Genocide as the Foremost Threat to Humanity in the 21st Century
When it comes to
genocide, "war" would more often than not be mentioned.
Massacres committed during times of war can surely
be classified as genocide, but if "genocide" is defined as "vast
annihilation," then circumstances other than war, even inexplicable ones,
are quite likely to contribute to genocide. From this century ahead, genocide
will undoubtedly be one of the most serious threats facing mankind.
We can look at this
possibility in terms of the threat posed to the world by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the world wages
war against the novel coronavirus, the Pacific island country of Kiribati
appeared to be a safe
place for the past two years. Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, this
country with a population of 120,000 had only two confirmed positive cases in
total, both found in a returning ship. Of course, the geographical location of
the island country is conducive to isolation, therefore since March 2020,
Kiribati has locked its doors to the outside world and cancelled all
It seems the Kiribati lockdown is a foolproof
strategy, but nothing is further from the truth.
On January 19, 2022,
the Kiribati government announced that the first resumed international flight
after a two-year hiatus has brought in 36 passengers who tested positive. The flight,
which took off from Fiji last Friday, had only 54 passengers in total. The
Kiribati government said all passengers were quarantined prior to their flight
and were tested three times during this period, and all passengers were
vaccinated. However, the end result was still the same, and it also caused the infection of a security
guard at the Kiribati isolation center. With no other alternative, the Kiribati
government had to decide to immediately implement a curfew in some areas,
because in the face of the virus, an "unspoiled" and "pure" Kiribati is more
likely to see major outbreaks.
The situation in
Kiribati raises a question that our world must answer: how much are we willing
to pay to remain "pure"?
ubiquitous, and like it or not, humans have always been coexisting with them in
the past, and it will be so in the future. The question then becomes whether
humans are willing to pay a price close to mass suicide to remain "pure". Another concern is whether, after the virus
infects an imagined "clean" environment, will a high percentage of
people in that ecosystem perish? Judging from the virus's airborne state, there
appears to be no spot on the planet that can be considered permanently
Since total "purity" cannot be attained,
human beings, or more precisely, certain human beings, may confront a potential
"genocide" for a variety of causes at different times in history.
Unfortunately, the virus is most likely only one element contributing to such
There is a limit to
the environmental population capacity. When the conflicts between humans and
nature, and between humans themselves reach the limit, "genocide"
will be something that we will see more frequently in the news. Let us hope
that at that time, the speed of human rational growth can exceed the speed of
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