When a nation is Undecided, this equates with Divided, which equates with Conflict, which is waiting to lead the Willing down a long, smoke thick road, the ending of which none of those Willing ever comprehended.
Whatever the result of the 2020 Presidential Election will be, it will leave a vast number of angry, disaffected folk who in turn will voice their anger and in turn will be turned on by the victors and they in turn will turn on the victors, and so forth.
That which began in the late 1970s as a simmering background which folk could work with yet eventually flared up as the 21st Century looked upon a USA made tinder dry by the winds of division and somewhere came the spark.
Then with the spark came the fire and all things nightmarish in a Democracy became possible, and The People forgot ‘The Union There is Strength’
I give you two quotes
Matthew 12: 25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand”
From The Second Coming by Y B Yates: ‘Things fall apart: The centre cannot hold’
There is no joy in being right when your concerns and evaluations as to the gloomier, more worrying political possibilities come to fruition. I want to be wrong about the USA’s future, I want to be seen as the alarmist who got carried away by reading far, far too much history of the military sort. Thus I make myself a hostage to fortune by using a quote from William Pitt the Younger Prime Minister 1804-1806 when on hearing the news of Napoleon’s victory at the battle of Austerlitz in 1805 and making a comment on the possible domination by France of Mainland Europe:
‘Roll up that map it will not be wanted these ten years’ ….. only I use a different map
And who knows how long a time scale?
And if I am wrong, we can all look back and laugh……Right folks?……Laugh?……Yes?……..Please…..
We sat; the chill, quiet dawn. I upon the falling trunk, the body of a tree at rest, on its passage back to the earth, and opposite the creature upon its rock an ancient stone; something far, far older than our combined lineages, those carvings but recent scribblings in its history made by those who had reckoned this being and its ilk something powerful. That’s the problem with us Humans, paradoxes, a crate load; I sometimes wonder if Paradox would exist without us. Anyway I’m getting ahead. Let’s get back to the linear narrative.
It was a being of one of the Usual sorts, this one’s group had opted for the Octopod look, with a few more tentacles doing the writhing of course, one baleful off-yellow eye and a beaked maw with an angry look; they’re always angry, at not being on top of the pile I guess. I do dislike this crew, they give the whole Cephalopoda class a very bad image. A group, by the way, far more interesting in their natures, study them and you really start to ponder on the Nature of Life in all its myriad forms. There I go again, digressing. Back to business.
‘Must be a bit disappointing no one turning up,’ I said casually, as I lit another cigarette, yeah, yeah dangerous to my health, anti-social and so on, but being so obviously throw-away, well it annoys the fluids out of these types, underlines how you feel about them and their position in the Universe. I could tell I’d got it already, the tentacles doing a lot more writhing, then there was the hissing and snakey sort of spoken ancient bad words that would get junior off to bed without any supper. Still, take nothing for granted. They are slippery. I continued.
‘I mean no host of rubes led by some guy in sparkly robes chanting and sacrificing. Must have been a quite a buzz to the ego. A whole circus all for you. Back in The Day,’
There was so much writhing I thought the thing was going to strangle itself, and as for the language, well maybe not up to American marine gunnery sergeant standard, but my, pretty salty.
‘You small thing,’ I let it have its say, it’s only polite ‘We ruled the world while you were still small scuttling things in the mud, you cowered beneath us,’
‘Yeah. About that. And I’ve asked this question at least twenty times. If you were so good, how come you aren’t ruling anymore? I mean and try and give me a straight answer. Was it a geological event, like causing a change in the climate? Or did you get smacked by a piece of cosmic debris? C’mon you got to admit this Universe, your kind, my kind we’re pretty small stuff,’
‘You know nothing!’ it hissed, and tried to get off of the rock, which was not a wise move, because it’s environment is linked to said rock. I don’t know why, don’t really care, that’s above my pay-grade as the saying goes and I have enough to think about. ‘You grub around unaware of what lies beyond the veils of your pathetic perceptions. Beings who consume suns…’
‘Hold it there!’ I held up my hand ‘Yeah you are exaggerating on that score. A sun. Something so big it can churn out a million tons of stuff a second and have a life of , I dunno like 10 billion years. That is a load man. If it were true…Heck the results of the digestive processes, unless of course you are suggesting there’s something out there that craps nebulae in which case I would suggest they would have bigger thoughts than worrying about how to fool a few credulous little folk on a small rock. Admit it sonny, don’t mind f I call you sonny do you?’ Yep, it did ‘If you had a time at all, it’s gone. Don’t embarrass yourselves,’
It was gathering up for something it would think as spectacular when I flicked the half finished cigarette at it, caught it on one tentacle tip and, yes it flinched.
‘And there we have it,’ I said ‘You and me. We’re living tissue, and you can argue every which way you want, but when it comes down to it, stone, steel, fire and things than go boom win out every time and right now, we’ve got the controlling percentage on those. So what with Nature and our propensity to destroy anything we take a dislike to, you’re best on your way. It’s all over for you sonny. Folk are neck deep in the latest gadgets, trends, deadly metallic devices and its all passed you by. Go back to your Wherever and squabble with other ancient sorts who lost out,’
‘You short lived things,’ it hissed, must be difficult hissing through beak ‘I measure my life in millennium,’
‘And you still gotta turn up on some shitty little rock hoping a few yahoos will be here? Man! Talk about slow learning,’
I stood up, lit another cigarette, turned my back and walked off, waving one hand.
‘See ya around, and watch out for those Gamma-Bursts, they are definitely no respecters of flesh and whatever, come to think of it machines too,’
Now some might say it was a foolhardy and arrogant act to do, turn my back on some ancient and very annoyed ugly creature all hissing and tentacles. Thing is, they rely on belief, fear and terror. You don’t show it, they’ve got nothing-, and that one I’d just been dealing with was pretty small stuff. Still it would go back to wherever all grumpy and bitter and start some internal war just to prove something.
It had been a relatively peaceful gig. Halloweens can be noisy calls if you have to deal with something showing off horns and male genitals, man talk about insecurity. Some of their girl followers can be cute, in a predictable way, they get really tearful angry if you slap their pert little butts with a holy book of some sort, then they turn into snakes or bats which is another insult to the real animals.
Up the road was Mr Smith. Aside from his car’s tire marks there were ones of a van. The yahoos had been taken care of, only two of them but even two can be a civil nuisance with their creepy or very neat houses, collections of fashionably ominous books and talking in the latest or very ancient oblique manners, pretending to be so superior and detached, yet they hate peak shopping times too. Anyway they encourage the creatures, give them egos.
‘That appeared very easy,’ he said to me.
‘Ah, y’know I was on a roll this time. My girl split from me and someone had to get the sharp edge of my mood. Anyway this one was out of stock-casting, just in my line. Y’know I just got to stand up a salute those Divorce Lawyers you employ, turning entire covens on their demon leader with one address,’
‘Well each has their calling. The economists and accountants can bring a stultifying layer of boredom to most summonings and have the whole thing fall apart. Stand-up comics bring the ridicule and cutting insults and once someone starts to snigger, the whole ceremony falls apart. Then we have the more simple military approach, although the clean up is quite the task,’
He had a point. The whole organisation seemed to have a good success rate. None of the creatures from the Othersides seemed to be able to catch up with Human’s progress, if that is the right word. There were Theorists who reckoned most of beings were not keen on coming over lest we find a way back to them and ruin their own environments; we’re good at that. So its only the losers, simpletons and wack-jobs who try. Humanity has got too scary for them.
Yeah I’m a kind of paranormal street cleaner. I’m ok with that, it’s a supplementary wage.
We did the traditional handshake of course.
‘When will you be available next Mr Plowman?’ he asked.
‘Ah, busy few weeks. I’ve got The Election and the aftermath to cover and my editor brooks no excuses. Now that beat,’ I warned him ‘Is really brutal. Never hire anyone who works in politics,’
‘We know,’ he said ‘We know. There are suspicions some from the Othersides are there already,’
This is mostly for folk ‘Across The Pond’ in the USA; something to take your mind off of the Apocalypse Now theme which appears to be gripping your presidential election. And within lies the seeds of warnings for the struggles you will face in the aftermath in which not just Unity but Flexibility and Perception will be essential . This account includes a great deal of necessary history so is a long post.
SUBJECT: The suspension of the previous leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn on charges of Anti-Semitism
Now because this news has, is and will continue to generate a lot of glee, wailing, outrage, conspiracy theorising, told-you-so, etc etc from many sections of the UK here comes a declaration on my own stance: I am hard-left with an authoritarian streak mixed with what could be taken as either a pragmatic or Realpolitik outlook. No fluffy folk-lore, conspiracy layered tropes here. In my ‘book’ it is the duty, I stress that Duty of every member of the Labour Party to struggle, by all means necessary to work towards the goal that The Conservative Party does not have a say in Government. It is a very tough world and Compromise is not a Dirty Word (and by the way the State of The World….. it’s all Our Collective Fault (Humanity that is) no use blaming one side or another). Thus on with the commentary.
Overview and History
Corbyn comes from what folk like to call The Far-Left of the UK Labour Party and being of a post-war generation carries the baggage of that time. State ownership, antipathy to large commercial outfits, latent hostility to the Conservative Party (so far so good), suspicions of the USA, tendency to give Russia in whatever guise it is operating a second and third chance, anti-war no matter what and of course an urge for ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’. (by now he and I have parted company). Following Blair’s Bright Future being afflicted by Hubris, Brown left holding the bag but successfully navigating the near collapse of the financial system in 2008, one romantic wing of the Labour Party called itself Momentum, gathered itself together with the sole purpose of getting its man into the top job did that with commendable success.
The first thing it did, which is, to be fair classic Socialist/Communist style was to seriously discredit the predecessors, caste out those who would not tow the line, get its own folk into places of power, and start to intimidate any internal opposition. In this it was doing as would be expected (it’s what I would have done). It then ran out of ideas, the most important being on how to get into government in an essentially conservative (mood not party) nation, Nearly got there in 2017 through a mix of dislike of Conservative Austerity and possible hope placed in Labour, BUT thanks to the historic intransigence of Sinn Fein ( When it comes to politics They do things differently in Ulster) not taking their seats in the House of Commons Labour failed (‘Close but no Cigar’ as was the saying in the USA). And this is where it all goes wrong. When history, heritage and a lot of murky within the Human Nature start to play their parts.
One of Humanity’s dirty facets is prejudice and it is no use denying that ‘you’ are not prey to it. Be honest you do judge some folk by labels and without knowing them dislike or are suspicious of them… Yes, yes I ‘know’ some ‘deserve it’….. See what I mean?. Anyway, one ingrained in European history, folk lore, warping of religious beliefs, social outlooks and politics is…The Jews . Oh, yes we have decided that they are so different and so inward looking, you never know what they are thinking…..actually if you had been persecuted, pogromed, vilified and mis-represented for several hundred years you wouldn’t exactly be going out into the world with a happy innocent smile on your face would you now? And not even the horrors of WWII have cleaned that stain out of our collective consciousnesses. Thus in every European there is a sensitivity to ‘The Jews’ . Where the toxicity was allowed to flourish on the Left was when it was the USA and not the USSR who got to support Israel. You see another prejudice in Europe, particularly on the Left is that the USA is bad. For instance -never mind that the majority of Americans voted against Trump, many on the left promptly labelled every American as stupid and White Fundamentalist Evangelical. Never mind that to be Jewish can leave you open to vilification in the USA, somehow Israel, Mossad and so all ‘the Jews’ were also behind Trump.
Thus to a section of the Labour Party be Jewish is to be associated the corrupt, and horrific Israeli government of now, and all Palestinians are victims, and let’s not go into what happens to those Palestinians who speak out against their own ‘representatives’ in Hamas. Now this outlook is an obvious weak link in the Party which espouses equality and claims to be opposed to discrimination, and something which the Conservative supporting media can work with. Conservative spokespersons can be ‘horrified’ about (while hushing up the Islamophobic tendency of its own ranks…nothing to see here folks…move along please).
Any half-astute hard-nosed operator within the true ranks of Socialism would have seen this happening, and knowing it was a problem would have confronted it by one very simple manoeuvre. Criticise the Israeli government and announce talks to affiliate with one of the left wing Israeli Parties : Meretz for instance who does have seats in the Knesset or Da’am Workers Party (very, very Left wing) to name but two without even trying. Embrace indigenous UK Jewish groups who are opposed to the Israeli government and its policies. Make it very plain to folk who are not on board with this policy to either get on board or quit Labour and set up their own little group (with a sub-text that such an outfit with be vilified by Labour by all means necessary). Tell all those fashionable personalities who raise their profiles by announcing their are boycotting this or that to shut up or also get on board. Although that would seriously annoy the Israeli Government and their UK supporters this would defuse the situation. So simple. All it needed was determination and a few threats to those who stood in its way. But no, the Party Split over the issue, it lost its traditional Jewish base and looked all kinds of Nasty in the media. And in defence of their Anointed many of Corbyn’s supporters took on the mirror image of the supporters of Trump, blinded to anything but support and visceral hate for those against them. Absolute bumbling, rank amateurism, blinded with prejudice and out-dated tropes of warped folk-lore. Although hard-left I am also a Christian and did often mentally cry to the Lord God ‘Give Me Strength Lord! Give me Strength!…
You had it all. A divided unpopular weakened Conservative Party and you still failed, in fact seen to be failing. And all you and yours could come up with were excuses.
And now the proverbial chickens have come home to roost, and while all those who still cling to the notion that Corbyn is but a victim of a vast conspiracy do rend their garments and caste ashes this way and that, I can in all honest anger and reproach say:
‘Jeremy Corbyn by your own narrow-mindedness, inflexibility, adherence to out-dated concepts have played a major role in this unhappy collection of Islands being administered by the most inept collection of people in many a long year to sit around a Cabinet Table at Number 10 Downing street. In this I judge you guilty of that most major crime any socialist can commit you complied in allowing a Conservative Government. In the words of Oliver Cromwell to The Long Parliament on the 20th April 1653:
You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
Foreword: This post will reveal comments some may consider callous, triumphalist or even suggesting War is a viable solution. None of these were the intention. However once a writer makes a statement that statement is open to many interpretations and so are the writer’s motives. This has always be the case. Thus with eyes open I accept that risk.
Firstly you will have to accept that the first thing which springs to my mind when someone mentions ‘6th August’ is ‘Clare’ s birthday’ (our second child and younger daughter). It is when I read posts on Facebook or Word Press that I am reminded in 1945 the A-Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, on the 9th it was the turn of Nagasaki, on the 15th August Japan surrendered and the documents were signed on the 2nd September.
There will be many evocative, genuine posts condemning the event on the 6th August 1945. I respect their views.
But I do not agree. For I have read, some might say too much, military history and have therefore become subsumed in The Fearful Logic of War. I have looked in very deeply and seen the places where civil and civilian perceptions are left behind and a vast and complex set of other values take over. Some might already be getting angry that this post might be the justification of war or worse the some sort of condemnation at those who take an opposite view. Let me clarify.
This is a warning as to when The Fearful Logic is released on a national scale. When indeed the Dogs of War are let slip.
These opening words are also found on a post by the excellent and consistently hard-working Jill Dennison: (I would strongly recommend you follow this blog, so much going on there)
“Don’t stand too close and be advised not to read too much on the subject because it changes the perspective. Just read the words of this writer, the third maybe fourth hand observer. A reader and studier of Military and of War. And bear in mind these words come in all damn analytical sincerity.
The use of the A-Bombs was the result of a military logic in which the Japanese Military High Command had played its part, in its fanatical intransigence to twisted version of the Bushido code and determination not to lose face.
For three years the forces of the USA had slowly, inexorably pushed those of Imperial Japan back towards the homelands, paying a fearful price in ‘blood and treasure’. In response the Japanese Imperial forces did not display by western standards understandable conventional responses by surrendering or retreating when nothing was to be gained in defending land but threw away the lives of its own men and women in indoctrinated slaughter masking as honourable suicide, at a cost to both sides.
War requires a foe to surrender, be conquered, annihilated or the attacker just plain give up, that is what happens when The Beast is released. Japan was not willing to continuance the first option. An invasion of the home islands of a nation in such a mindset would present a death toll far in excess of anything so far experienced by the USA and by the Japanese Civil population who would have been coerced/convinced into the defence. War requires a swift conclusion where possible. The USA had the weapon. The USA used it. This is the logic of War. The hard, certain, decision making process which exists in such an atmosphere. (You’ll recall Jill I mentioned a reply a while back and have said several times how when Democracies are brought into war they can be as deadly as their totalitarian foes.)
The use of the A-Bomb was a foregone conclusion, from the moment the Japanese Military adopted the defence at the cost of suicide policy. There was no war crime here, there was the steady, deadly, fearful march of the logic and cause and effect of War. Never forget that War works under a different set of values, your people are dying, haunted by the cost in lives in WWI military planners in the West looked to minimise their losses.
The feature of the A-Bombs were they caused a great deal of deaths in a swift spectacular manner. The firebombing of cities of Germany and Japan by conventional weaponry were causing similar death tolls, but in slower manner. They caused us fright though, once we knew ‘The Other Side’ had them and could level our cities also in minutes and there would be no legendary ‘London Blitz’ scenario (over glamorised), there would be death, wastelands and nuclear aftermath (as opposed to unexploded munitions left buried in the earth aftermath).
War demands this behaviour of the parties. The battlefields are nationwide, and the populations are part of the machinery of war. This was ever so. You could claim (as some in the South would) that Sherman was a war criminal for he carried out his march in deliberately destructive fashion. This is War and when nations lock horns and we summon up War, we do so at our own peril, because we then leave our civilian outlooks behind in pursuit of Victory.
I will leave you with one thought which I have never read or heard voiced in The West. Would those in China, Philippines, Malaya, Burma, Singapore or in the military Prisoner of War camps who suffered the capricious and cruel occupations of the Imperial Japanese Forces have objected to the use of those bombs upon the nation which occupied them?
Lee of the Confederacy said the right thing as he viewed the slaughter at one battlefield:
‘It is as well War is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it,’
In my opinion Jill, not a crime but a fearful warning as to what WAR requires of us when we invoke it. It changes all the rules, all the judgments, all the values. Even to read of it in too much detail will change your outlook.”
There were a number of other points swirling around in my mind, but I did not wish to hijack Jill’s post my reply was quite long enough for a response to a post. Thus at this juncture let me proceed deeper.
No side comes out of War with clean hands, reputations intact or even with their original intentions fulfilled. Once War is lose then to a certain extent ethical control amongst other factors is lost. The nation or community invests lives and effort into the defeat of the foe and lives are not given lightly; the deaths are either sources of concern, sources of glorification or measures of how ‘well’ one side or the other is doing, thus each death carries a certain value, those values you will have noticed are manifold. In its chaos, tangle of emotions, and twists of intentions the results themselves are subjected to constant review and evaluation. To say ‘History is written by the victor’ is a mammoth over-simplification which does not take into account the fact that History is constantly viewed through the prism of The Present. Thus the dread question will always arise ‘Was It Worth It?’
‘Was It Worth It?’
This a very dangerous question to ask, even more so to answer. The answer is always ‘It depends who you ask?’. Someone in the UK or the USA might well voice the opinion we should never have got involved in WWI. If you were a Belgium or French citizen in the German occupied zones and subject to brutal reprisals for acts of sabotage and ‘terrorism’ or shipped of to work in journey as slave labour then you might have a quite different answer. Consider the Korean War which might have been forgotten by now were it not for repeats of M*A*S*H and compare the two states on that peninsula. AS for WWII against two militarily aggressive, brutal and racist states? The problem being in WWII the Democracies- for Whites that is- required the partnership with another militarily aggressive brutal state- the jury is out on the racist issue. Citing these examples you could say the wars were unavoidable.
‘Were they unavoidable?’
Yes, No or Maybe. The problem with wars is when you start to look for the root cause. Take WWII, German revisionist folk lore insisted the nation was tricked or betrayed into surrender. So WWI was the cause? You have to look back to not just the expansion of the various European empires which had formulated a sort of set of rules but the outbreaks of nationalism across the whole continent in which who sections of the populations demanded their slice and the expense of other sections. So you go in the 19th Century, and have to go back to the revolts of 1848, which themselves had resonances in the upheaval during the Napoleonic era and French aggression, which in turn had roots in the French Revolution, which- Do you want me to go on?
On the other side of the globe two vibrant expansionist powers were moving into collision in the Pacific, Sino, SE Asia region. USA and Japan. Yes Britain and France in the 1930s could have let Nazi Germany have its way as long as it kept its crimes indoors and pointed eastwards. That would not have stopped the USA-Japanese confrontation.
Are Wars avoidable? In the current state of Human Society, no. We’re stuck with them. Unless there is a world wide movement of whole populations who are prepared to risk their lives in non-violent protest and their relatives and friends are prepared to accept the deaths as being ‘just’ and ‘acceptable’. We can march, we can don ironic masks we can post up impassioned or fashionable statements on Social Media, but until we are ready to stand there and take the blows and the deaths without equal retort all that is so much noise and no more. The acts may dissuade one government or two from taking part but it does not stop The War, ask anyone in Syria how much they appreciated the actions of the UK ‘Stop The War Coalition’, better still ask Assad and Putin how much they appreciated ‘Stop The War Coalition’.
War goes deep into our mindset and our community. The urge to defend and strike back, one from pre-human evolution. We haven’t got passed that stage. We might not. Doing away with War is a full-time day and night task full of contradictions and questions which cannot be answered simply. It is achievable……but at its own cost
I would wish for Compassion, Respect and Tolerance. But I realise there are folk who would never embrace those ideals. Thus if to assert The Only Justifiable Intolerance is Intolerance of Intolerance, how far does one go to ensure this will be so?
Will for the rest of Humanity’s time on this planet there be the motto:
Shearwater are an ‘indie’ band of the USA, originating in Austin Texas, and basically revolving around songwriter and vocalist Johnathan Meiburg, someone with a haunting and expressive voice, weaving evocative images on a myriad of subjects.
I have been a fan of their music since 2011 when I chanced upon their fourth album The Golden Archipelago
Within Meiburg’s writings are expressed elements of concern about the environment, social injustice and politics and you can therefore guess a Shearwater album is not required listening amongst the followers of the current occupant of the Whitehouse.
Back in 2016 (pre-election days) was released Jet Plane and Oxbow Meiburg said he wanted to try and make a protest album which was not ‘dumb or preachy’… the latter wish being a difficult task since by its nature a protest song tends to the preachy anyway.
Preamble and Foreword
When I heard this first, we were still in the second tenure of President Obama and hoping that the Democrats could ‘swing it’ once more. By then I had grown into a role of defending the USA as not the Great Satan and cause of all the world’s ill, of course hands were not clean, of course the Iraq invasion had been a fearful blunder and any military intervention in Afghanistan is always a questionable move. My defence (British spelling) of the USA was that to assail the USA for every mis-deed was to ignore what Russia and China, to name but two were up to. Indeed in those days it was almost an article of faith of the British Left that it could never be ‘Russia’ it had to be the ‘USA’ and let’s pretend Assad of Syria was only defending himself against The West (The Useful Idiot syndrome as beloved by all dictators- but I digress).
Anyway back to the album:
Arguably one of the most striking songs is ‘Quiet Americans’, a lament against American policies and public acquiescence in general. Whether Meiburg took Graham Greene’s The Quiet American
As a source for the title I cannot personally say.
I greeted the song with mixed feelings, but to give you a fair idea of what I am on about here is the very striking video and the lyrics.
I can’t help it, if all the world is ending
All the life is gone while you’re calling up this name
Where are the Americans?
Your dim cultures, your hands and eyes that wander
Stumbling down the road
Or collapsing on parade
We’re lying alone in the Eastern land
Slipping in the morning hours, the only sound
From the lantern covered hills, the only light
From the day yet to begin, the only sign
Of the guns and silhouettes
The only sound, the only light
Done with silence, we’re disconnecting lives
Pull out the lightning dust
At the mention of his name
Wither the Americans!
Take the memories out, hide the evidence under
Piss on the world below
Like a dog, that knows its name
Where are the Americans?
I’m calling on the run tonight
Feeling the remaining hours, the only sound
Are the bells upon the hill, the only light
Are the lanterns in the wind, the only sight
Screams the rust off the rails
The only sound, the only light
The only light is the day yet to begin
The only sight are the lives in silhouette
The only sound is the rushing of the wind
The only light is not the only life
(Footnote: You may interpret the images as you see fit, many folk read many messages)
So in that glow of the Obama presidency, the mockery of the Ridiculous Right and the hope that we were still progress, a light which shone and illuminated the intolerance and oppression within the other Big Powers Russia and China I was thinking ‘Nice song Johnathan I do like it, but give your nation a break. It’s not that bad,’
It is dreadfully embarrassing when even after 60+ years on this planet and 50 of them spent following politics and reading histories you can still be found to be naïve and dreaming.
Here we are in 2020. And the rational amongst us, with any sense of the necessity of a nation united if it is to survive hoping, even praying that even someone as not very charismatic or of visibly towing intellect such as Joe Biden can bring down that colossus of ignorance, vanity and ineptitude, the one who sits in the Whitehouse due to a freak of the USA’s voting system, Trump.
Trump himself is an individual of small character and even less ability. Put him in a room, alone, with no audience and just one person of average determination and intelligence and after a short while Trump would storm out with all the dignity of a four year old having the TV switched off or video game taken away. You see Trump is not the issue. It is the bloc of voters who have created a creature of their own imagination and wish fulfillment who loathe the opposite of their views so much, who were so angered by ‘One of Those People’ being in the Whitehouse that they would choose a most obnoxious and inflammatory creature to be their voice simply to get back at the opposition. And that is all he is, The Mouthpiece.
Thus when I look back at the lyrics of Quiet Americans and bear in mind there is still a vast swell of folk who are willing to tolerate this ridiculous state of affairs either by tacit support or self-isolation from the virus of ignorance and bigotry I have to say in all contrition:
“Mr. Meiburg. I apologise. In my vanity I forgot, it is you who are living in the USA, not I. Your comments are thus quite understandable. In fact in post-Brexit and the wake of the UK’s 2019 General Election it is possible to import your song and transpose ‘Britain’ for ‘American’…..Though I am still working on which word to replace ‘Quiet’ with.”
This village was situated in the Volhynia region of central eastern Europe, a location around South-Eastern Poland, South-Western Belarus and Western Ukraine. This was not carried out by German forces. This was carried out by units of and sympathisers with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a nationalist group with a long and complex history.
And was the beginning of a genocidal campaign which would spread into Eastern Galicia and by the end of the summer of 1943 would have claimed upwards of 100,000 lives. The German authorities did not intervene.
(ask any military buff or WWII in Europe reader about July 1943 and they will probably cite the Battle of Kursk in Russia as the most important event of the time)
The events, the peoples and the organisation involved have only been chosen because today is the anniversary of what could be termed the start of one of the many slaughters of civilians during WWII; itself one of many wars renowned for such activity.
If I were so inclined I could most likely fill up the rest of 2020 with daily posts on the evidence of mass killings of civilians of one group by mobs or militias (much the same thing) of another group and present depressing but overwhelming evidence that:
Firstly: No one nation, people or society has clean hands when it comes to the mistreatment of another nation, people or society. We all of us have dirty places we would rather not have historians rake over, or if they do we get very annoyed and start hurling insults at the said historians and their ‘agenda’
Secondly: Nationalism or people ‘fighting for their freedom’ is not a concept replete with tolerant, democratically minded folk fired up with the urge to throw off a repressive government. History is depressingly full of examples when a people have gained their freedom they (a) Start persecuting minorities within their borders (b) Start of civil war. Basically nationalist groups want things run their way by their people.
Freedom is a word too often bandied around; so much so it becomes devalued to ‘I don’t care about you ‘I ‘ want things to be MY way. Heritage and National History are also terms which can, are and will be used to cover up the nasty little back-stabbings, hypocrisies and excuses for dirty deeds which call into question the general moral compass of a people who when analysed can be shown to be just as intolerant as their previous masters.
The flaw lies not within one government (which ever ones happens to be the fashionable whipping boy of the time), there are plenty who can compete for that prize at any given decade. Although it is comfortable to blame one form of government for being lesser than another (ie ‘ours’) a brief trip around a nation’s sounding boards will reveal (again) no nation is spotless. Spare me revolutionary talk that’s for dreamers, malcontents and folk who’ve read the book or watched the film V for Vendetta and took it seriously,
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is the painfully accurate commentary. Anarchy may be fine for very small groups of easy going people who live far from anyone else.
The flaw lies within the person. Within each and everyone of us, the sometimes very small itch to scratch and blame ‘those people’ for being wrong and thus worthless, other times the frustrated anger to rage against anyone who opposes our views. It works like this:
‘I have strong views, based on earnestly thought out opinions and justifiable grievances.
YOU are narrow-minded and don’t comprehend. YOU might even be dangerous. ‘
We all do it, we all dash to judgement and ‘sound off’. Fortunately most of us vent it off to long-suffering friends or family, the TV or the ever voracious Social Media. Very few of us take to the streets waving banners suggesting ‘Someone Else’ is the problem.
And there is the tricky danger. There are manifold injustices and inequalities. Legion of issues which need reform or revaluation. The problem lies in when we start to focus those issues as being the fault of one section of society, when we parcel certain groups of folk up. True you can censure some for their Intolerance or Irresponsibility; but to pick on the whole section they come from? Might as well build a huge cage to lock us all in and fire the keys off on a journey to the Sun.
What happened on the 11th July 1943 in one part of central and eastern Europe is an indication and warning of when our flaws are left to fester down the centuries, when one ill-deed or one piece of ignorant is allowed to take root as a general and indisputable series of facts. Sure we can all cite the ‘Payback Excuse’, trouble is: there is Payback for Payback for Payback for Payback….you get the idea.
Never fool yourself into thinking ‘it couldn’t happen here’. Just look down your own history and not that many miles for where you live (even five hundred miles is not very far in global terms), there’s the warning.
And never think you would not be on the giving or receiving end of injustices; the circumstances which lead down those roads are always fearfully close, Six Degrees of Separation does not just relate to relationships of people; it can apply to circumstances.
When it comes down to it The Only Acceptable Intolerance is the Intolerance of Intolerance
So it’s time for a demonstration and you can be sure someone will trot out their little V for Vendetta Mask for all the world to see what bold street-marching revolutionary they are
I wonder if it ever occurs to anyone in love with this image, they are celebrating a fanatical religious fundamentalist who wanted to blow up a representative (sort of) Parliament which was a check on King and Church and replace it with an authoritarian theocracy?
I doubt it.
That’s the thing about reading too much history, it does incline to strip away a lot of the romance we all do like hide in.
Or am I being a ‘boomer’ (whatever the heck that is supposed to truly mean… not a lot I suspect)?