World War V

by Tarık Günersel    /  May 24, 2013  / No comments

Redefining the term “globalization,” Günersel argues that our World Wars didn’t stop with the second one. He sustains that we are currently in World War V and lays out our options for the future.

Globalization and World War V

According to Tarik Günersel, we are in the midst of a fifth world war and a new era of globalization. Photo: Oskar Maria Grande via Flickr.

I enjoy using the term globalization (G) in a different sense:

G began about five billion years ago, with the formation of our planet, the globe. Thus began the first era of G.

  1. Wor(l)ds in Danger, a<br />
column by Tarik Günersel
  2. Life is words in action, literature is action in words.
    Humans are about to destroy their spaceship Earth. Some of them are aware of this and they try to change the course of events. Will they succeed? Will more humans be alarmed and do something?
    Literature is vital and translators are messengers of world peace.
    Though I shall focus on the literary scene in Turkey and its problems regarding freedom of expression, I shall not omit the other parts of our planet. Today local is global and vice versa.
  3. Tarik Günersel
  4. Tarık Günersel is a poet, playwright, aphorist, librettist and short story writer. He is the president of PEN Turkey and an ex-member of the PEN International Board. He studied English Literature at Istanbul University. A self-exile after the military coup in 1980, he spent four years in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun and their daughter Barış, teaching English. A dramaturg at Istanbul City Theater since 1991, he has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays. He proposed World Poetry Day in 1997 which was accepted by PEN International and declared by UNESCO as the 21st of March. His translations into Turkish include works by Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Arthur Miller. His works include The Nightmare of a Labyrinth (mosaic of poems and stories), and How’s your slavery goin’? His Oluşmak (To Become), a “life guide for myself,” includes ideas from world wisdom of the past four millennia.

Then, once upon a time, our ancestors evolved in Africa and spread out over the planet. In this, the second era, various physical characteristics, cultures, and languages flourished.

Then began interaction—through trade, war, translators, and tourism. I consider this the third era of G, which is still going on. At this time, more and more intercultural communication, cooperation, festivals, and projects give us hope regarding the future of humanity, a heterogeneous species with conflicting positions and views within dynamic structures.

World Wars III, IV, and V

The Cold War was WWIII, which ended in 1989, with the fruitful destruction of the Berlin Wall.

I consider the following two decades to be WWIV: In which the USA monopolized the international arena and attacked when it was possible and, presumably, feasible.

That period ended with the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, we have been in WWV. With China and Russia, especially, a multi-polar world has formed.

A Hot Cold World War

If we consider ourselves to be in a world war (WW), we can use our pro-peace energy more efficiently. With this mindset we are passive supporters of exploitation and cruelty unless we take an active stand.

If you control the media, you control public opinion. Thanks to the internet, things are a bit more difficult for oppressive regimes. All the existing regimes are oppressive to various degrees. The degrees are not unimportant, though. And international solidarity is vital.

The present WW is hot and cold. Cold easily becomes hot.

What Comes Next?

Not even Google knows. But, after drinking my Turkish coffee, I see three roads in the dregs of my cup:

1. Survival for some time in a similar state of ups and downs and conflicts and wars. More tragedies for the majority of humans, other animals and plants, and increased destruction of our home, Earth.

2. Self-destruction as a species. The end of our story. An unintelligent design.

3. Sufficient collaboration in the construction of a better world: Earth Civilization, the fourth era of G, open to other parts of our universe.

About the Author

Tarık Günersel is a poet, playwright, aphorist, librettist and short story writer. He is the president of PEN Turkey and an ex-member of the PEN International Board. He studied English Literature at Istanbul University. A self-exile after the military coup in 1980, he spent four years in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun and their daughter Barış, teaching English. A dramaturg at Istanbul City Theater since 1991, he has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays. He proposed World Poetry Day in 1997 which was accepted by PEN International and declared by UNESCO as the 21st of March. His translations into Turkish include works by Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Arthur Miller. His works include The Nightmare of a Labyrinth (mosaic of poems and stories), and How’s your slavery goin’? His Oluşmak (To Become), a “life guide for myself,” includes ideas from world wisdom of the past four millennia. He has recently initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the support of several intellectuals from various parts of the planet.

View all articles by Tarık Günersel

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