21 August 2020

Civilian view of a war

I survived one civil war. And I live among the Trump supporters, although I’m not one. So, I keep thinking about how the situation here is similar to the situation just before the war started in my country of origin. 

My newest pet peeve is idiocrasy of people around me believing that somehow, civil war will make the situation better for them. 

It will not. 

When a war starts, your life, as it was before the war will never come back. Never. 

If you are in a shitty situation now, you might think the disruption of today’s society will do you good. War might be a good idea. You hope you will end up on top. 

Wrong. I can tell you that every single person in my country of origin thought they will be one that will end up on top.  After the war finished, none of them ended up better than they were before the war. Every single one was worse off. 

Everything you have will be lost, and more stuff you have and more savings you have, more you’ll lose. So all property, all retirement savings, all little mementos you find precious, all will be lost. All your plans for the future will be tanked. Everything. Especially if you live in the area surrounded by people that see you as an enemy. 

The only persons who suffer the least damage from the war are people rich enough to transfer their life and everything they have outside the war zone, or sociopaths who focus on their personal gain. Because war, civil war, is not like in the movies. Remember movies have to be exciting, make sense and end up on an up note for creators to earn money. I guess you have enough life experience to know life is not like that. 

So what happens? Well, people try to cling to the idea of saving the old life, somehow returning things to pre-war normal. So society does not disappear, instead, it turns into some kind of zombie where bullies and sociopaths get to set the rules. An average person is just trying to get by. An average person is hoping beyond hope that somehow old life will come back. And sociopaths use that hope to force people to work without pay, to pretend that everything is just a small minor crisis and it will be over soon, you’ll see. 

“Be patriotic”, they say while they steal the last bit of food you have. 

Sociopaths use hope to trick other people into sacrificing for “a greater good”. Often sociopaths use the same ideology used to justify war. But, sociopaths are just sucking the life out of the rest of population for the personal gain.  

So, the least damage happens if you leave at the very beginning with all of your belongings. Then you can keep most of its previous life. 

Very few people leave. There is another characteristic which never fails — people don’t believe that war will start. 

So, when a war starts, it takes some time for people to accept that their life is irreparably changed. 

Some people never do. They linger for years after the war, bitterly complaining about their awful luck and how other people f- them over. 

You are in a bit better position if you’re surrounded by people on your side. Then you just need to pretend, and pretend good, that you are fully and with no reservation devoted to your side. Every day you have to show the belief that no matter what your side does, an action cannot be wrong. 

Depending on how good you are in that pretending less damage you will suffer. But you will suffer some damage and loss because the entire country, the entire society will. One cannot get a decent slice of the pie when there is no pie left. And war, especially civil war, destroys the whole pie. 

Oh, you might think I’m with good guys. The catch is, good guys, do not win. Because every side thinks of themselves to be good guys. Winners later declare themselves good guys. And winners conveniently paper overall actions that are not suitable for the good guys. Just think about how in the USA you have two different perceptions of what was going on in the last Civil war. 

Ideas that your group is good, and the other side is subhuman is the standard tactic used throughout history to make wars more acceptable to the general population. It has nothing to do with the truth. You believe that you are better than the other side is a just symptom of manipulation by your leaders. People and life are way more complex and never so simple as binary good and evil.

I’ve heard options of running away and camping in the forest, while the things calm down. Yes. People do that. And they are called refugees. Running for your life means you run with what you can grab to carry. And that is ALL you will have from your old life. Running away throws you at the mercy of the others. And people have little mercy. I’ve seen how refugees are treated during the war. Even refugees that are supposedly on your side. 

I’ve seen refugees digging through the trash to fight off starvation. Often they could not. Yes, I’ve seen refugees dying from starvation. And no, I could not give them anything, because neither I nor my family had enough to eat. During the war, I lost so much weight that my period stopped. For males in the audience, that means weight loss similar to one caused by anorexia. Mercy does not even cross your mind when you’re hungry and suffering. Your own stomach overpowers it. 

All inclusions, all rights, you think you have, disappear. If you are not in your life prime,  strong,  without scruples, you are automatically second or even third-class citizen. Women, disabled, minorities, children, old people, anyone different  loses rights. Even if you a young, strong male of the right color, if you dare to have morals and point out wrongdoings of your side, you lose rights. That’s why I hate dystopian movies and shows that ignore this “minor” fact.

There is another complication in the USA that did not exist during the war in my country of origin. My country of origin was tiny, and the world could force the bloodthirsty sociopaths to put down the weapons and make peace. Even then it took 2-3 years. 

The USA is not small, and it is geographically isolated. I cannot speculate how things will go in the USA. But I know that in my country of origin sociopaths and so-called “leaders” prolonged war because they also controlled the black market. Although I am not sure one can call market black when it is controlled by leaders. 

There is no happy ending with war. 

If you think the economy is bad now, think twice. After the war,  most of the factories and companies are moved away, or destroyed, or looted. In my country of origin the unemployment rate before the war was around 11%, after the war it was 70%. 

And profiteers, the same bastards that were selling humanitarian aid to you instead of giving it, they end up connecting themselves with politics so they are protected when new society and new order takes place after the war. Yep, that happens too. If you thought corruption is rampant now, wait till war starts. My country of origin now is more corrupt than it was before the war. War does not remove corruption. In the best-case scenario, it exchanges one set of corrupt people to a fresh set. But in the average case, war makes corruption blossom. I was not joking about selling humanitarian aid. Throughout the war, I was eating cans of food, purchased in a local grocery store, that stated in English “not for sale”. But when profiteers are people who set rules, you cannot complain. 

Wars drag out the worse in humans. If you think humanity is bad, you saw nothing till you see what we do in the war. 

People you thought are nice, people you thought you know, end up being or behaving as a war criminal. The boys, I played with, turned to be war criminals. A nice lovely neighbor who was so friendly, a war criminal. There is no knowing who will turn to be a monster. 

See if the monsters think you’re on their side, they will behave nicely towards you. The only red flag is the way they talk about “the others”. But if you make a wrong step, or disagree with something they said about “the others” soon, you will feel the full brunt of their monstrosity. 

I’ll finish this long post by repeating the most important point you need to take from all this. War will not make you better off. No matter where is your starting point, you will end up worse off. Even if you lose nothing material, you will end up with PTSD. That part is unavoidable for anyone who survives the war. The only intensity of PTSD varies.

Do not get sucked into the warmongering. Nothing good comes from war. Nothing.

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