The poppy: the icon of 'remembrance' by leaders who opted for WW1
World, Opinion :
The ceremonies are over once again; the pomp and ceremony that indecently clouds the history that took the lives of so many servicemen in the years from 1914 to 1918.
Archeologist and historian, Neil Faulkner's article: "Armistice day, remembrance and the 'glorious war' " published in the British SocialistWorkeronline offers a brief insight into the enormity of the pain, destruction, and imperial arrogance from national leaders of the day.
Faulkner opens his article with a reference to both Bush and Blair, which prepares the reader to recognize similarities of leadership style of Britain and Europe of 1914/18 to that which has been part of the more recent period of invasions, in turn arrogantly announced, and imperialistically implemented.
But first, Faulkner on the rationale of 'Poppy Day':
Why did the British ruling class create this official industry of remembrance? The First World War was different in scale from anything that had happened before. It plunged the world into an abyss of barbarism, industrialised killing and destruction, waste, suffering, and grief beyond imagination...
The survivors faced a bleak world. The post-war economy collapsed, and the reward for many returning “heroes” was the poverty and hopelessness of unemployment.
Popular revulsion against the carnage fused with class anger against exploitation and privation at home. A wave of revolution swept across Europe.
Faulkner says of the British leaders' ignorance prior to WW1:
"It was not that their leaders lied about the realities of modern war"
Unlike Bush and Blair who initially lied to their constituencies, and continued to deceive the world about American and 'Coalition' military engagement in Iraq, and then in Afghanistan.
Even before WW1 the leaders of industry were eyeing the advantages of controlling the resources of other nations:
Under capitalism, growth meant intensified competition as the giant corporations of the global economy clashed in a struggle for markets, contracts, and profits...
But the First World War was not only an imperialist war on a global scale. It was also a war of modern industry.
Capitalism had created the corporations and empires whose collision caused the war – and also the mass industries that were to make modern war so violent and destructive.
And 90 years later with the implosion of the US capitalist system, and many other nations following in a downward spiral, as their economic systems fail change is called for, to redress the financial loss.
However, one must wonder what kind of commemoration (not poppy's this time) will government and corporate 'spin' artists create that will persuade the working poor to accept their decisions to work for lower wages as well as to pay for the inept excesses of their leaders from government tax revenues from the year 2008 to... when, for another three generations?