Monday, June 23, 2008

Papa Knows Best

War is so awesomeIt's not a reference to the just-passed Father's Day but to a letter Ernest Hemingway wrote to Esquire in 1935 on the coming world war. It's perceptive in a way that you don't tend to see today, when all of our major media outlets are owned, or at least controlled, by the same network of people and corporations who profit handsomely from wars and inflation. Highlights:

Not this August, nor this September; you have this year to do in what you like. Not next August, nor next September; that is still too soon; they are still too prosperous from the way things pick up when armament factories start at near capacity; they never fight as long as money can still be made without. So you can fish that summer and shoot that fall or do whatever you do, go home at nights, sleep with your wife, go to the ball game, make a bet, take a drink when you want to, or enjoy whatever liberties are left for anyone who has a dollar or a dime. But the year after that or the year after that they fight. Then what happens to you?
Or maybe, I dunno, there will be another awesome war this year! (And maybe another 9/11 just for fun, too.)
If there is a general European war we will be brought in if propaganda (think of how the radio will be used for this), greed, and the desire to increase the impaired health of the state can swing us in. Every move that is made now to deprive the people of their decision on all matters through their elected representatives and to delegate those powers to the executive brings us that much nearer war.
Substitute "Middle Eastern" for "European" and not much has changed in nearly 75 years, has it?
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
Inflation? What inflation?
War is no longer made by simply analysed economic forces if it ever was. War is made or planned now by individual men, demagogues, and dictators who play on the patriotism of their people to mislead them into a belief in the great fallacy of war when all their vaunted reforms have failed to satisfy the people they misrule. And we in America should see that no man is ever given, no matter how gradually or how noble and excellent the man, the power to put this country into a war which is now being prepared and brought closer each day with all the premeditation of a long planned murder.
Oh look, a very non-noble and non-excellent man is being given the power to start his third war in six years.
They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.
Or you'll just "be strong" and pass out water to little brown kids, or something.