I just realized that, coincidentally, the post I scheduled for Remembrance Day contains a paragraph or two that some might interpret as disrespectful towards soldiers. So I’d like to preface it with this post.
Why do we have a Remembrance Day in the first place? Why do we care to honour fallen soldiers but not tuberculosis victims or down-drafted hang-gliders?
The reason is that a healthy society makes a point of rewarding the noble and self-sacrificing with respect and esteem. Soldiers, particularly those who fought in the real wars of earlier generations, exposed themselves to what we would regard as an insanely high risk of death and dismemberment, for only modest financial rewards. They lied about their age and elbowed each other out of the way for a chance to die in muddy trenches on the other side of the world, fighting enemies that hadn’t done anything to them or anyone they cared about. This is a sense of duty and sacrifice that men in my generation can’t even fathom. I have many positive feelings about my country, but I can confidently say I would not climb up a ladder without a spotter for it. Defending my family, friends and property in the event of an actual invasion is a different story. But fighting on another continent because the elites of my country got in a pissing match with the elites of another? Not a chance.
Today for example, I have zero desire to have anything to do with… whatever it is we’re doing… in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are wars with no goals, no strategy, and no end game. I’m sorry if you’re serving, and this offends you. I admire your motives, and I wish you a safe return. But you are fighting a pointless war.
The wars of the late 20th century – Korea and Vietnam – were, in my opinion, good and just. Worth the price we paid? I won’t play the historical counterfactual game here. But as I say, it’s pretty hard to do wrong when you’re shooting at communists.
The two World Wars are trickier.
WWI is contemporarily regarded as a great mistake, an outbreak of excessive enthusiasm, a grand misunderstanding in which both sides made their own errors of judgement. Not the greatest moment in our history perhaps, but certainly no great dishonour. And of course the men who served under their commanding officers imperfect orders were of the highest caliber.
In other words, we are taught about WWI in the same tone that modern-day Nazis would learn about the Holocaust, had they emerged victorious.
Personally, the more I learn about The Great War, the sicker I feel having anything to do with the celebration of any aspect of it.World War I was far worse than ‘pointless’ as it is often described. It was the war that destroyed western civilization, at the cost of a generation of its best men, and fault for it lies squarely at the feet of a political coalition, the perverse and decayed bastard mutation of which bestrides the world today.
World War Two is more complex. The Nazis were evil, and we fought them. But is that enough to make us righteous? Especially considering we fought side-by-side with the greater evil of Russia under Stalin? And it’s not like our hands are clean in the whole ordeal either. We didn’t fight World War II to save the Jews from the holocaust. We didn’t know about it, and to the extent that we did, we didn’t care, judging by our refusal to accept Jewish refugees. So we fought Hitler – the majority of whose crimes we weren’t aware of – so we could divide Germany up between our own empire, and that of a man who we knew had slaughtered millions.
So my feelings on Remembrance Day are complex. Both my Grandfather and Grandmother are career Air Force, the latter at one point being among the highest-ranked women in uniform in the service. I’m desperately hoping my cousin doesn’t finish his training until all our troops are called back home. And regardless of what I think of the goals and outcomes of the wars we’ve fought over the past century, I have great respect for the motives, courage, and strength that our soldiers must possess. In a country of paper-shufflers, Wall-street occupiers, and Warcraft-addicts, the armed forces contain some of the best men around.
I will take a minute today to remember those who have fallen, and I will do the living a small favour, by writing this post in the hopes that it convinces a few others to withdraw their support from an elite that has no problem watching our soldiers die for their own pet political projects.
Happy Remembrance Day!
Interested in more of this historical/political stuff?
Read Unqualified Reservations, the single greatest source of history and political philosophy written by anyone alive today, and check out Dennis Mangan, Foseti, Chariot of Reaction, and the newspaper columns of David Warren. Also, follow Kalim Kassam on Twitter, and harass him until he starts a blog of his own. If you want to dive right in to some pre-20th century reactionary literature, here’s your library. If you need the structure of a directed readings course, start here. The Red Pill isn’t just about getting laid, you know.
In any case, we’ll return to your regularly scheduled programming of bitches and cheese tomorrow morning.