WAR CHRONICLES Healing the wounds from the war on life​



Wars are at the heart of modernity, as we face a crisis of separateness. The war on nature, the war on Ukraine, the war against the virus, and the war against democracy and others are undermining the foundations of health and peace. Our restless machine age is showing its ugliest face, from the newest war technology to a sick and depressed humanity. Our species is divided by fear and ruled by paranoid men. With 300 years of enlightenment, the world is at its darkest. Everywhere. But now is also the time where the potential for peace and regeneration is greatest. In all places.

Ever more visible are the signs of the end of a morbid and mechanical era that has over-emphasized the ego, the nation and surveillance technology. It may be no coincidence that the end of what could be called a European era may come to an end in Europe. After all, weren’t it the great ideas and ideals of European enlightenment that have created the fertile ground for imperialism, exploitation and division of the world and its inhabitants – particularly through the West and now-day Russia? The great illusion of progress, fueled by a global extractive economy, casts a large shadow onto its most brutal backlashes.

“From climate to war - we can see a common thread beneath the almost biblical plagues we’re facing: the collapse of modernity's main narratives.”

Signs of collapse

These are difficult days, collapse seems to be everywhere from climate and biodiversity to the global economy and political systems. With the latest war in Ukraine, pictures of mass killings, rape victims and children’s despair come to mind. The potential for destruction seems endless. The nuclear arsenal could kill the planet several times. Looking at nature, there is now more asphalt, concrete and plastic than there is wildlife. Ecosystems are collapsing. And a small minority controls the lion share of the extractive and exploitative world economy. We’re championing a war against each other from business to battlefield, on and off-line. 24/7. The “war all against all” that enlightenment philosopher Thomas Hobbes had described as our “natural” state has become reality.

Yet, this state of war has been actively cultivated by championing centralized power, fossil fuel addiction, toxic masculinity and deadly industries. Indeed, the current war is unthinkable without shady economic ties or big egos unable to make concessions. If we however also look beyond the visible signs of our degenerating planet, we can see a common threat lying beneath the conflicts. It’s a thread that connects the almost biblical plagues we’re facing: ecocide, the resulting pandemic and now a global arms race.

People playing golf while their home is on fire

the shadows of enlightenment

As if it were a perfect alignment, the Ukraine war started at a time where record storms have again hit by Europe, still suffering from the pandemic. In parallel, a mental health pandemic leaves people restless, stressed and increasingly unable to feel empathy and act compassionately. A foggy sense of disorientation seems to merge with the greyness of urban power centers that are ever more polluted and divided. All the unresolved hate, anger, and sadness from past trauma and conflict now mixes into new constellations of domination, control and division.

While the fog of war may need to set for us to see more clearly, existing trends seem to have their roots at an age that has invented nation-states, has laid the ground to modern war technology and has mainstreamed the idea that humankind and nature were something separate. The age of enlightenment may well be remembered as a dark age that has theorized the domination over nature, categorized humans and promoted self-interest or ruthlessness in the economy. Besides Hobbes, we can also cite Francis Bacon, who is often being portrayed as the “father of the scientific method”.

Bacon’s description of experimental design based on control and isolation in a laboratory setting reminds rather of a rape-scene: “nature under constraint and vexed; that is to say, when by art and the hand of man she is forced out of her natural state, and squeezed and moulded.” Through such experimentation, mankind will be able “to penetrate further.” And it has, up to the point where the conditions for life on this planet are destroyed.

Narratives of division

The dominant scientific paradigm in the West has overemphasized difference, breaking things apart and categorizing without seeing the bigger picture. The inventor of statistics was also the inventor of eugenics (which ended in concentration camps). Europeans have divided the world into countries, races, species, disciplines, categories etc. We have invented industrialization and forced it onto the whole world by colonizing it.

Dominant narratives suggest that we are rational, interest-led beings - homo oeconomicus -“at the pursuit of happiness”. Economics and political sciences are still based on that wrong premise. The illusion of permanent rationality rejects our emotional, biological and spiritual selves. Yet, our contemporary attention economy keeps us in the illusion that our way of living is normal and good, despite record levels of diseases, climate breakdown, violence and of war.

Our economic system exploits nature and people while creating artificial scarcity for the masses (unattainable desires, disease, distrust, loneliness etc.) and material excess for the few, justified by a promise of limitless progress that is now being replaced by transhumanist fantasies promising to leave our biological selves by “upgrading” as if there was anything bad per se about our modern monkey species.

Seeds on the ashes of modernity

Certainly, our human potential for destruction is enormous. It’s however mirrored by our power to become stewards for life. The possibilities that emerge from this age of chaos and restructuring are endless. Beyond fear and domination, there are already an ever-increasing number of places that prove that it’s possible to become resilient and create new value in the face of the interconnected challenges we face.

We are entering a new age, an age of regeneration built on the nature-bound wisdoms of the past, future and present. The challenge now is to learn mastering the sciences and arts of living with the healing dynamics of life. We have to re-pattern our world by creating fertile framework conditions at local and regional scales that connect among each other, thereby creating synergies, like a forest ecosystem. We must learn to build a system that works with the natural emergent properties of humans and other forms of life we depend on.

But to overcome the current fog, agitation and unresolved anger, we need to build new spaces for healing our modern wounds. Safe places where we can learn to re-align our head, hearts, and hands. We have to create communication spaces in which people can look into the face of each other again, recognizing that we are all part of the web of life. We need to create conditions in which people will come to realise their own purpose for healing mother earth, and thereby themselves.

On the ashes of modernity, we will bury the morbid perspectives that have separated us for so long. Regenerators across the world re-fertilize the broken soils of our culture, re-pattern the way we life, laugh and work together and re-establish hope for a world that has overcome its addiction to suffering.

WarChronicles inclusively reports on the main wars led by modern monkeys today. We want to create awareness on our potential to write a new story about our time, and the potential we have for building a peaceful ecocivilisation for the regenerative era.

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It may be time to enjoy watching the fog set peacefully

16 June 2022
By Jean-Philippe

Reading time
5 mins