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  • Writer's pictureEllen Dodd

How to Stop a War

Recently I’ve seen a couple of historical war films, 300 and Braveheart, and they both have similar storylines. In that the leaders fight alongside their small armies, and that they are fighting the larger powers that be (Persia and England) for freedom. They’re great films. 

One huge plot hole I spotted in both of them though, well okay it would probably ruin the film but in real life would be better, was that there was no attempt of diplomacy, ignoring the powers and reaching out to the people. 

The story is the same in both films, the powers have huge armies and also have kings and leaders who have slaves, don’t fight just watch, and quite evidently don’t care about the people they are sending to fight. 

They are fighting purely for power, for no good cause. And they aren’t even fighting! So instead of what became crude slaughter, King Leonidas and William Wallace, could have reached out to the army themselves and encouraged them to stand up to their own power, who cares nothing for their lives. This then could have started a true revolution of freedom from self serving power, giving power back to true leaders like William Wallace was for instance. 

That was just my idea. I’m a pacifistic idealist I guess. So far as 300 goes, part of the whole story is that these people are trained for battle and want to fight so I guess they wouldn’t have liked the whole peace thing as much, but I think William Wallace would’ve been able to pull it off had he had that idea. Everyone suddenly turning on the English king and organising a revolution from the battle field. Joining forces against power. It would be good. 

I’ve also seen a couple of films lately about football violence. Football factory and Green Street. These films open up an undiscussed aspect of war, lust for violence. In this films young men get caught up in lust for violence and beat the living crap out of each other, it’s crazy. And now, in 300, the Spartans certainly had a bloodlust too, proud of their kill count as they had trained a long time. This lust for violence is a societal issue which can be addressed, if people recognised its existence. 

To be honest, I don’t think bloodlust is a huge issue in society, but in war it could be. I believe that the violence in Gaza comes down to bloodlust, to murder and abuse undefended civilians not even an army must come with a certain lust for violence.

Rape and torture are other examples of a lust for violence on the part of the abuser. I think part of the reason for these issues is power. Power is a phenomena that rules this world, and is pretty much unknown. But, when it comes to violence I think being the more powerful is part of the lust, so that’s part of the issue which needs to be addressed in order to start healing this shadow in society. 

Wow that ended up getting pretty deep but I think it’s kinda true, power does influence violence, and there is a shadow of violence in society that we as evolving individuals can address. 

“Heal yourself to heal the world” - no idea but I’ve read it a lot 

I guess the first step in healing society, is healing ourselves. I imagine most of you don’t have a lust for violence, but it’s not the only thing that needs healed in society, and we can help ourselves to help the world. 

As we can extrapolate that power is a root cause of violence, in order to help heal violence in society we could maybe help by healing power in ourselves. Recognising situations where we overpower or are overpowered, and seek to re-establish balance and harmony in these interactions. That’s just an idea, and would probably be difficult in more extreme situations, so don’t get yourself into trouble. But in minor social situations, we can observe ourselves and seek balance. This healing creates ripple effects in the collective. 

So, William Wallace and King Leonidas should’ve loved the English and Persian soldiers instead of seeing them as extensions of their common enemy: the rulers. And, maybe should’ve recognised their own lust for violence or battle which was clouding their judgement. Which is something we, with cognisance of the phenomena, can. See you homies on the flip-side!

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