Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Origins of the Old Lie

It's amazing how many journeys, across the globe or around the sun, result in a return to the spot of origin. Less amazing is how so much travel has failed to make us wiser.

One hundred years ago tomorrow, after simmering in anger and seething with resentment for a month following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. Serbia's ally, Imperial Russia, declared and on Austria and Germany, Austria's ally declared war on both Serbia and Russia.

In short order, all of Europe was aflame.

Unlike the wars of the nineteenth century, one hundred years ago we had learned to harness the power of the Industrial Revolution and the mass production of manufacturing to populate the killing floor with engines of carnage and catastrophe that, where once we had killed hundreds on a battlefield, we could now kill many thousands and maim thousands more.

We called this progress.

And because we were unable, or unwilling to learn the lessons of the Great War we fought a sequel less than thirty years after its conclusion that resulted in ten times the number of dead and wounded.

In some way and form, it continues everyday and everywhere. No other species on the planet wages war on itself. Only the Crown of Creation, floundering like a man in fire or lime.

Dulce et decorum est.
-bill kenny

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