Patriotism, as the saying goes, is the last refuge of the scoundrel. The call to sacrifice for king and country is ages old, and the scoundrels who call for this sacrifice all know the magical power that altruism instils in the psyche of men. Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.” wrote Oscar Wilde. He must have known Henry Kissinger who stated that “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” Such is the nature and regard of those who send others to war. Such is the methodology of those who manipulate instinctive and noble sacrifice in the defence of the family or tribe, cleverly transmuting it into sacrifice to a flag which is no more representative of a people than a dirty puddle is representative of rain.
From the cradle, we are taught how our heroic ancestors fought and died defending the country against barbarian invaders. We are taught that it is the most noble of deeds to sacrifice our lives on the alters of freedom, democracy and empire. Images of the thin red line and the charge of the light brigade at Balaclava, the gallant determination of the redcoats at Rorke’s drift in Zululand, and the paratroopers dogged resistance at Arnhem call up that primal urge in men to test themselves in battle.
In peace time, rather than defending the tribe, the warrior instinct is redirected onto the sports field. The tribal elements and behaviour are clearly visible at a football game both at a team level and importantly, the spectator level. That’s right, at best, you are a spectator to a pseudo battle. If your team wins, you rejoice, if it loses, you weep, but you never, ever, get to change the outcome or benefit from your efforts.
Let’s face it. Those enthusiastic, cheering flag waving throngs who flooded out of factories and towns in the great patriotic mission to stop the dreaded Hun during WW1 soon found out exactly what sacrifice and patriotism meant. I think many of them would have agreed with George Bernard Shaw’s observation that “Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy” after a few months in the mud and blood. Others still, would defend the decision to war, and would grow to old age, and then on to their graves believing the Hun to be the enemy of humanity forever. Some more reflective types would write the lines of outrage in poems and books outlining the gritty horror of war, naked that we who come after them would stop the madness next time round. Erich Maria Remarque’s classic ”All quiet on the western front”, Norman Mailers “Naked and the dead”, Bob Masons “Chicken hawk” are all examples of this phenomenon.
Those that line the streets to salute and stand at stiff attention, to weep in the rain while another cortège of dead boys passes by are also infected with the same affliction of patriotism. If you care even remotely for those young boys, you would march on parliament and put a stop to this nonsense once and for all. If you cared at all, you would press the MOD to officially recognize that PTSD is real and that troops, who are limbic human beings after all, suffer from trauma after repeated tours of duty in high stress situations. You would take up the fight to improve the pittance called army pay and the conditions in which many of the forces families live. All the flag waving and saluting in the world does nothing for them, but it encourages the hell out of the New World order planners and profiteers who use it to recruit more canon fodder and to silence dissent.
If those dismembered and disfigured bodies have even the slightest of meaning, and have any mute tale to tell, it would be that death in the prime of life, even for a patriot, is not sweet. It is traumatic, confusing, sad and becomes a revolving door of misery as families and young wives and children suffer then loss of their men (sometimes for generations afterwards) frequently referred to as gallant, brave, honest, courageous and loving. Men who would be far better off fighting for better conditions and a better future for their own families. Men whose courage would be better spent facing down the criminal governmental and corporate monsters that threaten every aspect of our lives, and repeatedly attempt to drive us all, including the ones we are supposed to be at war with, further into dependency and poverty.
You see, It is not my wish to denigrate the bravery or professionalism and quality of those dead boys, or their comrades in arms who serve still. Their brotherhood and dedication to each other and to their mission displays the very best qualities and truest heart of the warrior. My wish is to clear the line between blind patriotism, and the most natural of warrior instincts, the protector. None of those boys in the hearses gained financially, emotionally, physically or otherwise from the call to arms. Their families remain in squalor while the architects of war profit from the plunder, and go on to make millions through speaking engagements and book sales to the clapping and adoration of the limousine set, the so called intelligencia who’s station is assured on the bones and blood of the fallen, and who very seldom, if ever, grapple hand to hand with our military foes.
With sadness I remember those heroic regiments going over the top in the battle of the Somme. I remember all of those who fought for regimes who brutalised them, eroded their individuality, destroyed their freedoms and abused their trust. I remember too the warriors of ancient Albion who fought the Caesars for their people, and who fell to prevent the freedom of our people from falling under the Roman Yoke and harness.
I get chills when i see those black and white films showing cheering crowds who rushed to meet Hitler on one of his many jaunts across the fatherland. All those cheering, smiling saluting people who never imagined that within five years, large numbers of them would be dead, and their fair cities bombed to blackened piles of rubble. Their women and daughters who shed tears of joy for Hitler, gang raped day after day by vengeful drunk Russian troops after the fall of Berlin. Poverty, starvation, and then sickness brought on by malnutrition. So much for the great dream Adolph.
Be watchful of those things to which you surrender your trust and faith. Take a few moments to ponder about where your personal patriotism lays. For me, mine lays in the deliverance of humaity from tyranny wherever it is found.
Yours in humanhood