The Great War (not so great in my humble opinion) has been an ongoing part of my study into the tale of the tribe, pivoting on the poetry and prose of Ezra Pound and James Joyce, who both lived through WW1, and who both lost friends.
I understand, and respect why we have a period of silence in memory of those fallen, but i fail to understand why so few of the silent care to engage in the search for the main causes of war, or pay much attention to those who are brave enough to go there, into the complexity of the deep politics of war. To exhibit constructive criticism of authority, the industrial political economic war machine, those who make the guns and bombs and bullets, and sell them. And the apathy of the public, the sleeping masses who seem hoodwinked into supporting this monstrous killing machine in the name of patriotism. Or at least, not yet motivated to stand proud and say I AM AGAINST WAR, ALL WAR. And in saying that, imply a favour for life over death, compassion and sympathy, not hate and retribution.
I favour an interconnected global network of co-operative humanity, not annexed and isolated sovereign states fighting over material wealth, atoms, oil and arms. Like weasels fighting in a hole, as Willy Yeats described war.
Maybe…lets remember all our ancestors, ALL of them, and their struggles in a life lived against all the odds to bring us here. Stop the wars for our futures present sake. Stop the arms dealers. Or perhaps sign a petition, or star speaking out against the trident nuclear submarine plans? “Its a pity that ALL nations couldn’t be defeated”–Ezra Pound, letter to James Joyce concerning the slaughter of WW1
A memorable line lifted from the Roman poet Horace, and used by the British Poet Winifred Owen: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.” sounds to me, today, like the mantra of a maniac suicide bomber. What do you think? “1,2,3,4 what are we fighting for?”–Country Joe. As Ez wrote: the youth of WW1 have died “For an old bitch gone in the teeth, / For a botched civilization, / … / For two gross of broken statues, / For a few thousand battered books.” Peace means peace. Man! Look into the causes of war to oppose escalations of war. And yes, make room to honor the dead, all of them on all sides, love all the people. There is a time for silence and a time to speak. I suspect we could do with some more strong anti-war voices, poets, artists and perhaps a politician or two? with a basis in humanitarian principles, no fear, and a whole lot of luck. Fear leads to hate, as Yoda said. Yes mate. Steve Fly