"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names." -- Chinese Proverb
It is regularly said that the soldiers of the 20th and now the 21st century fought (or are fighting) to make us free. This is a wonderful sentiment and SHOULD evoke gratitude, if in FACT there was a shred of truth to it.
The END of the "free" era of human progress started in 1914 when WWI erupted across Europe and it has pretty much continued to this day.
If soldiers fought to make us free, we should be FAR MORE free after 100+ years of near universal war. The most empirical test would be whether we are MORE free today than we were in say 1912 or 1913. Let's TEST that theory RIGHT NOW.
In those days, there was NO INCOME TAX. There was no CORPORATE TAX. The federal, national and local governments around the world survived on 6-7% of GDP, raised primarily through excise tariffs and customs duties. There were no papers that anyone had to carry. There were no licenses that anyone had to have. There were NO PASSPORTS. I'll say that again. There were NO PASSPORTS. You could travel from one country to another -- FREELY. One could come to America, sail under the raised arms of the Statue of Liberty and as long as you weren't coughing up a lung, you walked into the country free and clear.
Surely, if the millions of men, women and children in the 20th century were slaughtered like pigs for our freedom we should be even MORE free now than we were before WWI. When there was no Federal Reserve System to destroy the value of our currency, very little goverment meddling in the economy, no Department of Homeland Security. Sorry, but it's just not true. Not in the slightest. It's not even close to true. Frankly, it's the exact OPPOSITE of truth.
And there's this myth that is floating around, that people actually believe, that the way to honor the MURDERS of so many millions of people is to say that humanity acheived some tangible, positive "good" from that. I do not believe in an afterlife, but if I did, there would be a CHORUS of eviscerated ghosts screaming at us and admonishing us that their deaths actually helped to enslave us. To honor their deaths is to actually NAME the TRUTH of what happened to them AND to us as a result of these wars. We can't make their deaths "good". But we can at least try to rescue some virtue from it and we shouldn't be doing it by PRETENDING that they died to make us free because we are LESS FREE -- FAR LESS FREE now than we were before these slaughters began.
Even with all of its problems (slavery, no rights for women, children treated like dogs), the amazing growth of wealth in the 19th century and the industrial revolution was staggering. And almost to a dollar, WWI WIPED OUT all of that progress. All of the accumulated wealth of the 19th century was torched and destroyed by the first world war, where a guy from one country killed a political leader from another country and then, to capture this "terrorist", a war began. DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR?
This is how LITTLE progress we've made. And why have we made so little progress? Because for the most part, we don't understand the true nature of violence. We still believe that it's possible to strangle a soul into virtue.
A very brief tour of the 20th century helps us to understand. So, you have this war that began out of practically NOTHING -- a single assassin. So for the sake of one man dying, TEN MILLION died in the trenches and another TEN MILLION died from the flu epidemic that the soldiers spread when they returned from the front to a weakened population. Three years after the war began, the Allies were exhausted and they were going to call an end to it and not screw up Europe. They were going to rewrite the original boundaries and they were all gonna go home. And if they had actually done that, if that had actually been allowed to happen, the 20th century would have been ENTIRELY different than it was.
But Nooooo ... what happened was that sick bastard, Woodrow Wilson (a Democrat), got the U.S. into the war, 100 thousand troops slaughtered, 300 thousand EVADED the draft (back then they still had some REAL sense of "honor") and the entry of the U.S. into WWI prolonged the war by at least a year, causing millions more deaths, and gave the Allies such an upper hand that they could impose the BRUTAL Treaty of Versailles on Germany and the blockade that continued until long after the war ended in 1918. A blockade where no food and no medicine was allowed into Germany, causing the deaths of many more German civilians. Mothers watched their children die of starvation and simple illnesses. And tens of thousands of innocent American civilians died as a result of those sanctions. This leaves a scar and a desire for vengeance,
So the Treaty of Versailles that imposed unbelievable reparations payments on Germany, screwed up its economy, rewrote the borders of Europe in a completely insane way, carving off parts of Germany and Czechslovakia and handing them off to Poland and France, cutting people off from their country in the same way that if Texas and California were given to Mexico, you'd yearn to rejoin the United States.
This set the stage for WWII. The German government ended up printing insane amounts of currency to pay off the reparations, or face another blockade and possible invasion. This caused hyperinflation which spread around the world, destroyed the middle class in Germany and paved the way for a thug like Hitler to come in. And Germany so so desperate to stop fighting this two front war with Russia on one side and the Allies on the other that they sent Lenin in, ARMED AND FUNDED to overthrow the Czarist regime, which is why you had the foundation of the Communist regime in Russia in 1917 that tyrannized huge sections of the world for the next 70 years.
If America had not come into WWI, there never would have been a WWII, or a Cold War, or the tyranny of Lenin and Stalin, and Kruschev, and Brezhnev. Hitler would have been a famous artist and vegetarian dietician and not a famous megalomaniac. There wouldn't have been a situation where all of Eastern Europe was swallowed into the caverous maw of the Soviet Union with its disgusting and violent Communism.
These people did not die to set us free. They did not die fighting any enemy other than the one the previous deaths had created. Violence is a genie that attacks everyone. We all want a gun that we can take out and point at someone else, but as was said in "Lord of the Flies", "a spear is a stick sharpened at both ends." You cannot unleash violence upon others without it coming back to you. Think about THAT when you consider WHY four airliners were used as projectiles in September 11, 2001 and all the other repercussions that have come from U.S. Imperialism.
The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names. Soldiers are paid killers. And I say that with all sympathy to men and women who are SUCKERED into a life of evil through propaganda and the labeling of "heroic" to a man in costume who kills for money. I say this with all sympathy to the destructive effects of propaganda, which keeps alive the most bigoted aspects of religion, patriotism, the military, a militarized police, and wars. The lies of collective virtue, and the lie that "honor" is accepting ordered killings for money and prestige and pensions. In the 18th century people didn't say that a medieval doctor was a "bad" doctor because he didn't prescribe antibiotics (because they didn't exist). We create the possibility of moral choice by communicating the truth about ethics to people. That, to me, is where REAL heroism and real respect for the dead are found. Real respect for the dead lies with exhuming the corpses and listening for what they would say if they could speak now. And they would say, "If any ask us why we died, tell them because our fathers lied. Tell them because we were told that charging up a hill and slaughtering our fellow man was heroic and noble and honorable." But these hundreds of millions of ghosts who circle the earth in agony and remorse will not be released from our collective unconscious until we lay the truth of their murders on the table and look at the horror that is the lie; that murder for money or prestige can be virtuous.
How do we support the troops? By taking away the ethical support for the evils that they do. These men and women are propagandized into an "undead" ethical status. Lied to about what is noble, virtuous, courageous, honorable, decent and good to the point where they are rolling hand grenades into children's rooms under the illusion that doing so is going to make the world a better place.
We have to stare this in the face if we want to remember why they died. They did NOT die to set us free. They did not die to make the world a better place. They died because the world is ruled by sociopaths. They died because collective murder is the moral fantasy of mankind; that guns and violence and bullets can create a better world. The only thing that can create a better world is the truth, virtue and the honor of standing up to the genocidal lies of mankind and actually calling them what they are -- LIES.
People seem to think that if we pour more bodies and more blood into the hole of the mass graves of the 20th century we can build some kind of Cathedral to a better place, but it NEVER happens. You can pour as many bodies and blood into it as you like and it will NEVER be full. It will do nothing but sink and recede further into the depths of human depravity. We can't build peace upon blood.
We need to look back and see the army of the dead and see that every time there was a war, the government grew and GREW, and NEVER went back to its original shape, and that we are still so addicted to this LIE that they died for our freedom and that we honor the dead by ADDING to their number. We need to see that these bodies bury US. This addiction to this ocean of blood drowns us, drowns our children, drowns our future and drowns the world.
When we pour more people into this endless pit of LIES, we follow.
We should be APOLOGIZING to these people for sacrificing their lives for absolutely no benefit to anyone but the sociopaths who rule us and who orchestrate wars for profit.