It has been 100 years since World War I started, infamously sparked by the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Serbian nationalist Gavro Princip on 28 July 1914. However, what must also be noted are how the expansionism and greed of the empires of the day-Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and others-led to a build up to the conditions that became a major war waiting to happen. A similar build up in the 1930s led to World War II less than 21 years after the November Armistice was signed-and I believe in the time of the Great Recession we are mired in now, conditions are building up once again in some nations that could eventually lead, one day, to World War Three.
The conditions in question in some nations now somewhat resemble those faced by ordinary people in the 1930s after the Great Depression-a significant rise in support for extreme right groups (e.g. FN, Jobbik, PVV) increasing authoritarianism, escalating attacks on vulnerable groups in society, high unemployment, grievous exploitation by the rich, the wealthy dodging the recession by stealing from the public purse, increasing suppression of peaceful protest worldwide by the powers that be, and not that infrequent invasions like Israel's recent attacks on Gaza and Russia's interference in Ukraine. In the few years preceding World War II, Italy invaded Ethiopia (it was also known as Abyssinia back in 1935), Germany took control of Austria and Czechoslovakia, and Japan annexed major parts of China.
What I believe is clear, 100 years after that fateful moment that sparked World War One, is this: wherever we are in the world, we all need to be vigilant, we all need to work together, and we need to oust the current free-market capitalist system, whose greed in the past played a strong part in both World War I and World War II, to prevent World War III ever becoming an eventuality-and reform of the United Nations is needed as well, especially regarding the Security Council. If we can implement green policies and create a system based on sustainability, based on equality and compassion, and based on respect for people and planet, we can make sure the 'never again' statement (regarding war) becomes a reality.