ery rarely in history do we look back and say, “this is a time and place in which we weren’t trying to kill each other.” The sad reality is that humanity has always been in an arms race against itself. One could argue that this springs from a sort of base, survivalist nature in the primitive reptile portion of our brains but really, we’ve grown up as a species; we should know better by now. But A History of Weapons easily shows us that though we have grown and evolved and achieved great feats as a species, as far as solving conflicts, we’ve really only learned how to make bigger, sharper knives and things that go BOOM on a city eliminating scale. This is a bit like solving the problem of excrement in the drinking water by building elaborate, golden port-a-potties on floating barges in the reservoir. That is to say, it doesn’t, and it’s so ridiculous a notion that why would you even think it?
Humanity’s love affair with Arms & Armor seems to run counter with the basic instincts for survival. I mean, if you invent the technology for a nice boomstick that keeps your neighbor out of your garden, that thought process has to involve the assumption that your neighbor is never going to come to the same boomstick epiphany that you did, or at least, won’t collaborate with other neighbors justifiably scared of what the man with the boomstick and the crazy eyes might do next, to mount a pitchfork attack on your house. Never bring a boomstick to an angry pitchfork mobbing, is what I’m saying.
But that brings me to the subject of Castles which were invented for the sole purpose of 1) protecting your garden and boomstick interests, and 2) discouraging these sorts of armed pitchfork uprisings. The problem with castles though, is that humans have a seemingly limitless imagination for ways to kill each other. Sure the castle walls held back the pitchfork riots, but then humans invented atom bombs and napalm and, well, you don’t see too many occupied castles these days, do you?