The last war will be nameless


“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”.
Albert Einstein


The Great War ended in 1918. It lasted for four years. Over 18 million people, soldiers and civilians, were killed.

The Great War broke out a century after the previous great war (1815).

In between, there was a season of minor wars. Not peace. Peace never existed; only minor wars.

Europe was reveling in Belle Époque before the Great War. People believed that no (great) war would ever take place again.

Humanity would only progress in peace. Cars and airplanes with engines of internal combustion would take passengers to safe destinations.

In 1910, Norman Angell published the book The Great Illusion, heralding the definite end of wars.

Four years later, the Great War began.


The Great War ended in 1918. It lasted for four years. Over 18 million people, soldiers and civilians, were killed.

People believed that no such horrendous and of such a scale war would ever happen again. That’s why they named it “Great”.

The chimera lasted only for 30 years. We now name this time as “Interwar Period” because we know that the next one was of even larger scale and even more horrendous.

It was a war with tanks and airplanes with engines of internal combustion. With submarines and atomic bombs. With crematories and missiles.

The Second World War came to an end in 1945. In this war, fifty to eighty million people lost their life.

Then, before the fires ignited by the flames of Nagasaki quench, we stopped referring to the war of 1914 as “great”. We named it First World War.

And we named the next one, which was even greater, Second World War.

In this way, namely by putting the wars in chronological order, we feel safer.


In 1989 Francis Fukuyama published the essay The End of History? (which was later developed and published as a book entitled The End of History and the Last Man in 1992). Without a rival, since the USSR was dismantled, it was deemed impossible to witness a Great War ever again.

In the beginning of the 21th century we have computers, mobile phones, drones, facebook, a global economy.

In 2017 humanity lives the dream of world peace. The history has ended.

Great Wars happen no more. There are no more refugees. There is no such thing as international terrorism. Economic inequalities no more exist to any country. Humanity moves forward.

There won’t be a Third World War. We may christen it as such when it breaks out, but when it is over there will be none left alive to give names (First-Second-Third, Great-Minor-Median, World-National-Civil, Last One).

There will be none to name the in-between periods: Belle Époque – Interwar Period – Facebook.

Einstein made a mistake. There won’t be a Fourth World War because there won’t be people to record history, to give names.

The last war will be nameless.


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Translated by Alexandros Mantas