THE ONSLAUGHT OF ENTROPY
Students of military science and contemporary sociology will note that the nature of warfare has changed fundamentally since the conclusion of the Second World War. In the last 70 years, the incidence of warfare between nations has decreased dramatically to the point where it has all but disappeared; it has been more than matched, however, by warfare within nations. Warriors have become terrorists, and defenceless civilians are cannon fodder in their war-games. Internet-trained sociopaths arm themselves with real weapons and wage their private war; the massacre of defenceless children at Columbine and Anders Brevik’s rampage on Utoya Island are stark reminders of the power of terror and the terror of power.
The 1960s acid-folk group The Fugs described democracy as “the lesser of two evils.” In any conflict, we ought to take sides not with the force representing our own conception of a morally perfect ideology, but with the party that seems to us to be the less harmful and more positive social solution.
Thus, in Ferguson last night, I leant towards the trigger-happy police rather than the criminal anarchy of the rioters; the same at Marikana, where police had to react to a crazed mob that had already killed ten people so gruesomely that those before them were in exaggerated panic; in Gaza, I prefer the imperfect actions of Israel to the crazy jihad of Hamas; in Iraq, the Iraqi government’s tribally lopsided actions are infinitely preferable to the horror of ISIS; South African farmers’ deepening racism, though philosophically abhorrent, is still far more acceptable to me than the murderous assaults that are rained upon them; and so on, for nearly every conflict currently raging, with a few exceptions – Syria springs to mind where the opposition to tyranny, however faulty, is without doubt a better bet than the tyranny itself.
Our common enemy—all of us concerned with this initiative— is the jihad. No normal, decent person, whether Arab or Jew, Muslim or Christian, would fail to find the method and the goals of the jihad absolutely abhorrent.
It seems to me that human beings as a species are evolving towards entropy, and perhaps resisting the tide is hopeless, but I shall continue to align myself with the forces of order and oppose those that spread chaos.
What side are you on?
In the second edition of Socks, I am going to sail on a different tack; this much I know already, before even the first edition has been published. I am going to pay much more homage to the philosophy of Robert Ardrey, for it is he who has nailed it. It’s not going to be easy though, let me tell you. It is nearly impossible to decide which passage to quote, which pair or triplet of paragraphs from any of his books best presents the central idea. They seem to defy reduction to first principles, so mighty are the ideas, so irresistible the revelations he left us with, quietly, over the last two decades before he went to sleep.