November 09, 2004

War - What is it Good For?

Today I went along to the Imperial War Museum, which is not far from Elephant and Castle. It's really good - I spent a couple of hours and didn't even see half of it. Luckily it's free entry, so I can go back again very soon. It's very interesting, but ultimately you can't help feeling depressed about all the totally and utterly pointless death and destruction because a few people in the world are greedy and/or have ego problems and/or are fanatical maniacs. How come these kind of people end up in charge? The rich and powerful send out the poor to get killed over and over again using whatever means (patriotism - nationalism - religion - ideology - blatant lies) they think will work best.

They have a counter in the middle of the ground floor, ticking away people's lives. It's based on the ONE HUNDRED MILLION people who have died in wars and conflicts that took place ONLY in the last 100 years.

The figure of a hundred million is debatable I guess, and I found a guy who had given a lot of serious thought and statistical analysis to the war deaths of the twentieth century...

Wars, Massacres and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century

His whole site is pretty interesting - Matthew White's Homepage

Before we all get too depressed, it is worth noting that apparently traffic accidents cause about 1.2 million deaths per year, which is a higher rate than the wars. Actually, perhaps that's even more depressing...

Posted by paul at November 9, 2004 09:03 PM