Maybe our world is more connected with social media, so I may simply be more aware of various factions fighting for turfs around the world. But, it seems like we are having more useless fighting than ever before. Part of the reason may be the fall of various iron fisted regimes such as in Iraq or with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, although Vladimir Putin wants to put all the stuff back in place under his iron fist.
As I review this constant state of fighting, two major conclusions can be gleaned. First, you do not see women leaders fighting over turf like men do, so it is grown up “boys with toys” doing all of the harm. Unfortunately, the women citizens are the ones who pay the dearest price as they are raped, pillaged, stolen, mistreated, or given lower status. Second, when a region has fighting like this, it will not flourish economically. No one in their right mind would want to enter a country to do business as the risks are too great. And, the men and boys who should be working their livelihoods are too busy finger-pointing and saying that group is responsible for why I am poor.
On the business front, now that Russia is more entwined with other economies, they will suffer from the sanctions, but more importantly from less commerce, as no one will trust Putin to do business with them again. He was already corrupt before, but now you would need a serious return on investment to risk doing business with Russia. Either that, or you are obligated to do business with them as there is no other market. There is no better example than to look at the two Koreas. You have South Korea who is flourishing with open markets and vibrant cities. Then, you have North Korea which is a totalitarian disaster where people have few rights and have to acquiesce to the Boy Emperor or get executed or sent to a labor camp. It is not a surprise more North Koreans go hungry than their southern neighbors.
But, back to the violence of certain areas. It is one thing to be under an iron fist with few rights. At least you know what you are dealing with and people can make do. It may not be a great life (or even a very good one), but it can be safe if you keep your nose clean and don’t make waves. Yet, the areas where extreme groups are fighting each other and blaming other groups or groups they support for their woes, there is little hope for stability. To get there, the violence has to stop or be managed to a minimum. Until the violence is stopped, people will live in fear and poverty. Until the violence is stopped, women will be maltreated as they are easier prey and considered such in the minds of brainwashed boys with toys.
The word “brainwashed” is appropriate as the boys (and some girls) are carefully taught by extreme leaders to hate others. Remember the line from a song in Oscar Hammerstein’s South Pacific, “You have to be carefully taught to hate from an early age.” It is their fault, not yours or mine. To convince a young person to strap on a bomb and self detonate is an act of cowardice on the leader’s part. He has “wound up” a boy with a toy that will kill people as well as the young person. Until leaders within these groups or related groups stand up to these cowards and say this is not right, until the women stand up and say this must stop, and until the young people realize that they should not listen to this propaganda, the violence will continue.
My friend George Dowdell wrote a post recently about the contributing factor violence plays in poverty. He eloquently defines it as the lack of justice. Here is a link:
Until the violence ends, poverty will not end. And, for those in the US reading this, we have communities in America where poverty persists because of the violence. Poverty exists because the opportunities are too few, where boys are drafted early to be part of extreme groups. Until we stop this everywhere, poverty will continue to exist and no one will win, including the boys with toys.