A Member of the Tribe
Ipo (we haven’t heard from him in a while, have we? He’s always interesting and insightful.)
When there are not enough resources for all, human beings become more tribal. The only way to win a war — over water or land or food or work — is to align with the more powerful side. An individual alone cannot hope to take what he needs in times of scarcity; those who are stronger will kill to take it away. An individual needs the protection of his tribe. The bonds might be familial, geographic, political. They may be bonds formed only in times of scarcity and tossed aside as unnecessary when the famine is over. But they are, out of necessity, strong; sometimes a matter of life and death.
In this way, scarcity and lack of resources fractures society, causes rifts along formerly peaceful lines, and becomes an impetus for war.
Humans have abused their planet – their waters, their land, their air — and they have multiplied their numbers beyond what the earth can sustain. The cracks are forming. Social norms are shattering. Everywhere it is “us” and “them.” Wars erupt across the planet, scattered and explosive, like lightening from space.
Sometimes, humans recognize that the opposing force is stronger and more likely to win. Allegiances shift. People claim they have lost faith in their cause, but at its root, they believe the other side offers a better chance at survival.
Acrimony is inversely proportional to available resources. The fewer the resources, the angrier the mobs.
In order to have peace, the fewest number of people must be left wanting.
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