Comparison Between World War II and ‘War on Terror’ a Fantasy

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We’ve been thinking about two things these last few days.

First, we look around at these marvels of science and engineering…and we wonder. How is it possible that the same man who hunted saber-toothed tigers could build a space station? According to evolutionary theory, there has been very little – if any at all – change in human beings for 100,000 years. Yet, apparently, the caveman carried within his head an extraordinary excess capacity – the ability to build space stations. This violates the fundamental principle of evolution…that every species survives at the margin.

None should have significant excess capacity, in other words, because such capacity (larger brains) would give him a competitive disadvantage against other creatures better suited to their environment. It would be a bit like carrying a heavy coat around in the tropics. It would be handy to have in another ice age, but the poor man who had it would likely be beaten in the evolutionary competition long before the temperature dropped.

Second, we wonder if this evolutionary heritage doesn’t explain why people think the way they do. It is a subject we began to address in our new book with co-author Lila Rajiva, “Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets”, but it continues to puzzle us.

Here, we have a letter written to a colleague, complaining about the latter’s support of Ron Paul, candidate for president:

“We are spending as much now as we did during WWII for the exact same purpose. Like it or not, we are in WWIII, a war against men as evil as Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito.

“Fascist, unconscionable Muslim terrorist rats, determined (they’ve said so) to destroy you, me, our children and our way of life. I’m a Korean Veteran. I know what I was fighting for. Do you? Ron Paul sure doesn’t. What in the world do core libertarian beliefs in limited economic and social constitutional government have to do with the war in Iraq? A great many libertarians want us to win this war because all Americans would then be safer. Defeat would greatly strengthen those who have declared war on us.”

The letter reminded us of Hermann Goering’s famous remark, upon hearing that the Vatican had condemned Nazi Germany.

“How many divisions does the Pope have?” he asked.

Any comparison between the “War on Terror” and WWII must be largely fantasy, as near as we can determine. The terrorists – whoever they are – have no divisions at all. No tanks. No bombers. No fighter jets. No infantry. No artillery. No country. No reserves. No staff. No discipline. No military tradition. No armaments factories. No railroads. No stocks of fuel. No logistics to speak of. Nor anything else that marks a modern, worthy enemy.

Yet, apparently intelligent people are still able to say that “we are in WWIII”.

Here is our question: If the human brain had the excess and unknown capacity to create the Eiffel Tour and the Empire State Building, what other capacity did it have? Did it have the capacity for putting 2 and 2 together…and getting 13? Did it have the capacity for committing strange and unbelievable acts of absurdity…like the War on Terror and Liars’ Loans?

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Bill Bonner

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Comments

  1. You (and Ron Paul) are right about the War On Terror, but I think you got the source of your quote wrong – that was Stalin, not Hitler…

    Reply
  2. Cave men wuld have known a lot of stuff….making it bare skined through an ice age would have nessecitated a lot of invention. I am not sure if we individualy know more, but we certainly do collectively and for that we can thank the invention of writing. However, even though we may say collectivly we know more, that still doesnt mean it is all valid knowledge or correct. Looking forward to reading your book

    nic meredith
    September 11, 2007
    Reply
  3. You are wrong about evolutionary theory. There is evidence that people have continued to evolve over the past 100,000 years. In fact there are indications that cranial capacity in Britain increased over just the past 1000 years. Or look at lactase persistence, sickle cell traits, skin coloration, Inuit body shapes (and mitochondrial DNA variants)… it’s a long list.

    Ron Paul is still right about the war, though.

    Reply
  4. 1. The so called “War on Terror” is now largely a farce that feeds of neocon paranoia. I refer to my previous posts on the issue.

    2. The German rocket scientists that brought us everything from Apollo 11 to smart cards did not work in isolation but as a cohegent team. The same approach worked for Apple and Mircosoft during the early 80s and it can work whenever we work off each others’ excess capacity. Unfortunately the neocon thinking tends to emphasise the individual at the expense of the group.

    3. I need some (round the box) metrics to guage the the likely extent and impact of the predicted recession.

    Coffee Addict
    September 12, 2007
    Reply
  5. Your assessment of evolution vis a vis the caveman and the modern mind leaves aside a few tiny little details.
    Like learning, oral tradition, progression, experimentation, philosophy, epistemology, technology to name but a few.
    By simply ignoring these concepts in order to progress your argument you simply undermine it.

    Reply

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