WORLD WARS LAST A LONG TIME, Because They Have Deep Roots

Arguably the “Sea Peoples” invasions was the first world war, 33 centuries ago. This somber plot accompanied, or caused the Bronze Age collapse, when nearly all advanced civilizations of Western Eurasia disappeared, followed by dark ages. Several Pharaohs commented on the Sea Peoples, including Ramses II. Later, in one of several texts in stone, Ramesses III wrote, in 1175 BCE, relating, among others, the annihilation of the end of the HittiteMycenaean and Mitanni kingdoms: “The foreign countries made a conspiracy in their islands, All at once the lands were removed and scattered in the fray. No land could stand before their arms…” [1]

Most of the military collapse of the Roman state happened swiftly (395 CE-406 CE)… however, the Germans had put Rome in military difficulties since Caesar (50 BCE)… And Rome was at war with itself since longer than that (and that war with itself caused the invasions, as Roman corruption and devolution was a crucial factor in the success of the Goths, say at Adrianopolis; see note [2]).  


The Mongol world conquest of the Thirteenth Century, spanned from Europe’s Adriatic Sea to China, Indonesia and Japan. That war also lasted half a century or so. (As I relate in Note [2], in the case of the Romans, the Mongol conquest of Rus was made possible by the deliquescence of the invaded lands. Kyivian Rus had become a military nebulous state… When the Mongols encountered stiff resistance in Hungary, they found the losses unbearable, and return thence they came…)


The war of the Spanish succession, the Seven Year War, the war against the French revolution (1792-1815), WWIi and WWII (1939-1945) were all long world wars. World wars are always long, because peace has to be preceded by economic and, or, demographic exhaustion of the participants, and, or of the defeated.


Terrorized by Putin’s nuclear threats, the democracies have taken 8 years to come to the serious rescue of Ukraine since Crimea got invaded. Even to this day, the fact that, barring a coup in Moscow, this is a world war, is not generally acknowledged, although more than 50 countries are helping Ukraine militarily. This denial of blatant evidence only extends the conflict. 



Ecological problems often preceded invasions. Indeed, with Rome, the mines got exhausted after 100 CE, and that turned into a currency crisis, then a confidence crisis and an economic crisis, which brought invasions and “barrack emperors” (50 emperors or so during the Third Century).

Renewable energy, on which 5 trillon dollars was spent (roughly the annual GDP of Japan) has itself been slowed down by the fact it needs hydrogen (and derivatives) as an indispensable complement, to replace fossil fuels by green hydrogen. Instead of installing hydrogen, nuclear energy was de-installed, and new forms of nuclear energy, much safer, non weaponizable, and less polluting, were not funded (except in China and India). This mis-investment has created a world energy crisis. 

De-carbonification without nuclear and hydrogen is simply impossible, thus a fraud and a lie. The cost of that lie is the devastation of the biosphere, now clearer, one heat wave at a time. It was also a lie to believe one could have a civilization in common with Putin. All these lies are coming together nicely, and the result is going to be a crisis deeper than any seen before. Global trade is a necessity, in the present world organization, but it depends upon cheap energy… Just as food production depends upon water, the fundamental reason why Putin invaded the rest of Ukraine in 2022: Crimea was out of water, and the rest of Ukraine refused to provide it by the canal from the Kherson Oblast.


World wars have started for ecological reasons, for example the one of the “Peoples of the Sea” we started this essay with: there is evidence of plenty of extraneous factors incurring at the time: a megadrought, plus quakes, and volcanic eruptions, and also the rise of disruptive iron technology (which may have helped some invasions, such as the one of the Dorians; think Sparta). Famine arose at the time, bringing forth calls to help from the Hittite empire to their old rival, Egypt. Egypt sent grain to its old enemy! The Hittites got the grain from Egypt, but were soon invaded by the “Peoples of the Sea”, and vanished as a civilization… part of the Late Bronze Age collapse, which brought four centuries of Dark Ages to Greece, among other disasters…

“Ecology” has to be understood in the broadest term: when the Huns pushed the Alans, Goths and other Germans in front of them like frightened cattle, the Huns had slightly better recurved bows.  

We now have on our hands, potentially and enfolding, the greatest disaster in 66 million years: the anthropocene is causing several ecological crises, including the worst of them all, the GreenHouse Gas crisis. And the dominant species has the most powerful weapons, ever, by a very long shot… weapons so powerful that a medium nuclear exchange would be more devastating than a V8 volcanic eruption (as happens every 15,000 years in the average) 

An all-out world war, using nukes, will be pathological, and completely out of the ordinary, as defined in the history of life on Earth…

So how do we avoid a devastating world war, as the ecology becomes ever more difficult? By learning how to get smart and see far ahead in the landscape of solutions… The best way to avoid war is by having those vested most in the statu quo ante to be militarily superior in such an obvious manner than those who have interest to disrupt the established order, and thus make war, cannot do as the Sea Peoples did, plan war, and attack… because they thought hey had a realistic chance of victory. This is why and how the famous Roman adage:”Si vis pacem, para bellum” works… or more exactly, worked.

When the Roman empire was defeated, at the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth centuries, what faltered was the will to go to war with all the means the Roman empire potentially had: no more than 100,000 warriors defeated 60 millions… Because those 60 million Romans mostly had lost, over centuries, the status of stakeholders they had when Rome was dominant as a Republic. So the world war which precipitated the fall of the Roman state (in which the Huns were crucially involved, and they came from Mongolia!) was even longer in preparation, than it was in execution, by a factor of ten, or more [2].  World wars, and their preconditions, are often enfolding in the longest time imaginable.  

After their costly victory in Hungary, the Mongol generals themselves said they thought they would lose against the Franks, as they remembered what had happened to their ancestors the Huns fighting in Gallia (first against the Franks… then the Franco-Romano-Gothic coalition). Oral tradition had passed, over eight centuries, from Huns to Mongols (with the Avars and Magyars somewhat in between): in the confrontation between steppe, mostly Mongolia originated, warriors and the civilized cities, one can speak of a world war which extended from Toulouse (which the Huns sieged with their Roman allies!) to Indonesia (which the Mongols tried to invade), over a millennium…

Civilization must be defended, sometimes with weapons in action, always through introspection first

Patrice Ayme

Hittite empire collpased around 1200 BCE, 32 centuries ago, one of many major collapses. Greece plunged in Darkness

[1] This is one of the many Egyptian texts in greater extent, from Ramesses III: “The foreign countries made a conspiracy in their islands, All at once the lands were removed and scattered in the fray. No land could stand before their arms: from HattiQodeCarchemishArzawa and Alashiya on, being cut off [i.e. destroyed] at one time. A camp was set up in Amurru. They desolated its people, and its land was like that which has never come into being. They were coming forward toward Egypt, while the flame was prepared before them. Their confederation was the PelesetTjeker, Shekelesh, Denyen and Weshesh, lands united. They laid their hands upon the land as far as the circuit of the earth, their hearts confident and trusting: ‘Our plans will succeed!‘”[83


[2] Rome’s collapse, as a Republic, started around 150 BCE, and was complete by Theodosius I’s murderous religious edicts of 381 CE. Thus it took more than 5 centuries. The military collapse, though occured swiftly between 394 CE (annihilation of the Occidental Roman army by Theodosius !), and then 395 CE (invasion of Italy) and 406 CE (crossing of the frozen Rhine by German nations piercing the Frankish limes) or 410 CE (capture of Rome by the Goth Alaric, ally of Theodosius I). So we see that the deliquescence of the Republic by corruption took 50 times longer than its direct consequence, defeat by military invasion. We also see that just one bad leader, Theodosius, was mostly at fault… Just as one bad leader, Gamelin, caused the Fall of France in May-June 1940… Both Theodosius and Gamelin were not just stupid, but full of ressentiment (Theodosius against non-Catholic, perhaps because of his father’s execution) and Gamelin against the French Popular front of PM Blum (perhaps because Blum was a Jew, so Hitler was viewed as a lesser danger, as Gamelin himself wrote in his memoirs…)

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