The death of Harry Patch, the last survivor from the 1914/18 trenches has given the state another opportunity to glorify war and call for blind patriotism. By state propaganda via its institutions and the media the “Great” war has become the Great lie, an illusion of the “Glorious Dead”. Anything associated with it becomes a grandiose spectacle of empty pomp, another attempt to legitimise the brutality of war.
As long as we attach words like honour and glory to what is no more than state instigated cold-blooded organised brutality on a mammoth scale, then it will never end. Modern war is a place where your actions kill the elderly, the innocent, women and children, all in the name of the corporate world and state power, war is never glorious. To talk in terms of glory regards war only encourages another generation of youth to step forward and carry on that carnage, to the benefit of the power mongers with no gain to the ordinary people of either side. Perhaps we should listen to the words of someone who was there, Harry Patch, when he says, “War is organised murder and nothing else.”
If we wish an end to war we must first “tell it like it is”, in all its pointless savage, indiscriminate, brutal slaughter, lay bare all the anguish and misery heaped on the ordinary people of both sides. Then we must attack the root cause, state power and corporate greed, creating a society based on mutual aid, voluntary co-operation and free association. A society that sees to the needs of all our people on principles of sustainability, free ourselves from the grip of those parasites the shareholders and their lapdogs, the “political parties” with their state institutions.