A mad world

There was once a young man with dreadful psychological problem: he was madly jealous of his brother.

There was once a young man with dreadful psychological problem: he was madly jealous of his brother. The brother had a better and more pleasant job. Instead of discussing the problem with somebody and getting advice, the young man decided on a quick solution: he killed his brother. The murder did not solve the problem, of course. He fled and he spent the rest of his life as a fugitive, going from place to place in torment and in despair. Poor Cain.

But future generations learned nothing from this. The history of humanity is the history of warfare. 18 million soldiers and seven million civilians died in the First World War. 30,000 Irishmen went off ‘to fight for small nations’ and never came back. Around 60 million people were killed in the Second World War. Around 3,500 people were killed in the Troubles here.

We see the atrocities in Syria day after day. 10 million people have left their homes. There are more than 4 million refugees. Most of the hospitals have been destroyed. Ancient cities are in ruins. Whoever thought that war would provide a solution to the Syrian crisis? It is obvious that each side should sit down and try to work out an agreement.

But, if truth be told, there are powerful groups that are not interested in peace. The United Kingdom is the world’s second biggest arms dealer. The arms business is worth €400 billion a year. The UK Government wants to buy three new nuclear submarines. At the same time they are cutting back on health and education. The world has obviously gone mad. Can we not create a society in which everyone has sufficient food and shelter, instead of creating more weapons?