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March 08 , 2009

Beat the Drum Slowly


BEAT THE DRUM SLOWLY is the story of war, parenthetically and unfortunately, it is also unavoidably, the story of man's history. From our earliest days, conflict has been the single most common characteristic of humanity. Man has fought man and men have fought men on every continent, every ocean and every island from the moment one set eyes on the other.
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Be this xenophobia or be this a form of insanity is difficult to tell. In any case, the difference is lost amid the bombastic sounds of war. The weapons themselves are of little consequence, be they bare hands, clubs, knives, swords, spears, arrows, muskets, machine guns or atomic bombs. The end remains the same- lives are a sputtering candle, guttering in the wind, with darkness having the final word.

We can easily enough research each of the thousands of battles between one group on this sad earth and another. Countries have fought countries and people, people, since before we began keeping count. We don't need this book, or any like it, to recount the history of these terrible conflicts.

Beat The Drum Slowly instead delves into the underlying nature and motivations driving human-kind toward war and murder. We look beneath the facile explanations and histories offered by conquerors. (the losers seldom get a say) and attempt to peal away the layers of rationalization, lies and hypocrisy.

The question is- what is it in humanity compelling us to engage in wholesale murder of our fellow man? Of course, it does superficially seem to be a "blood sport" engaged in mostly by men. Perhaps the culprit is testosterone? Women don't seem to be driven to dress up in silly uniforms, parade around to martial music and then run out screaming for blood... do they? From what we have observed, this seems a valid point. Those women who do go in for this kind of thing often have as much hair on their chins as the men they emulate...

Of course, unless every country in the world placed women into every possible governmental position giving the female of the species complete and total power over everything, we will never know. Such is about as unlikely to happen as a vegan ‘snarfing' up a bloody steak, the world will have to wait until some time in the future to see how that would work out.

In the real world, men are stronger than women and men are highly competitive and combative. Men fight for power and never willingly give it up. Seeing things in this light, it is completely understandable as to why the world is governed by men.

Men fight for survival, dominance, money, religion, race, patriotism, real estate and revenge. This book examines each of these motivating factors with the purpose being to explain to ourselves and our readers exactly what in holy hell is wrong with us.

If the best way we have devised over thousands of years to settle differences is warfare then it does seem that mankind is doomed. Sooner or later, one side or another will design and field the ultimate weapon and, with our historical inability to foresee the future consequences of our actions, it is entirely likely that we will have finally managed to destroy all human life. Probably, the animals and other creatures of the earth will be rejoice over this.

Is it at all possible that we can learn to settle our differences using our intellect and common sense or are we a doomed species? This is the question we examine and try to answer in this book.

Regardless of the means one uses to bring death, war is by man's hand, whether driven by, religion, murder, etc. To study the countless wars throughout history trying to ascertain a cumulative total of deaths caused by war would take days, weeks or even months. Outside of war, murder and other direct causes of death, we are our own worst enemy. With the ability to annihilate the earth with "the press of a button," man's potential to end the lives of 7 billion people earns us the title as one of the deadliest vessels death uses to carry out its mission. Like Pogo, we have seen the enemy and he is us!

Robert J. Firth
The USA,
February, 2012
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