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The World in the 21st Century: Comment


James Skinner on war and peace in the 21st century

...the world population was reduced to a mere ten percent of its peak number of 6 billion human beings.....

‘And so they did, my brothers. Our forefathers in Hackensack on that memorable date back in 2022 devised their famous business plan to save the world based on the simple rules of capitalism. ‘World Peace’ could be converted into a profit and loss account managed by properly trained executives in the basic arts of religion, ‘clean’ politics and human rights. All they had to do was go out and sell it to what was left of humanity. And so they did, brothers, so they did!’

I kept tossing and turning trying hard to listen to Mohamed Smith as he back tracked on the annals of American history, but something kept pricking my somnolent brain. Mohamed’s words became muffled.
‘To recap on the state of the earth at the time my brothers, the world population was reduced to a mere ten percent of its peak number of 6 billion human beings. Just think, my brothers, soon after the turn of the century, 600 million people were left wandering about hopelessly in what was left of our devastated planet. Some were still dying of nuclear fall out, others of hunger and disease and those remaining with any hope left just looked to the skies and kept asking the same question over and over again, ‘why?’ The remaining religious fanatics, my brothers were in a quandary. Had they achieved their goal and quelled the infidels? Hell no! my brothers, they did not. They too were dazed and seeking an answer to the devastation.’

Bang! As my eyes wandered around Ground Zero and my brain continued to take in the words of Mohamed, I heard this explosion in the background. No flash, no fire just a muffled sound of gunfire or something similar had agitated my grey matter. As my will power fought against this perturbation I learned about the marketing plan.

‘A quick and thorough market survey my brothers, lead the way to the development and success of the famous ‘World Peace Sales Plan’. The first move our forefathers made was to assess, not only of what was left amongst the ashes, but to slash open the core of the cause and the aftermath of the holocaust. We all know my brothers, that zealous religious fanaticism was the ultimate finger that pressed the trigger but it was the secondary effect of remorse that eventually prevailed and set the foundations for the plan. Yes my brothers, can you imagine God’s wrath reaching out from Heaven and spreading repentance amongst the evil doers, every single one of them? But who were the sinners you may ask? All my brothers, all were sinners to the hilt. Every single human at the time had evil flowing through his veins. The devil was everywhere. The Hackensackers saw the light, heard the message and started their campaign!

A white flash followed by yet another burst of noise kept prodding at my being. I was losing my concentration. I kept reaching and reaching for Mohamed’s words. I was slowly losing them. His continuing dissertation reeked with distortion.
‘They went forth, my brothers, brochures in one hand and a contract in the other. They toured the devastated planet and reached out to every human still standing on his feet. Each was given a simple message and offered a contract. ‘Your peace, freedom and future well being for a hundred dollars a month’, was featured in the glossy. The pamphlet went on to describe the terms and payment arrangements but the important clause on the contract was straightforward and simple.
Do I hear him correctly?

‘You must accept that your salvation is dependant on the acknowledgement that there is only one God and that he rules supreme for all mankind. That any involvement in political activity is considered a hobby with ultimate charitable goals. All for a hundred bucks a month.’
What’s he driving at?
‘Gone are the days of Catholics and Muslims and Hindus and Masons and ‘Reds under the beds’ and Hippies and Jews and left-wingers and right-wingers …

I suddenly sprang from my sofa tripping over the cat whilst knocking the remaining half of a cup of coffee all over my wife’s Persian carpet. I wasn’t in bed after all. I searched for my glasses. My instinct told me something was happening in the world at that moment. Through blurred vision I could faintly see that hell was flashing across my television screen. I can’t remember leaving the bloody thing on! Yet there it was yelling at me to wake up. ‘Wake up you sod. Mohamed has gone leaving your mind a pulp.’ I was in a pool of sweat. I found my glasses and gasped.

‘… the second suicide bomb has demolished the British Consulate leaving several more dead and injured.’
Where am I? Suicide bombs yet again? Where?

The news broadcaster went on to say, ‘the Turkish government has declared a state of emergency and although no terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility all indications point once again to the Islamic fundamentalist group, al Qaeda as the culprit of yet another international atrocity.’

I began to shake like a leaf and weep like a two year old. For the first time in my life I was scared. I was scared for myself and my family, and my neighbour, and Turkey, and Europe, and the world economy and every damn thing on this earth. God, I had been dreaming about the wonderful reconciliation of mankind through the words of Brother Mohamed at Ground Zero one hundred years from now but was suddenly brought back to reality. Hell man, you’re still here at the starting post. The real shit is yet to come. Just think you jerk of what is really going on. How can a few cranks with a handful of explosives turn everything upside down overnight! Why? Why? Why? Where does all this hatred come from? I closed my eyes and thought again about Mohamed and his final words which somehow lingered on in my mind. Don’t ask my how..

‘My brothers, USA Inc. saved the world thanks to the initiative of a group of business do-gooders. Yes, my brothers, they combined entrepreneurial skills with a lucrative approach to human rights. They introduced a fourth way of conviviality among humans by uniting individual religious beliefs and political activism with a common economic goal of survival. Their motto was: ‘You may pray in peace, you may govern in peace, but by the grace of God, you must all pay the going rate for peace.’ The rest, my brothers is history.’
I closed my eyes once again and prayed that I could return to my dream. This present shattered world has passed the point of repair and besides, is beyond my simple comprehension!’

© James Skinner. December 2003

NUCLEAR WAR in the 21st Century
James Skinner has a dream Part One

NUCLEAR WAR in the 21st Century- Part Two
James Skinner has a dream about war & peace.

Old Spain in a New Bottle Part One of this series
James Skinner

World Migration - Part Two
James Skinner

Previously by James:
Gadgets. From Pacman to Gameboy

Defining Modern Nationalism

Are Our Oceans Dying? Where's the Fish?

More Lifestyles


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