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03 August 2010

A Brief History of Humanity

Our future is good, because our past is so bad.
How you might ask? First, lets take a minute to examine what history is, and why we record it.
Webster's defines history as " a chronological record of significant events (as affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes."
In other words, the important stuff that happened. Humanity has a habit of categorizing and classifying. It's what we do. We keep records of shit.
Now, take a minute to think about what OUR history, that is MANKIND'S, is comprised it yet? If you need some help, the simple answer is... WAR. Period.
The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare (Cambridge Illustrated Histories)Oh, sure, there are some things that happened in between, but the major significant events in the history of the world, from our perspective, all have one thing in common. WARS.
A quick glimpse through any general history book and you'll find that all eras are defined by WAR. We learn about all these WARS, and skim through the boring crap in between. Good reason too, not much happens outside of periods of WARS. Almost all technological and social progress humanity makes is because we don't want some other guy doing it first. We're pretty lazy otherwise. Peace didn't give us squat.
Now, for the kicker. Why is that necessarily a bad thing?
It's a given that a race will record that which it values and cherishes. We record our battles with a misty eyed reticence like a father watching his son hit a home run. We live for it.
So, yeah, humans, we got WARS. Big deal. Everyone knows that humans are idiots and we kill each other, and someday we'll destroy ourselves.
War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to TodayI don't think so, though.
Because, you see... the one thing that movies never really hit upon is that oh, sure, we are good at WAR...but we've been good at it for thousands of years. The thing we are REALLY good at is SURVIVING WAR.
Anyone can fight a WAR, but we've perfected the art of fighting WARS for a reason. The pride that humans feel about their WARS is no mistake. We fight for a cause, and we win. We won't kill ourselves, because what's the point? We fight WARS to stop those kind of maniacs. Everyone wants us to believe that humanity is doomed because of our violent nature, but I think we are blessed by our will to survive. We will kill, in order to not only live, but to thrive. THAT IS WHAT MAKES US HUMAN.
Let the pansies badmouth WAR, and our history as a "violent, self destructive race." I say, bring on the WARS. We can take it. It's how we grow. Evolve. Become better.
And if we ever do make contact with some alien race that deems us unfit to exist in the universe, we'll be ready to kick their slimy asses back to the stone age. I say it's time to have pride as Humans because we are so violent and destructive to ourselves. We are a self-regulating ecosystem unto ourselves. That's what life is all about.

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