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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  • dmostert2 - 2012-08-27 09:32

    "Share the riches with the poor, before they share their poverty with you." Culture

      stevie0064 - 2012-08-27 12:17

      You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. ~ William J. H. Boetcker

      jan.vanriebeeck.73 - 2012-08-27 12:23

      @stevie0064 Never read it before but if I could upvote it times a 100 I would. - 2012-08-27 14:01

      "...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..." This is not the base reason, but a result thereof. The very basic reason is the Human population - Earth's resources are finite, and we are beginning to max out the resources. I have long believed there will be another world war coming, and it will be something pretty damn close to the old Mad Max movies. It will be a war over resources - water, fertile land, and food. We just simply have too many mouths to feed now. It is long past time that the Gumments of the world started to seriously address this issue. Everything else is just delaying the inevetible.

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-08-28 22:02

      Sharing the riches with the poor is called tax.

  • delish7564 - 2012-08-27 09:35

    Unfortunately you could be right, but certainly makes depressing reading and I'm not sure what we mere mortals can do about it :(

      andrew.pottow - 2012-08-27 10:45

      "Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world."

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-08-27 13:06

      Also never underestimate the power of a large group of stupid people.

      delish7564 - 2012-08-27 13:49

      @Andrew. So true, but that can work both ways and not sure if I want to contemplate one of those :(

      jpstrauss - 2012-08-27 15:48

      Never underestimate the the abilities of idiots in large numbers.

  • tandi.freeman - 2012-08-27 09:36

    Scary but true!Well-written!

  • jaded.oldfart - 2012-08-27 09:42

    agreed. when the have-nots get to the point where they feel they have nothing to lose, the pawpaw hits the fan. imagine how you would feel, living in a shack alongside a highway, watching expensive cars driving past all day, containing well-fed, warm haves, while you sit in the mud with no money, no food, no job, and no prospects. instead of the pie getting bigger and shared more evenly, it seems that the haves want more and more for themselves.

      sharon.truebodyvice - 2012-08-27 12:11

      Agreed, but when u sit in the mud outside ur shack and see that it is the person u put in power (that promised u a house)riding by in the expensive cars and dont even look at u that is even worse

      flower.fourie - 2012-08-27 13:48

      You can choose to get up out of the mud and uplift yourself. And stop waiting for someone to do it for you.

  • tony.dealmeida.716 - 2012-08-27 09:50

    Jeeez according to you we should all jump off the nearest tall bridge! Frigging hell you need to get a chill pill. Since humans starting walking there has been haves and have-nots and that will never change. What has to happen is for the have-nots stop voting for the same idiots that keep breaking their promises and stealing the money they get from the haves by way of taxes to uplift the have-nots.

  • abra.kadaver.1 - 2012-08-27 09:57

    If the poor got off their asses and didn't sit around waiting for a grant at the end of every month they would be better off and enriching their own lives. Everyone jumps on the band wagon that there is no work, nonsense , there is plenty of work if you are willing to get out their and look for it. The problem is that the majority expect everything to be just given to them, they are not willing to start at the bottom and work up. The fact is that South Africans are damn lazy, look how many Zimbabweans have come here , found work ,been able to live here and send money back home.

      derek.edwards.75491 - 2012-09-02 00:06

      south Africans are not lazy. sure there are the odd few but percentage wise this is very low. what they are is uneducated and unskilled. there are more wheel barrow pushers than wheel barrows. but less bricklayers than there are bricks

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-08-27 10:06

    Anyone can come up with a doomsday prophecy like this one, the questions should now be who is clever enough to come up with a viable solution? There aren't any winners in a "war" like this.

      dakey.ras.73 - 2012-08-27 10:29

      @Hugh, but your own article, the solution is religion 'the need to control and rule the unruly masses.' Hopefully in your view atheism can give us a good solution, but then we know it can! China, Japan, North Korea, USSR! These are great examples of countries dealing with 'unruly masses' without the need for religion.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-08-27 11:07

      First of all atheism and religion have nothing to do with this it is about politics and economics. Secondly my article has nothing do with this and you've taken it out of context. Thirdly those countries are very different to ours (economically, culturally and historically). Fourthly religion and state are meant to be separate.

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-08-27 10:28

    True story And it all starts with the monetary-based economy. The whole thing is based on debt. Money is debt. Adding on interest to that, people will forever be in debt (the average person that is). That is why the central bank in America was shut down, because Andrew Jackson saw what a central bank and money could do.

      bergie.sean - 2012-08-27 13:06

      you are so right.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-27 10:28

    And it is foretold that the Southern African spring will be full blown by autumn in April 2013, believe it or not, after the 12th December 2012 Mayan calendar prediction for the world ending. And you also forgot to mention the religious nut-cases of all sorts under your list of opportunists. You you are right though, except for one thing and that is, if you sum it all up, is that we might already be well into the 3rd world war already.

      kelvyn.davidson.1 - 2012-08-27 16:19

      the world has been at war eternally, we now understand that we are, the world powers have created the money creed, water is the next as water is what actually sustains life not money.

  • andrew.pottow - 2012-08-27 11:01

    An excellent piece! It confronts many of the problems we are currently facing, although i disagree with the underlying issue you attribute everything to. Its not as simple as that, and I think the opportunists play a much greater part in causing these issues than we realise. I don't know if its purely about the haves and have nots. This has always been a fact of life and has never been a problem before. Sure, solving the inequality may solve the problem, but that's impossible to do by anyones reckoning(other than those opportunists who would have something to gain from perpetrating the idea). Its more about the mindset of entitlement in my mind and the opportunists that give the poor the idea that they deserve what others have rather than that they have the potential to EARN(the hard way) what others have. Life isn't easy but so many people live with this idea that those at the top have it easy for some reason, they do not. Those at the top are only there because they've worked their asses off and had a little luck along the way.

      andrew.pottow - 2012-08-27 11:12

      The poor are, unfortunately, misinformed and seem to believe that success just comes to you. Unfortunately for the poor the world over, they(as a whole) will never see wealth for a number of reasons. The world needs a working class, the rich are only rich because of those supporting them(Sound familiar? Ubuntu?). Secondly, the poor lack work ethic when it matters. Slaving away all day at work doesn't count when you didn't do the basics right. As my uncle always says "You can pay now and play later or you can play now and pay later". If you're not going to work your ass off at school and think big, plan further in advance and dare to dream and work towards that dream, you're not going anywhere but backwards and that is true for anyone, no matter how wealthy you start out in life. I'm a have not currently, I owe hundreds of thousands of rands and have no income, although I am in the fortunate position that I have the means to survive. Never the less, its a daunting outlook. I have all these people telling me that I have no hope as a young white male in SA and all the other rhetoric that may appeal to me. Sure, it might be harder for someone of my demographic to make it but that potential is still there. And I will work that bit harder to make it happen. It might not happen, I may never achieve what I want to. That's not going to stop me doing all I can to make it happen, short of striking with a panga and demanding it! That takes me back to what I said about flawed mindsets?

      delish7564 - 2012-08-27 13:54

      Good for you Andrew, hope it all works out!

  • allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-27 11:04

    I don't think its as bad as everyone makes out and there should be far more optimism (and i'm a pessitmist!). Globally as human beings , we have never had more freedoms , better access to education , greater access to information , better access to health care (so much so we've more than tripled the global population in less than 3 generations)and never lived longer . The gap as you say is to do with numbers , with a explosive population the amount of people born into poverty explodes too , the highest growth rates in population comes from the poorest undeveloped nations . This growth coupled with under-development and resulting lack of infrastructure is driver of high poverty levels. Noteably these are the issues global organisations have been addressing , campaigns to address womens rights and education (a known measure to counter poverty ) have been largely neglected . Funding for infrastructure projects in developing countries has been largely abused and corrupted . I think the arab spring was to do with a little more than the have's v have-nots (univeral sufferage), the economic system dispite its faults is the most effecient system we have that is evolving and somone is yet to demonstrate a sustainable alternative . Morality and its many derivatives and interpretations is a poor driver for economic policy/structure , its easily maniplulated differs from person to person not to mention nation to nation (its seems like you'd be unable to compare apples with apples).

  • YuccaN - 2012-08-27 11:25

    I don't know... We seem to be running in circles. We fall for the same BS as 500 years ago. 500 years ago we believed the world was flat. Today they say we are free and live in democrac(y/ies). Yet we sit and eat chocolate that involves child labor and human trafficking, wear clothes that are made by chines slaves and consume electronic goods that miners die for, blood diamonds are sold for, etc. So is it really a free and fair democracy at the expense of other peoples freedom(s)? Note how almost every capitalist nation who was involved in slavery is suffering recession/depression? Greece, Spain, Italy, UK, USA, Portugal... Capitalism was never meant to be sustainable and you can't fix it as long as we live in this consumerism frenzy that we live in Not whilst we are entitled to be free. Elsewhere I heard slavery was over with long ago, but I bet every one of us loves a cadbury's chocolate that is tainted by the kid with no chance of a fair life cutting those cocoa pods? You must really love your kids and all kids when you feed them chocolate. Weren't we done with wars after WWII? The war to end all wars? What was the UN for again? What is happening in Syria? What was Afghanistan? Did they really land on the moon?

      steveroodt - 2012-08-27 12:27

      Not to forget the Arab slave traders

  • pws69 - 2012-08-27 11:29

    We need to go back a few centuries to find the underlying cause - fractional banking. It is try that it accelerated economical activities, but at what cost? We also need to factor in human nature. The poor say "there are more of us, so we will just take". Lovely, but the creation also stops, so at the end of the day, everyone loses, especially the poor, who will be even worse off. What we need is:- Balance Expectation management (American dream my @ss) standards based banking small goverment no unions no global economy (Tax the hell out of Chinese imports so that they bcome more expensive than locally produced products - buy local)

  • cindy.wrathex.ruthven - 2012-08-27 11:45

    From the incredible Era of the Electronic revolution and coming out of the Information Dark Ages straight into The Resource Wars Era. Without radical action at the core reason (lack of education and employment)for continued poverty globally, things are bound to turn nasty. Seven billion plus and whilst the rich and middleclass insulate themselves more and more, the povery sector grows in number and so does their resentment. Somethings gonna give, and it's gonna be the haves. I would not say a third world war, but expect urban crime and terrorism to increase in the years to come. "Share the riches with the poor, before they share their poverty with you." - I agree.

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-08-27 12:20

    Can you tell us of any clean bloodless war?.

  • pieter.beets - 2012-08-27 12:32

    A dirty, bloody third world war created by promoting perceptions. Good article Mr.Moerdyk.

  • mlulami.dike - 2012-08-27 16:11

    Tjoh! Haibo....Third world war- coming soon....hmmm andsayoyiki.Zizofa kant?? Ngath' umntu gebayfrnd kaGod b4 anythin hppn...nkoccc yaaam!

  • gail.welman - 2012-08-27 16:18

    Chris normally I agree with you. But not today. There will always be poor and rich. That is life. But in a strong society, with a decent government, the poor are provided with basic protection, education and sound legal governance. Every person has a basic requirement to be safe and have his/her needs met. In poor countries this doesn't happen. In South Africa previously, there was a standard of safety, education and good governnance. Not perhaps always the best, but better than now. Today there is no standard for protection, education or legal judgements. And so the ordinary person is left with no boundaries to work within. The chaos theory rules. Sorry, but don't blame the economy for this. Blame the bad goverments of the day.

      simon.butelezi - 2012-08-29 07:20

      @Gaqil you are missing the point..... So so sad. The government could do better on their own however capitalism is the mother of all F'ups in this regard. For things to be good back then the government of the past used to only lookout for the interests of a few with a huge budget, but today's government has to look out for everyone including illegal alliens with money coming out of less than 10 million people. Its not like by some miracle generations of those who were denied education and the necessary self esteem to be agents of change can just come out and change the country for the better. Corporates, banks and governments globally need to take responsibility and come with ways to stop ripping off poor Joe on the street. Its a collaborative effort from everyone and the 'haves' have a moral and societal obligation to commit themselves to closing the ever increasing gap between poor and rich. I dont think the poor necessarily want to take away money from the rich, the rich have to play their part by involving themselves in ridding out socio-economic imbalances. Take time off, go to an impoverished school and give them a message of hope and encouragement, adopt a student or two. I'm sure out of every hopeless school you can change the lives of at least 5 children and that on its own will help create a better society that does not live in fear. We are a nation of racists and loudmouths....... We see where the cracks are but still fail to take any remedial action. Stop pointing fingers, it starts with you and how you treat those less fortunate than you!

  • melt.olckers - 2012-08-27 16:25

    The big problem is that executives want American salaries, but only want to give workers African salaries.

  • cyberdog.breath - 2012-08-27 16:26

    Well then, by your logic, this "Third world war" can only be in Africa. This disparity is not as bad in first world countries. In most first world countries poverty is not having a second car, and shacks do not exist. The first world countries will definitely not be joining a fight with the masses of illiterate workers. These guys are on their own with this one.

      simon.butelezi - 2012-08-29 07:25

      @cyberdog...... Ignorance is bliss in the world you live in. Do you think all these occupy movements come from Africa? No! People in general are tired of being ripped off by corporates and their shareholders, banks, governments. Its not about 1st world vs 3rd world. Its about morality, its about the widening gap between those that have swiss bank accounts and those with bank accounts that continuously have a negative balance or no bank account at all.

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-08-29 08:00

    @Chris Moerdyk - Thank You. The prophecies are busy being fulfilled one after the other (already given to us in various forms). Some people will not understand what I am trying to say and others will. It has been happening for a very long time. Often people tend to look at the now and how, without realising what exactly is happening around them. It is supposed to happen. It was prophesized and every puzzle are falling into place one after the other. For those who do not understand, all will be revealed in good time. The leaders of the world and SA have been manipulated (to use but 1 example).

  • Che` Guava - 2012-08-29 15:17

    it is simple . looking at history . empires come and go . they are built on blood and end in blood . they go thru the same changes repeatedly . the strong defeat the weak and they then become strong and the cycle repeats its self. we tell our children that we must learn from history .we try to prevent them from making the same mistakes as we do ,yet they do exactly the same things . the world will never change . not if we can not control our self and our base instincts as individuals . we are destined to repeat the cycle for eternity....

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-08-29 19:37

    I think this is very correct assumption of the eventual downfall of the existing economic order.There is no other way for things to right themselves..the present world order will have to be brought screaming and kicking into a new world order as has always been the case throughout human history!Unfortunately we haven't progressed enough to change this cruel way of correcting things..alas we will get what we ask for I don't think anyone in today's world can imagine what calamity awaits us!The lesson unfortunately is in the pain of experience now and for the foreseeable future for mankind!

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