Stories of a future where advances in science and technology have produced a society where war, pestilence, and enslavement are the result leave a shocking warning to us in the present to steer our society away from harmful practices and towards a more "excellent" future. The Disney movie, "Wall-E (2008)" illustrates a future where humans have abandoned earth in search of a more habitable world after exhausting all of our planet's resources and leaving a polluted carcass for trash collecting robots to tend. The humans cast off into space in a massive cruise ship designed to cater to their whims. The passengers grow fat, become inattentive parents, and helplessly dependent upon robots to care for them. The story serves to educate both children and adults of the dangers of resource depletion and to instill a sense of responsibility to each member of society to look after themselves while offering more than they take.
One of the most complex ideas that I still have yet to completely wrap my head around is the idea of war and its ultimate goal of resource monopolization. Since ancient times, the phenomena of fighting in armed combat to procure resources such as land, wealth, access to women, and freedom have been the root causes of war. Wars have been waged through armies of the body, mind, and spirit. Physical conflict for the sake of land or wealth dates back to tribal warfare and usually involved weapons and brute strength. Psychological warfare is perhaps the evolution of physical combat in that it seeks to defeat the enemy by capturing their minds to accomplish goals such as political power. Ideologies such as communism vs. capitalism comes to mind as two of the recent excuses to wage war. They are rooted in the belief that each idea is a threat to the other and must compete in order to survive evolution.
A recent philosopher, Karl Marx, analyzed the phenomena of war through the lens of class warfare. He argued that material resources such as wealth and the economics of production ultimately benefit the small minority in control and will, if left unchecked, result in the revolution of the 'proletariat' (working class) into a more equitable position (some form of socialism, followed by its own evolution). This is truly a fascinating philosophical discovery as most of history has been content to let this observation slide by. The pendulum of power swings in both directions and when one party sees its grasp realized it must simultaneously understand that it is only a matter of time before the 'shift' occurs and once again power will be exchanged.
The famous quote by Lord Acton, "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" I believe sums up the Marxist philosophy of "dialectical materialism and historicism". This basically states that throughout historical observation in any society, there will exist a class divide where power will eventually fall into the hands of a minority few, which will ultimately result in revolution (war) until power is redistributed more equitably. Besides the old tropes of communism vs. capitalism, there is: feminism, racism, classism, anti-semitism, and cultural marxism. As human beings we are wired to survive and reproduce. Our biology drives us to shape future generations based upon our current attractions. A few generations ago, after suffering the pestilence of the black plague, chubby fertile women were seen as more desirable based upon their perceived ability to thrive and reproduce healthy offspring. Today, without the threat of plague, our society once again places emphasis on (strong) lean physical fitness as a sign of health and fertility. When civilization shifted from the hunt and gather model to an agrarian society, resources such as wealth and land became the currencies of desire and power. Marxist philosophy teaches that power influences evolution. It determines who breeds, who thrives, and who must serve. Understanding the economics of power can help individuals navigate the battlefield.
Nature teaches us that one day (God willing) we will grow old. Our powers of youth, beauty, strength, and fertility will eventually leave us. At some point in our lives we will ALL reach the zenith of our gifts, and depending on our maturity we can make decisions that will allow the graceful transition of our gains in this world into the next. This can be through raising a family who in turn cares for their aging parents or be seen through a spiritual perspective.
Every exercise of power produces an equal and opposite effect like taking turns playing "Master and Servant". When the tables eventually turn, how one party treated the other will determine their own treatment such as the relationship between parent and child. 'The Prince of Peace' taught of loving one's neighbor in the manner of which they'd love themselves which I think ingeniously reduces complicated philosophical musings into a simple and concise message fit for children to understand.
But what about spiritual warfare you ask? Well it's like this... The last component of our humanity after body and mind is our Soul. In understanding this last piece, one must acknowledge the existence of the spirit (animism). The spirit world can be said to exist in a different dimension to the earthly world. Some of the world's earliest cultures such as the Egyptians believed in resurrection and practiced mummification so as to preserve the earthly components of their mighty pharaohs so that their leaders would be able to come back from the underworld (as if only the most powerful had exclusive access to the afterlife). The dialectical opponent of spirituality is denial of the existence of the Spirit. This means that anything that serves to corrupt, destroy, or kill a soul in favor of pursuing earthly power is the enemy of the Spirit. Many cultures still believe that unhealthy attachment to worldly possessions are the main causes of spiritual disturbance.
It is my belief that the soul is precious and through grace my own soul was protected by my parents until I had grown strong enough to fend for myself. It was through their love that my brothers and I were manifested into being. It was through prayer and faith that served to imbue me with a sense of gratitude and understanding that We are ALL here from similar births. That throughout evolution and surviving countless wars we can trace our ancestry back to a common parent. And finally, that through fighting with my neighbor, that we are actually fighting ourselves. As we pour our spirits into our children and they unto their own children, humans have become diverse expressions of the immortal Soul, but as science teaches one day our time will come to an end. Life on this planet has been eradicated before, and with the depletion of resources we could face a world-eradicating war; however, the spirit world exists in abundance of resources. The human spirit is fed with faith which can be as little as a mustard seed, but can grow into unfathomable power. It has the power to dispel war, end poverty, hunger, and suffering by spreading love, kindness, and forgiveness. It's nothing new, but it truly is a radical concept.
As much as I enjoy stories of post war dystopias, I'm content to leave them as fiction and make meaningful changes within my life to avoid a future of certain damnation.