Athar Jaber

Rock Paper Scissors

Rock beats scissors beats paper beats rock.
Repeat ad libitum.
An endless game of recurring violence in an effort to avoid greater violence.
The violence here is aimed at the enemy’s weapon.
In the hands of man, any object can become a weapon.
It needs to be destroyed to avoid an escalation of violence and the consequent mutual collapse of both parties. Once disarmed, the enemy becomes impotent.
A winner is proclaimed, the argument is settled, and the losing party must abide by the winner’s demand or to a previously agreed upon condition.
It is a game of arming oneself with a weapon more powerful than the opponent.
The nuclear arms race
The game is an example of how social relations and international politics work. The party with a more powerful instrument of violence will be the undisputed winner, without the necessity of bloodshed.
In the words of Friedrich Engels: “The triumph of force is based on the production of arms, and this in turn on production in general – therefore on ‘economic power’… on the material means which force has a its disposal.”
But there will be always be a third party with stronger arms.
Sooner or later all three parties will face destruction, unless two are willing to create an alliance and join forces to disempower the third party.
When the third party is out of the game one of the two remaining forces will always have the upper hand over the other. A new alliance will be formed between the previously defeated party and the weaker ally.
Rock and scissors against paper.
Paper and rock against scissors.
Scissors and paper against rock.
Ad nauseam.


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