Soldier near a (re)captured LTTE tank, now a tourist attraction. A9 road
Nobody declares war anymore, but we still fight. What’s going on?
The Word War
Use of the word war in books, 1600-2008 (Google NGrams)
If you look at the use of the word ‘war’ it’s declined dramatically after World War II, at least in the Google corpus of books.
If you’ll note the other data points, you can see that people finally began making love and not war around 2003. Peace fought an extended battle with conflict beginning in the 80s, only recently emerging ahead.
If you look at dead people, that number is also dropping. According to this data via Cato, deaths in violent conflict have declined dramatically from the days of taxpayer funded industrial slaughter. Now it’s more of a do-it-yourself at home sorta thing.
So by those metrics, it looks like war is in serious retreat. Peace and love are on the march. Is it?
Nope. Look at this graph (ibid). Shit is way out of control. There’s less dying and less state on state conflict, but internal conflicts are still a serious problem. They too, however, have been declining since 1992.
So people are fighting less violently, among themselves. But even that is going down. Kinda.