Peace in our time

Armed conflict seems to be the preferred means of dealing with international issues by at least one political party in the U.S. But, as the narrator says in this video, “That’s so 20th century.”

And yes, the video is correct about King Leopold II of Belgium. He was a war criminal, even though he never declared war on the Congo. He ranks up there with┬áHitler and Stalin in mass murder, and no one seems to know that. Read “King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa” by Adam Hochschild for a fascinating history on the evil of colonialism.

The tragedy of war … since 1400

The following chart gives a detailed account of war dead in conflicts since the beginning of the 14th century. (Click to enlarge: via Our World in Data)


Amazingly, the rate of death is near the lowest point it’s been in history. Now, of course, the world population in 1400 was about the same as it is in the combined population of the United States and Canada (about 350 million). There are 7.23 billion people in the world now.

But even with that. despite the more impersonal and highly more devastating weapons of mass destruction (nuclear weapons now, battle axes in the 1400s), somehow humanity as a whole is now resisting the urge to kill everybody in site.

Don’t get me wrong. Humanity still is filled with homicidal tendencies, but we don’t act on them at the same rate as we used to. That’s got to be good for something, right?