In the era when human beings have developed into a ‘global village’, the relationship between people in countries should not be restricted by national borders. Free trade and liberal cultural interaction are the common interests and aspirations of the people of all nations. National borders should only be marks or traces left by history, signs for defining geographical characteristics, and information documenting real estate ownership of people and sovereignty of nations. Of course, human beings have had many wars in the evolution of history, and only wars will leave traces or marks of national borders after disputes are settled. Therefore, in the era of the modern ‘global village’, people should understand the cruel facts of war, make efforts to resolve the origin factors causing war, and diligently eliminate the dangerous crisis triggering war.
Any war between two countries is usually originated from the improper handling of any national crisis or dispute by the government leaders; and the more fundamental factor or critical reason is that the incompetent government had launched national hatred against another nation, which eventually led to war. The people of both countries would be harmed, resulting in tragedy and long-lasting hatred. In this article, this author focuses on the subject, 'Only an incompetent government would promote people (national) hatred against another people (nation)’ ,and discusses the everlasting tragedies it may cause.
First of all, we can learn from history that the cause of war is nothing more than two factors. One is hatred. The source of hatred is wide, but it can be broadly classified into 1. Different religious beliefs, 2. Inter-ethnic discrimination, 3. Regrets of historical accidents or events, and 4. Ideological conflicts; especially promoted through media influence and education. These factors can be resolved and tolerated, but when incited or promoted, hatred will deepen, lead to war, and have lasting effects. The second factor is the conflict of interest; and the conflict of interest can arise due to inequality of sharing the available natural resources, such as water sources (rivers running through the two countries), or man-made factors, such as unfair trade agreements, excessive tariffs or damaging economic and trade sanctions. Regardless of natural factors or man-made factors, nations with competent governments should find ways to solve the problems, instead of deepening conflicts and hatred, leading to wars. Governments naturally need capable leaders to handle national conflicts properly.
Of course, politicians would always claim that they are safeguarding the welfare of their people. But the welfare of the people might not be defined and measured from a long-term perspective or considered in a comprehensive manner. If national hatred would be developed and deepened for the sake of a quick gain or an ideological argument, it would eventually lead to disasters brought on by war. Even a big country should not use hegemony against a small country to seek quick benefits without considering any impact on their long-term relationship. The consequences would be worse or more dangerous between big countries. If small benefits gained would cause big losses in the long run and worse would destroy peace and lead to a war of killing and disaster, then it would be a crime committed by the government leaders. Today, under the principles of democracy, whether the leaders (however selected by the people) could really make benefits for the people or actually deceive the people in order to maintain their political power is a serious problem faced by many countries. Some nations would have frequent changes of government leadership, a remedy only produces inefficient government with difficulty in completing long-term solutions. In other countries, people are frustrated by not being able to expect government leaders or constrain them to take correct long-term measures for the benefit of the people.
People-to-people relations between countries are nothing more than a host of positive activities such as free trade, cultural exchange, intermarriage, tourism, overseas residence, and study abroad. These positive exchanges are the essential culture of the global village; and also are necessary factors for human beings to move towards world harmony. On the contrary, if hatred were developing between countries and among their people, hatred could easily grow and would be difficult to get resolved. National hatred could be passed down from generation to generation if not curtailed. The author would not like to name countries hating each other in this article, although plenty of examples do exist. Political scholars know that the so-called feud between two countries is never beneficial to the people of the two countries. After World War II, China did not demand reparation or compensation from defeated Japan because China practiced diplomacy based on the traditional Chinese philosophy of maintaining amity and neighborliness. This is a peaceful and win-win diplomacy against hegemony. It is a policy that truly benefits the people in the long run.
Unfortunately, many governments in the world today have political systems that produce incompetent leaders and governments. In terms of economic development, the quality of life of the people cannot be improved year after year, and the incompetent government leaders would shrug off their responsibilities and blame the fault on other countries. What is even more intolerable is that some politicians would promote hatred between people and countries in order to hold power. This is a heinous act that will harm others and never benefit oneself. Because people intrinsically do not hate each other, they desire and pursue the same goals discussed above, such as free trade, cultural exchanges, intermarriage, tourism, overseas residence, and study abroad. People do hope that governments can develop agreements with simple regulations and resolve disputes. Only an incompetent government and its leaders would promote national hatred among the people to cover up their incompetence. This kind of incompetent government exists in both small countries and large countries, but the disasters that may arise between large countries may be more serious. Again, the author does not need to name evidence, everyone with a little understanding of international relations can cite their own examples by simply analyzing some of the statements made by political leaders. What ordinary citizens should do is question their own political leaders on foreign policies not giving them blind trust. Why are they making hostile statements to incite hatred? Do the political leaders really work for the benefit of their people? You must ask these questions before you cast your vote for a leader.
Ifay Chang. Ph.D., Inventor, Author, TV Game Show Host and Columnist (www.us-chinaforum.org) as well as serving as Trustee, Somers Central School District.