Bloody struggle for power is eternal choice of homo “reasonable”. Civil war is especially destructive: it is a devastation of the state from within, instead of defense from external aggression. Such a war is a voluntary and merciless erasure by people of all created by their nation for decades, centuries … For what?
Power throughout the territory or on its part is a most common goal of inner wars. Distinctive features of this war are armed struggle between organized groups of citizens of one state (or among the nations of a former country), significant civilian casualties, significant waste of resources and intensity of hostilities.
How long internal wars exist? Always. They once led to the decline of the Roman Republic, and received their name - bellum civile (civil war) – in those days. Over the last century civil wars became longer, the number of simultaneous wars has increased. Civil wars led to economic crisis of many warring countries. According to some specialists only since 1945 the number of victims of such wars totaled 25 million people.
Is the transfer of power worth the cost? What is the benefit of ordinary participants in the conflict? Let’s consider real-life examples of past and present.
Syria. Serious armed conflict in Syria has arisen because of the accumulated social, religious and economic problems, deafness to the demands of the protesters: to topple President Bashar al-Assad, stop longstanding rule of Baathists party. Martial law was in force in the country for 48 years operating and allowed the government to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens, to keep people in prisons for indefinite time, brutally suppress any opposition.
Civil war in Syria broke out in 2012, continuing the Arab Spring – social upheavals in the Arab world, and becoming a response to the use of tanks and snipers by authorities, to the overlap of water, electricity, food confiscation. But not only the regular army was violent toward rebels, Human Rights Watch accused rebels in killing hundreds of civilians, hostage-taking and collaboration with “Al-Qaeda.”
Since the beginning of the conflict tens of thousands of people were killed, most of them civilians. Millions of people have fled their homes, most of the hospitals were destroyed, and some cities became ruins. The country is split into two parts. Despite the involvement of many countries in this conflict, the situation remains unpredictable.
Spain. When the People’s Front, controlled by the Communists, won the elections to the Spanish Parliament in 1936, representatives of the right (nationalist) forces staged a military coup. The conflict was aggravated by European countries and the Soviet Union, which supplied the parties with equipment and troops, helped financially, despite the proclaimed non-interference. The term “fifth column” (іsp. quinta columna) – subversives, saboteurs who undermine peace in the country, originates from this war.
Total number of human victims of the civil war in Spain ranged from 200 to 250 thousand people (some researchers mention millions of victims). Mass killings of “unwanted” people were spread. Working class districts were bombarded by artillery; brutal murders of family members of the Popular Front took place, as well as teachers who abandoned religious teaching and representatives of national minorities. Dozens of corpses were found on the streets of Madrid each day.
The Spanish Civil War lasted three years and ended with the fall of the Spanish Republic. For 36 years the country received a dictator – Francisco Franco. Common actions of Germany and Italy in this war contributed to the creation of their military and political bloc.
China. The civil war of the twentieth century in China lasted about 20 years: from 1927 to 1950, with pauses. Parties to these armed clashes were communists and nationalist wing of the Kuomintang. Incompetence, violence, corruption, lack of morality of top management, concentration of wealth in four families that strengthened the influence of the Communists among the population accelerated the conflict. But power remained the purpose of the war.
The price of this war for the Chinese people was very high: starvation, destroyed economy (85% of the budget was spent on the war), inflation, chaos. Both sides committed mass murders their opponents: the total number of victims was estimated from 1.8 to 3.5 million people. Formally, the PRC is still in war with the Republic of China.
New generations of people are willing to make the same bloody mistakes. Patiently bending under a strain of inept and morally poor rulers, people become “highly explosive”. Ideology does its job and millions defrauded are in a hurry to bear arms for the “saviors” – future kings and presidents, ministers and commanders, left or right. As a result, the “saviors” receive power, wealth and prosperity, and people get a devastation, death and other crumbs from the master’s table. This is a real essence of a civil war. Senseless and ruthless.