I sometimes lecture audiences about conflict in the 21st Century, but have been told that this can terrify undergraduates. Telling them that the issues darkening our horizons will mature in their lifetime tends to do that. However, there is an old military truism that one should hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
All my life, I have studied organized violence and political instability — although times were remarkable peaceful during my own military service and I had to wait until I was a civilian again before anyone ever tried to kill me. The funny thing was how blase I was about those attempts, being far more irritated than terrified. The point was that confrontation is not so dramatic to the prepared mind… and that is an ideal for all of society, not just a few individuals.
The object of my ‘Think Tank of One’ is to calmly and objectively (insofar as anyone can be truly objective) discuss matters we do not like to think about: Nuclear weaponry, ‘democide’ through depraved indifference, mega-catastrophes, warfare, defence preparedness, the survival of society, and much else besides.
I am not an expert. As Socrates mentioned so long ago, the start of the path towards wisdom is to realize how much you do not know. My interest in terrorism was sparked over 35 years ago by questions I still cannot answer… although I have far more questions now than I did back then. There is always something more to learn, more to absorb, and more to process. Surety must always be tested, and rock-solid conclusions are more like ice… always with the risk of cracking under one’s feet.
So come with me, there is much to discuss and explore.
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