Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ANZAC day & the Origins of War -25/04/2013


well...  ugh.

I spent the last half-hour trying to find a short version of George C Scott's amazing opening speech from Patton, on YouTube, for a satirical Anzac day poem, but in that process had to imbibe so much right-wing crap that I actually feel sick now, and lost my nerve.

It's kind of a non-statement, but: we're living in the twenty-first century, war is a horrible thing that should always be avoided, never be supported. However, I don't begrudge anyone going to an Anzac day march. Lest we forget.

It's very easy for a some inner-city, highly-educated, progressive-politics, middle class geek like me to make grand sweeping statements, and lambast about militarism.  Yes, I do think all that patriotic stuff is a pile of brainwashed bullshit, yes I think it's stupid for people my age to go honour the noble courage of some ancestor they never knew sent somewhere far away to commit violence, because the big men at home in suits couldn't keep a lid on it.

But I'm living in 2013, and dubious cause or no, I have never had to sacrifice anything, haven't lost anyone to a conflict, and highly doubt I ever will.  I'm going to go out today with my family, as a living whole, and celebrate my birthday. Lucky me, lest we forget.

So, I'd encourage you to go get a copy of Patton for yourself, and see how well that rhetoric stands up today. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with some straight up science instead:

"it's tempting to close one's eyes to history and instead to speculate about the roots of war
in some possible animal instinct, as if like the tiger we still had to kill to live, or like the robin redbreast to defend a nesting territory.

But war ~ organised war, is not a human instinct. It is a highly planned a co-operative form of theft. That form of theft began 10,000 years ago when the harvesters of wheat accumulated a surplus and the nomads rose out of the desert to rob them of what they themselves could not provide."

-Dr Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man





7jewel said...

Imformative take here and I especially like the researched roots of reference. Brave too.

7jewel said...

Imformative take here and I especially like the researched roots of reference. Brave too.