The university had a pleasant and respectful ceremony for Remembrance Day yesterday. I was quite impressed until the Vice President of something or other stood to make the closing remarks. The wars of the twentieth century, we were told, were caused by the unjust distribution of goods, and today the same problems are still causing wars. She implored us to dedicate ourselves to creating a just society so that war would be ended, once and for all.
I have often said that there are levels of stupidity only the truly educated can ever hope to achieve, but even I was a bit gobsmacked at this. I don't know what her field is, but it sure isn't history. Or Economics. Something Marxist, I imagine. What a dream world. If only we could give the Muslim extremists more stuff, then there would be peace.
Yeah. If only.
She seemed to think that food was a major cause of war. Going down through my knowledge of European wars, I can think of no war fought over food, mainly because the starving aren't really up to putting up much of a fight. There have been wars of pride, of religion, of nationalism, of racism. But the bloodiest wars of all were the wars, internal wars, fought to establish exactly the style of society she advocated: the slaughter of hundreds of million, more than all the other wars of the twentieth century, almost more than all the wars of humanity combined, to establish communist societies. They all failed to achieve the dream.
Not that it matters to Marxists. Eric Hobsbawm once told interviewer Michael Ignatieff (anybody remember him?) that all the millions killed by Stalin and Mao would have been worthwhile if it could have established a truly communist society. hardcore Marxists wouldn't balk at killing a few million more if it meant that this time it worked. But hey, it's the other guys who cause wars.