To Cleanse the Earth

We will glo­ri­fy war – the world’s only hygiene.
F.T. Marinetti
“Futur­ist Man­i­festo” (1909)

Marinet­ti called war “the world’s only hygiene” back in 1909, an image that per­fect­ly calls to mind the infec­tious filth of lib­er­al democ­ra­cy cov­er­ing the body of human soci­ety like dis­eased grime. Yet has any such ablu­tion been tru­ly effec­tive in the cen­tu­ry since? Or has one war after anoth­er after anoth­er only made the world more clut­tered, the social body more infirm, the ground of human his­to­ry more bar­ren and pol­lut­ed? If war as we know it is hygiene, than it seems best to stay filthy. When the cure seems worse than the dis­ease, per­haps it is time for a glass of wine and a nap.

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