" certainly boasts considerable strength. 20 minutes and it's "Goodbye, Humanity," lest we overlook nuclear fallout.

So what's the root of the problem? Overpopulation? Mass communication? Mass transit? Television? Us? Perhaps combinations of all five and more. One thing is certain, though: war, which seems to have a life of its own, is keeping pace with humanity. Is anyone really concerned about this? Some, yes, but nowhere near enough, I think. World War One broke out almost overnight- no one saw it coming save for a spare few. Those who did expect the "war to end all wars" (which was followed by another one, greater in scope, some 20 years later) were treated with disdain and ridicule. They gave us fair warning and were "politely" told how ludicrous their claims were. "Don't rock the boat," Mankind collectively told them. "There is no war coming, that's just your imagination." So they shut up and shook their heads in disappointment. Were they rocking the boat? I'll bet a few million Jews wish they'd rocked a lot harder the second go-around.

And here we are, again, with more weapons of mass destruction than we know what to do with (blowing up the world once is all it takes. After that, subsequent global demolitions are moot because there won't be anyone left to demolish) and people live in blissful ignorance of it. Strike that. Everyone is frightened by the prospect of all-out nuclear war, but very few people can truly comprehend its potential magnitude in sheer numbers. If the average person understood, exactly, what they were facing every day, supposing enough people could read adequately, then we would all implore our governments to hurl every last nuclear weapon into the sun and forget about making more.

Here's the clincher, though: war is necessary. Without it we wouldn't be able to control our population's growth in numbers. At present the world has roughly 6,200,000,000 people in it. Sooner or later, probably sooner, Mankind will have to cull the herd in order to quell perceived notions of overcrowding (I say "perceived" because... well... there are almost twice as many cows on the planet, which are bigger than your average human, and the ecology is getting along just fine with the cows, so there is plenty of room for us humans, even at 12 billion... it's all a notion, IMHO). Another world war, with a significantly higher body count than the previous two, is almost inevitable. Remember how war comes as regularly as menses? Menses is derived from the expulsion of an abundance of "excess baggage," shall we say. It's a natural phenomenon in the human body.

Compare that simple analogy to Mankind as a whole. This planet and its inhabitants are definitely organic in their behavior. We've become increasingly aware of our human equivalent to "excess baggage" recently- so many social ills plague us, all of them perpetuated by our "brothers and sisters." Eventually Mankind will have to do its organic and biological duty and eliminate that useless mass of itself, the "idiots" of the world. How to do this quickly? Simple: war.

This time, however, we can expect the purge to be catastrophic in its impact- the "Big Bleed", as it were; a severe, self-induced excision of that which has become most useless to us: ourselves. War on every corner. It doesn't necessarily have to involve ICBMs, though every indicator points to it, but it will come. If it doesn't, we might have an even more troublesome problem on our hands: an overabundance of idiots... that're reproducing fast. Who wants a world full of dummies? Cull the herd, we say!

Just give me fair warning so that I will have time to head for the hills of safety, if there is any. Consider this your warning. I'm not so gifted as to be able to offer dates, but expect the big purge to come soon. As for me? I'm packing. You'd do good to follow suit. Don't forget your toothbrush.

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