30. The Essence of War Is the Cannibalism Led by Elites
Social elites have a distinctive feature, i.e., they can accept the advanced culture and think earlier and faster than common people and apply them into social practice. Besides, they cannot only absorb and use the advanced culture by themselves, but also influence and lead the common people to accept and absorb it. The political revolution actually starts from culture and thought. Conflicts in politics are actually the conflicts between two kinds of culture and thought. By spreading their ideas, elites are able to establish their organisations, political parties, and mass organisations. In this way, they can organise their supporters to fight with their opponents divergent from their thought and culture. Apart from the conflicts in culture and thought, those conflicts are likely to tend to wars and slaughters.
American Civil War is the conflict between the two different kinds of thought and culture slavery and capitalism. Chinas war of Kuomintang and the Communist Party is the conflict between the culture of communism and capitalism. In fact, any war happening in the world is essentially the war of culture and the war of thought. There are always some people who believe their original social system is proper and their original cultural thoughts are correct, because culture determines social relations, and social relations determine people’s vital interests. Instead of saying that they are protecting their vital interests, they are more of protecting their existing belief and culture. Instead of saying that they go into wars for the benefits of themselves, they are more of going into wars for the purpose of maintaining their own belief and culture.
From the contemporary perspective, American Civil War was to liberate black slaves and offer those rights and freedom. However, during the Civil War, the slave owners in the south fiercely fought with the army of the north, which explicitly demonstrates this issue. In the eyes of the black, the north army was not there to liberate and help them, but instead, the north was to make them lose their jobs and reliance. Thus, in order to protect their livelihood, they dashed ahead to fight with the north army.
Because at that time the black hadn’t received the culture of freedom, democracy, and human rights, they still insisted on their original belief and culture loyal to slave owners and at the service of slave owners. This kind of loyalty and service had formed an inherent culture, which was handed down and taught from age to age, so they firmly believed in it without any doubt. Thus, to let them completely abandon their original thought and culture immediately without receiving the brand-new culture and idea would extremely annoy them with the complete overturn and challenge of their subconsciousness. If they did not protect their original culture and thought, they would sink into the helplessness and fear of the unknown—the unknown challenge and helpless fear of the future fate. It is just because of their anger and fear of the lost culture and thought that they picked up guns and rebelled.
The war in which Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing dynasty is also a war between two cultures, a war between capitalism and feudalism. In this war, what role do the common people play? Ah Qs. Those who overthrew Qing dynasty are Ah Qs led by revolutionary elites, and those who protected Qing dynasty are Ah Qs led by feudal official elites. In history, we offer these two kinds of Ah Q completely different names. The former is called revolutionary warrior. The latter is called feudal reactionary force.
This is a political fraud. Frankly speaking, common Ah Qs don’t know what they are fighting for or who they are fighting for. All in all, they just fight with the idea that the world will belong to us if they win. However, the ignorant Ah Qs are not aware that they are not included in the so-called us. They are just cannon fodder and chessmen anytime and anywhere. The world always belongs to elites.
The world is not peaceful and wars occur everywhere constantly. And ignorant Ah Q is being killed or exploded all the time with even various ways of death. Some Ah Qs kill another group of Ah Qs, and then they are killed by other group of Ah Qs. Meanwhile, no matter what parties they belong to, they insist they are incomparably righteous and they are the embodiment of justice till death. Even they are bombed into ash, they still treat it as a glory, which can glorify and illuminate their ancestors and leave a good name forever.
Above all, the essence of war is a cause that different elites lead two groups of ignorant people to kill each other and certain elites get the benefits in the end.