The War to End All Wars

Today we celebrate the War to End All Wars. It didn’t, and our take on the day has been misdirected by 101 years of propaganda glorifying war. Armistice Day has been turned into Veterans Day. The day to celebrate humanity’s long overdue renunciation of the brutal inhumanity of war has been turned into a day to celebrate the glory of people who gave their lives for their country. They didn’t, of course, give their lives for their country. They gave their lives to protect banking and business interests that profit from control of resources and profit from the conduct of war itself, profit exorbitantly by capitalizing on the chaos and deprivation of war, and the mentality of “spare no expense” that war encourages on both sides.

— JJM

Read Katy Burns’s article on the War to End All Wars

Peace

Last night, I read the Tao Te Ching with a group of friends. Lao Tzu tells us over again that good and evil are yin and yang, part of the way of the world, and that we needn’t take sides, certainly not try to impose the way of the Good on those we know to be Evil.

But. (You knew there was a but.)

But he seems to make an exception for war. Over and over, he tells us that the Master never goes to war. He is more subtle than to say “War is evil”, because that would undermine the picture of evil counterposed to good that he has painted elsewhere. So he goes beyond good/evil to tell us in no uncertain terms, “Stay. Away. From. War.”

Today I am joining a March on the Pentagon.

Image result for yin yang peace sign

International Day of Peace

International Peace Day logo.jpg“A time will come when a politician who has willfully made war and promoted international dissension will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide. It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men’s lives should not stake their own.”
— H. G. Wells was born on this day in 1866.  The International Day of Peace was first declared by the U.N. in 1981.

The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is or has been is but the twilight of the dawn.

Anarchism is not what you think

Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without authority, there could not be worse violence than that of authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. “To establish Anarchy, anarchy will be instituted.” But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require protection from governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power.

— Leo Tolstoy, born this day in 1828

Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary,
it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society. 

 

New Scientist The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere. Default Image
The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.

Caitlin Has a Dream, Too

A door opened up in the sixties which was very quickly and violently slammed shut, and now there are independent flickerings all around the world of that strange, sacred light that still shines under the crack of that door. We still have the ability to open it up again. We’ve only got to want it enough.

If our society had simply been permitted to progress along its natural trajectory at a natural pace and to use the innovations that we’d discovered in a natural way, we would all be wide awake by now. The psychedelic revolution would have continued and matured and grown into adulthood instead of being murdered in its infancy, and our exponentially increasing ability to network and share information would have coupled with our mature consciousness to build a deeply awakened society that benefits every living creature on this planet. That would have happened, and it is only because of the unnatural interference of a very few deeply unwise people that we stayed locked in the matrix, now faced with the looming threat of near term human extinction.

Read more from Caitlin Johnstone

Ellen N. Lamotte

“Well, there are many people to write you of the noble side, the heroic side, the exalted side of war,” she explained. “I must write you of what I have seen, the other side, the backwash.” Censored and long forgotten, her extraordinary book challenged societal norms of violence. 

As a battlefield nurse, public-health administrator, suffragist, anarcho-socialist, lesbian, anti-opium activist, and more, Ellen Lamotte had the courage to argue for peace, tolerance, and decency, blazing a path for us to follow.

Harvard Magazine article

I used to think we fought the Civil War to End Slavery

I grew up with that version of history, and I never thought to question it until I was well into my sixth decade.

Forty years before our Civil War, Spain abolished slavery, at home and in all its colonies.  France followed a few years later  Twenty years before our Civil War, England abolished slavery, and it didn’t require a war.  Canada was under British rule, and also gave up slavery in 1834.  Portugal, the Netherlands, and Sweden had all ended slavery before the American Civil War.

Chronology of the Slave Trade

Lincoln declared war on the Confederacy to restore the Union, as he told us at Gettysburg.  It was explicitly not to abolish slavery, because states that fought for the Union were exempted from the Emancipation Proclamation.

Later, Brazil and Cuba ended slavery.  All of these places in Europe and the Americas have better race relations today than the US.  Only in the US does bitterness remain between North and South, left over from a war that ended 154 years ago.

Ending slavery is a noble idea.  Endling slavery with armies and cannons and barbary and rape and theft and devastation of war was a madness for which we are still paying today.

I thought we fought the Nazis to rescue Jews from genocide

But the story falls apart when we look at the details.  We blockaded food shipments to Germany at the end of The Great War, coercing them to agree to The Treaty of Versailles.  The terms of the treaty imposed impossible “reparations” that further enriched the bankers who had financed both sides of the War, but led to economic and social chaos in Germany.  No wonder they hated us.  No wonder they hated the bankers.  Hitler managed to twist resentment of the bankers into a vendetta against the Jews.

When Jews fled Germany after Kristallnacht, the US and Britain refused to take them in, turning them back to Germany to face extermination.

The Nazis built their war machine financed by British and American banks, and with the full cooperation of IBM, Ford, General Motors, and other American companies.  Meanwhile, American companies were selling scrap steel to Japan, dismantling our rail transportation network and turning it into battleships for Hirohito.

Hitler assiduously avoided attacking the US, though we were sending arms and aid to Britain, because he had his hands full in Europe. Japan also avoided war with the US, and Roosevelt worked hard to lure them into an attack on Pearl Harbor, which he used as an excuse to declare war on Germany as well as Japan.

Profitable arms sales to Germany and Japan only stopped after the declaration of war, and even then our Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA) was secretly supporting Germany against the Soviet Union, via the secret diplomacy of Allen Dulles.

We are still paying for this madness today with the wars over oil in the Middle East, with the pervasive fear that is the War on Terror, with the genocide of Palestinians by Israel today.

There never was a good war or a bad peace.
— Benjamin Franklin

Every war is justified by leaders on both sides who invoke patriotism, freedom, justice, and every other noble sentiment.  This superstructure of noble lies is built on a foundation of fear, prepared for a generation or more beforehand.

Cui bono?  War is good for corporate profits in general.  Commodity prices create profit opportunities galore.  We may think that munitions companies and defense contractors head the list of war profiteers, but surprisingly they are second to the bankers.  In 1935, Major General Smedley Butler taught us that War is a Racket.  Seventy years earlier, General Sherman had told us that war is hell.

War will end when we demand it.  In America, our first idea about how to solve a problem is to fighta war.  Our second idea is to pass a new law.  But war is already illegal.  All contemporary American wars are fought in defiance of the Constitution (which demands a declaration of war by Congress) and the War Powers Act of 1973 (which limits the President’s authority to deploy troops without a declaration of war).  The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 was passed after a decade-long campaign by people the world over who had been hoodwinked into one World War, and vowed ‘never again”.