HomeLifeIs the world more violent or is it just me?

Is the world more violent or is it just me?

Many years ago, Paul Simon the famous singer songwriter of the duo Simon and Garfunkel, wrote a jaunty tongue in cheek song called Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover. It was catchy, funny and poignant all rolled into one. You could hum along in the car and then have one of the lines stay in your head as an earworm for the rest of the day. ‘Slip out the back Jack’ was my favourite line. 

Why am I referring to this? Because in my head I have reimagined this song to be Fifty Ways To Kill Each Other. Why? Because watching the news is both soul-destroying and enlightening and weird. The other day Vladimir Putin was shown talking to his nation. He looked composed, sitting at a desk, immaculately groomed. 

He wore a finely tailored suit that probably cost thousands of dollars (but even more roubles today, as the currency took a nosedive), a crisp white shirt and a beautiful silk tie. He looked the image of a no-nonsense leader, business-like. As I read the subtitles of his speech, it became clear yet again that how he looked bears no relationship with what he does and believes in. He was calmly ordering more bombings of civilian targets. 

 Every day on the news there seems to be some new way to murder humanity.

It used to be that a club was a favoured weapon of Stone Age man, or maybe a sharpened piece of flint to slash someone’s throat. A piece of obsidian was a well-tried tool of South American warriors.

Then we moved onto spears and poisoned darts, always effective in the hands of an expert, just as long as you kept the poison from being inhaled by the aggressor. Imagine dying at your own stupidity?

Guns, of course, were invented for the handy frontiersman and for the NRA members to feel safe in their homes, a gun under the pillow or in the bedside cabinet.

Finally, along came the invention of the nuclear bomb, so clearly explained in the movie Oppenheimer. It is the mother of all inventions, giving us the ability to wipe ourselves out as a species. The concept of ‘one flash and you’re ash’ came into the lexicon, as did the idea of illustrated maps with circles defining which areas would initially survive an atomic blast on a city. Was it comforting to know that you might survive to later die of radiation sickness? School children in the 1950s and 1960s in America were even taught to duck under desks in case of an attack. 

We now have neutron bombs to kill people but leave property intact. How thoughtful is that? People expendable, property not. Nice to know our priorities.

Watching the news educates us on cluster bombs sent to help the war effort in Ukraine, and drones that can target specific sites, operated far away in another country, no need to be up close and personal ever again. 

Now, ‘targeted nuclear weapons’ is the catch cry of today, as if we can safely use these in just a teeny weeny attack that will have no repercussions. As if. 

Even the Barbie movie the other day showed ways to hurt each other, though granted it was a spoof on (generally) male behaviour, with all the Kens in the world punching, hitting and mock stabbing each other.

Perhaps I should no longer weep for humanity, but laugh out loud at our insane behaviour. Or perhaps I should just turn the television off, disconnect from the world of social media and play with my marbles. Certainly, the world has lost theirs.

Does Dianne’s view resonate with you? Do you think the world has lost its marbles? Let us know in the comments.

Also read: Are us baby boomers to blame for everything?


  1. Great article.
    You are right, I too believe the world has become more violent. Especially at the local societal level.
    It is a grass roots issue. Since the removal of school discipline there has been an ongoing drop in respect for others that carries its way through society and the generations.
    We can see this being played out today with the increase in stabbings. Of course there are the other issues of escalating what the politicians call “youth crime”, car thefts and breaking etc.
    Likewise the increase in more sophisticated and “organised” crimes generally founded in the drug trade. Serious organised crime was neglible forty years ago.
    As you say, as the toys of destruction get bigger, so the little boys you use them become more obnoxious and removed from reality.
    Much like playing a video game.
    Turning off the TV, or at least not watching the news and the other garbage that fills the screen, is a definite step in the right direction. Along with growing your own vegies. 🙂

  2. And of course we also spend unimaginable amounts of money in the hope of protecting ourselves from unknown potential threats; From home security systems to huge amounts of money and effort in national defence which could be far better used to improve conditions for humanity and probably reduce the chance of a military catastrophe.

    What has long puzzled me is why the most aggressive and sometimes evil leaders managed to remain alive for many years from the beginning of their rule and inhuman deeds. So, is there an unwritten law that we won’t go after the actual leaders and initiators of wars and obscenities, yet we are happy enough to accept the killing of numerous and usually innocent human cannon fodder and defenceless civilians? Stalin after killing millions of his own country and neighbouring people but was able to live until a natural death. Hitler after murdering millions of people was able to choose the timing of his own death. Yet intelligence on his locations and bunker buster bombs were available during the 1940s. Mussolini died only two days earlier than Hitler (by hanging) and only ten days before the end of the second world war. Saddam Hussein was able to terrorise and kill thousands of people for years before he was dispatched. Putin after responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands or more people in Syria, Chechnya, Afghanistan Ukraine and Russia, he is able to live protected and in luxury including sitting in the most expensive suits, while millions live in hunger, abject poverty and soldiers on both sides work for weeks caked in wet mud as a result and have limbs blown off.

    Imagine how much money and how many lives could be saved if our defence forces and our smartest military brains were to focus and turn their minds and provide the various means to eliminate only the military enemy’s political leaders. How much better off humanity would be if there was a global convention that the initiators and political leaders of wars instead of being the last to be removed were in fact the first to go and it was known by all leaders that would be what would happen?

  3. Would you prefer to live during the Crusades? Imagine living in the Motherland during the Roman or Moorish conflicts. Imagine being a Scot or Irish peasant during their conflict.

    Imagine if our American cousins had joined their Civil War allies Germany in WW1 and WW2.

    Imagine if Hartog and Dampier had been accompanied by their respective armies and decided to stay.

    Imagine if North Korea, Russia and China (and any other country) decided that air burst nuclear weapons would allow cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki be preoccupied and rebuilt/repopulated.

    Imagine if the Republicans realise next year that Democrats don’t own guns and a quick violent Civil War would “Make America White Again” and install a “President for Life”

    Imagine if Putin decides to shirtfront Abbott and Co – who would want to live in Warringah, Sutherland or Petrie electorates?

    Imagine if some Country decided that put a different payload onto a coronavirus now that the West are “over it” and will no longer mask and will “let it rip”. Will it be the payload that culls the elderly (to reduce the age care costs) or will the next virus ruthlessly cull the population who’s biomarkers identify illicit drugs in their system or better still for our adversaries- will the biomarkers identify and cull non Anglo blood. Thank god that Ancestry DNA has successfully identified biomarkers.

    Will our adversaries now deploy millions of Drones making our Infantry men obsolete.

    Will our adversaries just turn off the Internet and starve us of money?

    Will our adversaries just get employment in areas that can reck our health- in food factories where they could load processed food with sugars and salts.

    Will it just be easier and less violent for our adversaries to just bribe our leaders and business people.

    Does our UK and American cousins want violence on their shores – would it be better to get an ally with lots of land to do a Kath and Kim “Look at Me! Look at Me” so their adversaries are looking at us not US

  4. Dianne, Is the world getting more violent or is it just me? Yep, it’s just you. With the help of SBS and the ABC who like to find wars and chaos from far flung parts of the world. In absolute terms, there is really no more serious conflict in the world now than there has been for over a century.
    Conflicts between European countries has been very quiet essentially since the end of WW1. And even more so since 1945. This latter peace has been thanks to the fear of the atom bomb. There have only ever been two atomic bombs used as weapons and even though that spawned the arms race as countries that saw themselves as super powers engaged in all levels of nefarious activity to get the secrets and develop their own nuclear weapons capability, leading to at one stage well over twenty thousand atomic bombs tucked away in arsenals, sitting on the top of intercontinental ballistic missiles scattered around the USA and the Soviet Union and hanging in the bomb bays of strategic bombers, none of them were ever intentionally dropped on military targets.
    I grew up with the fear of the Mutually Assured Destruction as a real fear until the “Wall” came down 1989 and the reality of the true capability of the main protagonists became apparent.
    Remember that right up until then, here in Australia we had the anti-nuclear protestors marching with the Labour Day parades paid for by the AWU from Moscow to instill that fear in this country that at any moment all of our capital cities could become wastelands of ash with less than an hours warning as the ICBMs would deliver their load of death.
    In reality, it could be said that there were only ever two targets in Australia that would’ve been targets of interest to the USSR. Pine Gap and NW Cape Communications bases.
    An appropriate sized nuclear bomb could be detonated over both of those targets and the rest of Australia would hardly know.
    In real terms, there were never any targets of interest in the Southern Hemisphere. In testing, over 1,000 “devices” were fully detonated (including at least two in the Maralinga/Emu Field area in South Australia) both above and below ground and whilst the test sites are prohibited zones now, they are not desolate uninhabitable wastelands.
    Because of the fear of full retaliation, none of the countries that do have that capability are prepared to be the first strikers.
    In that respect, the atomic bomb has been one of the best inhibitors of all out war over the past 80 years. (Oh, and looking at the actual performance of military weaponry, even if there had been a full scale MAD exchange, less than 10% of those bombs would’ve reached their designated intended target and actually gone “BOOM”. Would that’ve led to “the end of civilisation as we know it”? Probably not as it would’ve all been over within 24 hours and as the Japanese cities showed, they were back to normal within five years and only preserved aspects show any of the tragedy of the two days.)
    Yes, the Northern Hemisphere would’ve shown interesting skies for a couple of weeks, but the picture of the “nuclear winter” from the upper atmosphere was purely alarmist speculation and as our knowledge of the jet streams now says that it probably would’ve dissipated relatively quickly while the skies and weather patterns in the Southern Hemisphere would’ve been much as usual.
    There and always have been conflicts between countries across the African continent and generally they are quite local so present no danger to the rest of the world.
    Remember that the greatest losses of civilian life over the past 100 years have been driven by politics in communist countries with over 50 million killed directly and indirectly by their leaders as they sought to maintain their control over their populations.
    The best strategy for peace of mind is to avoid taking such streams as SBS too seriously and objectively ask yourself, is Australia that important that any country would be interested in spending money in military action against this mainland? (Wars don’t come cheap.)

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