Statistic of the week

The world’s biggest employer is the US Department of Defence, with 3.2 million people on its payroll. The People’s Liberation Army of China has 2.3 million and Walmart 2.1 million. Fourth equal are the British National Health service and McDonald’s, with 1.7 million each.  (The Times,  20 July 2019)

3.2 million people working for the armed forces!  Over 600 overseas bases.  A trillion dollar annual bill.  And to what effect?  I fear the outcome will , in retrospect, be similar to the effect on the Roman empire, and we know how that ended.  Looking ahead, dealing with hordes of people displaced by the effects of climate change will not be so different from the effect of dealing with huge, invading tribes in Roman times.  That is, eventual  collapse under the sheer force of numbers.

What has this to do with Epicureanism?  Peace of mind, or lack of it if you keep up with the news!  The Epicurean way is to tackle the problem at source, like now, not wait for it to get out of hand with armies that can’t win wars or stop migrations.   In short, stop the ridiculous denial of the  warming of the planet and do something about climate change!


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