What does a country act like?
Recently I have started to view countries in a new way. Previously I saw countries as bacteria. Bacteria do not have emotions. They eat, grow, and poop. In my country bacteria model countries needed resources. Countries competed with others over niches. Territories and product exports. Now I see countries as people.
Countries are people. Countries have emotions. They have trauma. They need to grieve. Countries need to feel validated.
I am so mad I declare war
With my old bacteria model of the world, countries would simply declared war for resources. Running low on resources? Take some land from your neighbor. With my new people model of the world, countries declare war because they feel threatened. War is not like a physiological reaction like hunger it is a psychological one like anger, greed, jealousy. If world peace is the goal, then the reason of why war occurs will change the approach to work towards peace.
Tale of two Deutschlands*
*Prepare for sweeping generalizations and simplifications.
After World War I, Germany was blamed for everything. They were made to pay large fines to “payback” the other countries. The large German state was split up, and the map of Europe changed. States were divided by ethnic groups. From the ashes, Germany grew bitter and angry. That rage fueled the second world war.
The Deutschland, Germany after World War II was treated similarly blamed for the war. Again valuable and dangerous assets the country owned were taken by the winners. But this time, instead of being put back together as one country, it was operated by the winners of the war. Winners both tried to control the country and rehabilitate it.
In a Parallel Universe
I can only imagine if a different approach was taken. If instead of being blamed if the country that loses the war is forgiven. Imagine if they were a person. A group of people with big egos get into an argument that turns violent (WWI). One group is blamed for the war even though everyone participated. That one person is going to become the victim. They are going to hold onto and carry the emotions of the last conflict. Years later, everyone else is going to be happy except that one person (Germany) who is still holding a grudge.
The future war and how to prevent it
If there is a war in the future, then it will be “started” by a country that has emotional memory they are holding on to. There are a few candidates, but one of them is Japan. After WWII, Japan was similarly blamed and neutered. Removing Japan’s military while making the United States feel safe humiliated the Japanese. Japan continues to daydream about being a superpower. To “get back” at being humiliated and to prove they are important. That they are validated.
To prevent a future war with Japan, the United States must:
- Forgive Japan for Pearl Harbor and WWII
- Ask for forgiveness for the bombings
- Recognize Japan as being the categorical best in the world
- Integrate Japan as an essential part of the US economy
You: “Wow, Elliott, how do you expect to do all of that?”
Optimistic Elliott: “It’s easy. You just have to want to do it.”
Doing these three things is very doable for the United States and much much much cheaper than another World War.
Ruthless people are thinking: “If you win. A World War can be profitable.”
Elliott: “A world war is a huge risk and reshapes society and the world. Often the people who were wealthy before a war when the civilians need to sacrifice are not the ones who are wealthy after the war. Plus if you wanted to focus the economy on a specific task for economic gain, there are plenty of other topics. How about a war for: the environment, outer space, health, or education.”
Great, now that I have convinced you that another world war should be avoided, here is how the United States can do these three things to prevent a world war with Japan.
Actions the United States can take:
- Honor the Japanese civilians that died from US bombs.
- Ask for forgiveness for bombing Japan (Nuclear and Firebombs).
- Publicly forgive Japan for Pearl Harbor.
- Integrate patents and IP protection. Japan is a technological leader. Recognize the country as such.
- Make special trade deals that allow bi-national companies. Really easy for companies to operate in both countries.
- Research technologies that allow non-destructive harvesting of metals from the ocean.
You: “Wow, Elliott, these are oddly specific. What about these will help both Japan and the United States?