April 29th, 2014
02:56 PM ET

Morris: Coming generation might be most dangerous ever

Fareed speaks with Ian Morris, author of War, What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots, about the future of conflict.

I think there's a number of reasons to think that the coming generation or so might be the most dangerous in the history of the world, that we might be entering a period as unstable as the run-up to the First World War...

Wait a minute, you just burst my optimistic bubble.

This is the bad bit, armed with weapons even worse than the Cold War, so if there is reason to worry very, very much. But on the other hand…

Well, wait. That's not what's changed. We've had these weapons for a while.

We have, yes.

So what makes this period we're entering so dangerous?

Well, I would say that what makes it so dangerous is that if current trends continue, it looks like the big force that I would say has made the world so secure in the last few decades has been the presence of the U.S. as a global cop. Able, I mean, not to rule the world or anything like that, but to deter other governments from doing violent actions, most of the time.

And I think we're now entering a period when it's just less obvious to other governments that the U.S. is in a position to perform that deterrent role.  And that, I think, really raises the risks, you know, not of somebody deliberately saying let's start a nuclear war. I think that's just deeply unlikely. But of things perhaps spiraling out of control.

But I remain optimistic that's not going to happen.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Peter

    The world never gets better no matter how humans try, the solution to our problems is GOD,S Divine intervention, unfortunately some people dont even believe in God, bcos they dont even know who they are. I believe in GOD and my LORD JESUS.

    April 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
    • The GOP Prayer

      The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
      In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

      April 29, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
      • j. von hettlingen

        I don't doubt Ian Morris, when he said: " that the coming generation or so might be the most dangerous in the history of the world, that we might be entering a period as unstable as the run-up to the First World War".
        The world population grows with people fighting for resources. They believe in their rights and don't hesitate to fight for their causes.

        April 30, 2014 at 9:05 am |
    • Anti-Peter

      Come on, Peter! The first half of the Old Testiment is God conducting an orchestra of genocide! Christianity since 313 AD has been his encore. I'm not buying what you're selling.

      April 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • banasy©

      Good for you. That's stopped many wars in the past. Especially done in His name. Not.

      April 29, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Thank you, Peter. I feel the same way but unfortunately, most people of today do not. They would rather trust the right-wing thugs in Washington, especially the right-wing Republicans.

      May 1, 2014 at 8:40 am |
    • patrick harris

      Keep praying to your "god" all you want, just keep rowing to shore- this thing aint gonna row itself!!!

      May 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  2. banasy©

    Oh, for heaven's sake, this guy is bemoaning the fact that we aren't in such a hurry to invade other countries?
    Every pundit from every generation has kvetched that the next generation of pesky kids are horrible and dangerous...
    This guy sounds like he's shouting "get off my lawn!" to the neighborhood kids.

    What a loon.

    April 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      I rest my case on what I said about this crackpot yesterday. What kind of fantasy world is he living in ? Is this supposed to be a week long thing ? If so, I can't wait to read what he says tomorrow.

      April 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      I see some Tea Partying joker has taken banasy's name to spew such Tea Party lingo. It seems I can't turn my back from my computer without a Sarah Palin follower littering propaganda droppings all over these blogs.

      April 30, 2014 at 12:25 am |
      • banasy©

        Intervention is just a phone call away, McCarthy.

        April 30, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
    • JohnnyBoy

      That is what struck me as well. The next generation of humans will be the most dangerous because America CAN'T be the worlds police? I'd day the last hundred years has been more dangerous because America keeps sticking its nose in everyone's business. Between the US' various attempts to "stabilize" Central America (mostly destabilizing peaceful regions in the process), fighting the VC and NVA in Vietnam and deploying weapons like agent orange on civilian populations, and toppling dictators who, while not being good guys, did keep the peace and prevent anarchy from taking over and harming their citizens. The US has irreparably harmed the world then turned around and asked all the people they ended up hurting along the way why they are so upset. The ego it must take to say the things in this interview is nothing short of unbelievable

      May 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    What is war "Good For?"
    Well, it gave us an excellent film about PBF.

    April 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
  4. deep blue

    Yes, fear of the US is all that keeps the world from entering an apocalypse. Without the US overthrowing governments that disagree with our interests, how will we stop world war III?

    April 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
  5. Ferhat Balkan

    It is not up to the US to decide what is right and what is wrong. Neither is it up to Russia, China or any other single country. Such decisions need to be made by a multinational organization such as the UN. One of the biggest problems we have are the failures of the UN security council to make decisions. We need to take away the veto power of nations such as China, Russia, US, UK & France. A majority vote should drive all decisions so they can reach an agreement without delay and deadlock. Another problem we have are big corporations buying off candidates to win favors their way (which by the way, includes weapons manufacturers). When big corporations spend millions during an election campaign, corrupt leaders ends up ruling the masses.

    April 29, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
  6. bobcat2u

    A very self-important college freshman attending a recent football game, took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation.

    "You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one," the student said, loud enough for many of those nearby to hear. "The young people of today grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon, our space ships have visited Mars. We have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with light-speed processing and...," pausing to take another drink of beer.

    The older man took advantage of the break in the student's litany and said, "You're right, son. We didn't have those things when we were young... so we invented them. Now, what are YOU and your bunch doing for the next generation?"

    The applause was resounding.

    April 29, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
  7. bobcat2u

    What is generation Y?

    – People born before 1946 were called The Silent generation.

    – The Baby Boomers, are people born between 1946 and 1959.

    – Generation X, people born between 1960 and 1979.

    – Generation Y, are the people born between 1980 and 2011

    Why do we call the last group Generation Y?

    Recently a cartoonist explained it very eloquently below...

    And I always thought it was because they say...

    Y should I get a job?
    Y should I leave home and find my own place?
    Y should I get a car when I can borrow yours?
    Y should I clean my room?
    Y should I wash and iron my own clothes?

    April 29, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
    • dkf

      Bobcat, people born before 1946 were the "Greatest Generation" and rightfully so since they went on to win WWI and WWII and why we have peace today.

      (Not arguing just we can't forget the contributions the generations of the early 20th century did for the US and the world.)

      April 30, 2014 at 3:56 am |
  8. bobcat2u

    Have you heard the story of the wealthy grandfather who had been experiencing hearing loss for a number of years? It got to a point that he was practically deaf. One day his doctor fitted him with a hearing aid that enabled the man to hear perfectly again. A couple of weeks later, he went back to the doctor for a checkup. The doctor asked how his family liked the fact he could hear again. The grandfather responded by saying that he hadn't told anyone about the hearing aid. He went on the say that he just sits around listening to everyone's conversations and that he has now changed his Will three times in the last two weeks.

    April 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
  9. bobcat2u

    Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next." They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

    April 29, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
  10. bobcat2u

    An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son.

    "Yes, Dad, what is it?" "Don't be nervous, son; do your best and just remember, if it doesn't go well, if something happens to me ... your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife...."

    April 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
  11. bobcat2u

    My grand-daddy worked in a blacksmith shop when he was a young fella, and he used to tell me, when I was a little nipper, how he had toughened himself up so he could stand the hard work of blacksmithing.

    One story was how he had developed his arm and shoulder muscles. As he told it, he would stand outside behind the wood shed, with a 5 pound potato sack in each hand, extend his arms straight out from his sides and hold them there as long as he could.

    After awhile he tried 10 pound potato sacks, then 50 pound potato sacks and finally he got to where he could lift a 100 pound potato sack in each hand and hold his arms straight out for more than two full minutes. . . .

    Then, he started putting potatoes in the sacks.

    April 29, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Heeellllpp. Somebody stop me.

      April 29, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
      • banasy©

        Why? It's more entertaining and informative that what Mr. Curmudgeon Morris has to opine about.

        April 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
  12. ✠RZ✠

    So according to Morris' own spew and logic, if the US were to relinquish its' role as global roboit would result in a war that should lead to less wars. Well then, what are we waiting for? Peace or something?

    April 29, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
  13. Clayton Lockett

    Make love, not war.

    April 29, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
  14. chrissy

    Trolls? What trolls? There are no trolls. They've all gone away or stayed at TJI.

    April 30, 2014 at 5:29 am |


      April 30, 2014 at 6:32 am |
  15. chrissy

    Lol i sure as he!! wasnt up at the crack of dawn posting that dumb crap ya perpasstroll!

    April 30, 2014 at 11:35 am |
  16. chrissy

    And @ Joseph you KNOW thats banasy and she wasnt talking tea party crap she was commenting about bobcats jokes. Why dont you give that troll crap thing a rest for awhile...its frying your brain. So is your tea party crap slinging!

    April 30, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  17. Joseph McCarthy

    You must be a fan of the Sarah Palin. How ever can you use such GOP party lingo? I always knew there was something inherently wrong about you, chrissy. Not surprisingly, you must support the thugs in Washington. Good grief, may God help us all.

    April 30, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • banasy©

      You must not be a fan of Olanzapine. Become one, soon.

      April 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        No banasy, I am not. I voted for Obama in 2008 only to be disappointed later as he never closed Gitmo in Cuba nor got us out of either Afghanistan or Iraq. And now this bozo is trying to drag us all into the Ukrainian conflict!

        May 1, 2014 at 8:44 am |
  18. chrissy

    I dont support any of them and you know it. We need to fire the whole damn bunch of em and start over. And sara palin is dumb as a post. And i guess you must be too!

    April 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      I support President Obama completely. I rarely disagree with his actions.
      Even a powerful force for good meets many obstacles.
      I shall support Hillary Clinton, if she chooses to campaign for the Oval Office.

      May 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
  19. YYJ

    It's happening. We can't even police and maintain our own countries laws and demand other countries comply with them, even on our own soil without offering massive concessions and giving into massive demands. Now why would the world take us seriously then? They don't have to take how they operate on American soil seriously, so why would they conduct them selves appropriately anywhere else?

    May 7, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
  20. Eddie Fonseca

    The famous 90's band Hootie & Blowfish had a song called Old Man and Me it talked about young men going to war in different countries, and stepping of Uncle Sam's boats and seeing the grim reality of war, by seeing a million faces dying in foreign lands from being killed or other things relating war. When the soldiers came home from their tours the images of battle fields and their dead marines brothers lying in desserts and fields, also hearing mothers cry as their innocent sons and daughters are killed by bombs or being collateral damage of war. Our generation is different from our grandparents, which had to deal with the take over Nazi Germany to conquer the world, and real hard times from two world economic depressions. Now being a young American who get's economic hard times like other young Americans of our time, our generation is not that stupid to realize there are real world issues from the threat of ISIS the terrorist group and a sort of terrible economic hard times from our great nation getting back on it's feet after many years going down the hill. As Americans as we sit in our living rooms and sip a cold one while watching the latest issues's on the television facing our great nation, a question starts to burn in our minds when in the hell will be over from the economy to terrorism threating the younger generation in the good old USA for years to come.

    August 20, 2015 at 1:08 am |

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