Soul Care— What do CORVID-19 and War Have in Common?  Considerations of the Inevitable  4/8/20


Today (as a conversational device…not a teaching device, we know we learn by talking these days, etc. not from teachers, right?…yeah, I too know that) I will compare two evils.  One of the ways we do learn is by comparing the familiar with the unfamiliar.  


But first also an apology for using the word “evil.”   That’s kind of old school language, so please think of your preferred word like sub-standard, retrograde, not cool or whatever and use that.  


In any case, there are useful comparisons to be made between the CORVID-19 crisis and war.  


Last evening I watched the two hour teaching conversation offered by David Swanson of World Beyond War.  I believe that a few of you readers saw at least some of it, after Phyl Leaman and I shared an email announcement of it yesterday afternoon.


Swanson said things which most Americans have never heard or thought.  That in itself would seem potentially useful, wouldn’t it?  Or are Americans such a repository of wisdom that no one should presume to give them a new thought?  (Let me say that I’m not nationalistic enough to think that, but I want to recognize those who do.)


Swanson said that war is not inevitable.  Not inevitable, like  slavery, sexism, safety when you leave your house and join a crowd and racism are not inevitable. 


There I referred to CORVID—19 in relation to “safety.”  Now I will refer to war in relation to safety.  All of this having to do with what is “inevitable.” 


Even if the fact of CORVID-19 is (has been) in some sense inevitable, we are not going to treat as if it is inevitable, are we?  First of all, we will have a healthy fear of it, and try to act accordingly, right?  We kind of care about our survival in face of CORVID-19, yes, no?   


So then, what about war and the fear of it as an issue of human survival?


A week or two ago I wrote that our history and practice of war has made us very ill as a people—we have suffered incalculable damage (moral injury)  by our embrace of war and treating it as something inevitable.  And we think we can do that with impunity, or some kind of immunity.


Have you tried suggesting that the consequences of COVID-19 might be anything less than threatening to human survival itself?  (Linger on this thought for a moment). 


But we do this with war all the time.  In fact, as David Swanson told us last evening, the U.S. war machine spends billions of dollars convincing our population that war is not only less than threatening to human survival, it is inevitable, a good thing, and we had better accept it as a good thing or else.  


If there is anything of a new thought for you in any of this, I encourage you to take a look at Swanson’s message.  It’s still there for you at https://www.1040forpeace.org When this page comes up, you could click on the Martin Sheen one minute video on “the weapon that kills the most,” just to get into the website. 


I am not trying to recreate Swanson’s whole hopeful worldview here, just to intrigue us with what might not be as inevitable as we thought it was.  


Imagine, a vaccine to protect us from the deadly propaganda that war is inevitable.  We could call it “truth” or something like that. 

John K. Stoner

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