War is the conflict-driven move toward the harmony of order. Peace is the return to chaos. To sort their relationship any other way is both naive and immoral.
All identity begs for one thing; to survive another moment. Through our sophistication, both real and imagined, we’ve developed different applications of just that. Survive another moment. As the scaled perspective of these moments grow, what’s good for now is done for now, but “now” becomes this second, day, year, etc. We see these moments in all sorts of ways, really, but the mission remains the same. Survive another moment.
Where conflict begins is, at the root, where incongruence reveals itself to be. From the inertia of a bullet’s mass through flesh, to the marrying of lemon juice and sugar to water, we understand what happens when more than one identity vie for another moment. Does the towel become watery, or the water “towel-ly”? What matters is we know things change when forced to join other “unlike” things. This is what conflict is and we’re fortunate to realize it. See, violence doesn’t have a mood or morality. It’s simply the joining of these identities in a “battle” to become congruent. It’s the commitment of each of these identities to another moment that empowers nature’s hand. Natural Law is the universe’s calculator, if you will.
-If a rape victim decides to “want it”, there is no longer violence. Both parties chose the rapist’s moment. One minus zero equals one satisfied rapist.
-If two lions commit to fight to the death over territory, maybe neither live, but that is the sum of their identities, no? One plus a negative one equals two dead lions.
Peace, however, is the coasting afforded to us by past conflict. Like the momentum gained on a bicycle by the long descent down a steep hill, large scale violence has insulated our collective from the more benign incongruences. We don’t need to pedal as much for the moment, but our speed declines and a pedal here and there keeps us going. Like the perceived value of pennies in our pockets, the laws/cultures/morals of our peoples keeps us from the chaos that was before “us”. We recognize and participate in lesser conflicts to avoid the larger ones, of course. Fines, imprisonments, punches to the face, and the occasional rifle round to the back of one…we understand the “nip it in the bud” concept of conflict. Pedal here and there now, lest you need another hill.
I mock you so I don’t have to punish you. I punish you so I don’t have to exile you. I exile you so I don’t have to kill you. I kill you because I need one more moment.
To deny the smaller, early violences invites the larger, later ones. Opinions are the wishes of the weak. Only actions matter to nature’s law. Either way, early is “better”. Always. The mousetrap prevents the infestation that leads to a family being diseased or homeless. Those who aren’t so vulnerable would do well to remember that they coast from the hills of their ancestors’ deeds. Their insulation from such susceptibility doesn’t change the math. “Minus one” just seems insignificant the further away from “one” you get.
My advice is a three stage approach:
1. Identify your identity, as in what are you living to preserve?
2. Scale your timeline and cover all “moments” with your deeds, concurrently.
3. Restore order at the earliest opportunity and at the lowest possible price.
Stay on Mission.