Chris Moerdyk

Third world war - coming soon

2012-08-27 09:10

Chris Moerdyk 

The third world war won't be about countries fighting countries.

But, it will be just as bloody, devastating, intensely cruel and oblivious to the value of human life.

It will be a war fought on three fronts. On one side the have-nots on another the haves and lurking on the periphery like vultures waiting for protagonists to rip each other apart, will be the opportunists.

No one will escape. No country will be able to remain neutral and carry on business and life as usual because unlike previous world wars, almost every country in the world is now heavily dependent on survival by other countries thanks to the spread of globalisation.


The signs are there to see, plain at day.

At Marikana for example, where miners were prepared to die to earn more. They rejected their biggest union. They rejected calls by the police. They allegedly actually hacked a couple of policemen to death. A lot of them died in a fusillade of bullets. 
Whether or not they are being paid enough is beside the point. Facts and reality are not going to be important in the third world war.  It will be a war fuelled by perception.

Whether or not the Marikana miners earn 10 times less than their counterparts in Australia or 100 times less than Lonmin's COO, will not be up for debate or justification.

Earning disparity will not be what will cause today's isolated disputes to escalate into a world war. It will simply be a question of the have-nots being unable to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.

It will be no good saying that workers are lucky to have jobs and that they should think about those people who have no jobs.

Survival is survival.

When you think about it - the Arab Spring uprisings have all been about the haves and the have-nots.

Just about every incident of social unrest that makes the news headlines these days has got an element of the have and have not syndrome.

Things are beginning to turn

Research that I have done over the past 10 years on consumer behaviour shows quite clearly now that all over the world the common denominator is a desperation by the consumer for something to trust.

The banking scandals, religious scandals, political scandals and increasing incidents of what is perceived to be blatant corporate greed, have left the average consumer completely disconsolate about those who are supposed to be leading by example.

There was a time when demonstrations of wealth by corporate and political bigwigs actually inspired the have-nots to achieve greater things in life. I am not sure that works all that well anymore.

Even in South Africa where displays of wealth and power have been culturally embedded for centuries, things are beginning to turn with powerful politicians and businessmen being seen less as role models and more as just fats cats.

The growing number of service delivery protests in this country are becoming more intense, more violent and more bloody.

Phenomenon of entitlement

In South Africa today the phenomenon of entitlement has become stronger and stronger and the pursuit of entitlement has developed to a point where the taking of human life is simply part of the process.

I believe that killing will become increasingly part of the have-nots' strategy because they perceive it has been part of the have's culture for centuries.

One could go on and on with depressing examples of how the third world war will develop.

The most important point is that there is only one reason for it and that is the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Fuelling this is the fact that the global economic system has been found to be severely flawed. The whole process of a world entirely dependent on economic growth is flawed. The notion of the main corporate objective being to provide shareholders with ongoing value is flawed. The way the world is run on the basis of money being far more important than morality is flawed.

The real sadness

And the more the haves continue to apply Band Aids to the gaping wounds of the economic system, the more militant the have-nots will become.

The real sadness is that anyone who speaks out against flaws in the economic system is usually dismissed as a communist, socialist or trouble-maker.

What worries me is that it does not take rocket science to realised that the biggest danger the world faces today is the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. And no government in the world seems to be doing anything about changing things. 

It is almost as though politicians and the world's wealthy are all just hoping that the status quo will remain in place during their lifetimes and that they will be able to continue enjoying the power, the glory and the wealth and leave the cataclysmic consequences to the next generation.

The opportunists

I am not convinced that the time frame for the third world war is that long.

Add to this mix, that third player - the opportunists. These are the people who disrupt memorial services to make political statements; these are the people who fan the flames of anger to score political points; these are the people who prey on the poor, to rob them and con them out of their paltry wages; these are the peple who make money out of misery by supplying drugs and weapons.

These are the people who will stop at nothing to enrich themselves.

As I said, it is going to be a dirty, bloody third world war.

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