Nationalism is the religion of the modern secular world. People worship their country like religious people worship God. Nationalists ‘thank’ their country for ‘providing’ for them, ‘raising’ them, and ‘protecting’ them, and giving them a place to live (why not the Earth? or God who controls all things??). Nationalists are proud of their country, even though they never chose it. They are proud even if their country may have done some very nasty things in the past/present. I’m sure Jimmy Savile has done many good things, but because he was also engaged in paedophilia, NO ONE will dare say they are proud of him. Unfortunately, people are not so morally stringent when it comes to their country.
Like religious belief, the ‘country’ is not a physical entity that can be seen, it has symbols and idols (flags), religious holidays (e.g. Independence days), hymns (anthems), people make symbolic gestures to the idols (saluting the flag, hand on heart etc). Unlike religious belief, where God exists outside of the human mind, and the universe – the country exists purely in the mind (imagination) of its followers. Consequently, it is what is termed Idolatry.
Of course, the true believers of Nationalism celebrate the martyrs to their religion, the war dead ‘who fought for their country’. It doesn’t matter whether the country was right or wrong, but merely that the soldiers who fought were ‘our troops’. Since when does one’s ‘country’ determine morality? Should Germans support their soldiers from World War Two (who were Nazis) merely because they ‘fought for their country’? People may claim that they don’t support their country when its wrong, but the problem is, for nationalists, the country’s interests itself become the definition of ‘right’, which means the country can literally do no wrong, because whatever it Wills, is the definition of Right!
As the Nazis during the Nuremberg trials said in their defence ‘we did it in the national interest’.
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” George Orwell
So in the UK, it is unsurprising to find that every 11th November, people are expected to wear a red Poppy on their jackets to show their reverence for the martyrs to their particular god, ‘Great’ Britain (Britain-hu Akbar?). Now it is bad enough that everyone who lives in Britain is socially expected to wear the Poppy and demonstrate their reverence, but the further problem is – reverence for what?
We hear the usual argument is ‘the British soldiers in World War 1 who fought and died for us to be free’. Really? Did the German Empire in World War One threaten to invade Britain? Were they Nazis back then? What about the Ottomans? Did they threaten to invade Britain? Where were the WW1 battles for Gallipoli, Baghdad or Gaza fought? in Sussex?!
Please tell us why the Indians, Irish, Africans (incl. Mau Mau Kenyans), Arabs (incl. Palestinians, Egyptians and Iraqis) and Afghans should be happy to support the same British troops that occupied their lands, and actually tortured and killed their civilians? Btw, when I mention Iraqis and Afghans I’m not referring to only the wars against them in the 21st century!.
And that’s not even looking at what the British army did BEFORE World War 1 (like inventing the concentration camp in South Africa, massacring Indians, Aborigines and fighting wars to (drug) push Opium on the Chinese amongst many others).
Of course, the Nationalists counter ‘what about the war against the Nazis, who killed millions of Jews’. So the British fought the Nazis because they were killing Jews?!Really? If so, please tell me why Britain’s ultimatum to the Nazis before the onset of World War Two spoke NOTHING about the killing of Jews, or even the persecution of them. All Britain requested was that the Nazis leave Poland alone, and cease their territorial expansion. Yes that’s right, Britain fought the Nazis because it was scared of a dangerous shift in the political balance of power in Europe! (which Britain wanted to maintain).
At the time of Churchill, most of Europe and America was anti-semitic. Henry Ford, the famous American Car industrialist wrote a popular book ‘The International Jew’, and the UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, supported the Nazis right up until the war broke out! In essence, most Western countries had majority anti-semitic populations.
The Nazis were evil, yes, but they rose to power by playing on the sentiments of the german people who were angered by brutal memories of World War One when Britain blockaded Germany to the point of mass starvation, and chose to CONTINUE the mass starvation in Germany for a good six months AFTER THE ARMISTICE of World War One was declared, in order to force Germany to agree to every single one of the terms of defeat at the treaty of Lausanne.
And what about our ‘brave’ British Air Force that mass bombed German cities, killing thousands and firebombed dresden, turning the entire city into a living inferno, which was so fierce, it turned bomb shelters into ovens, cooking the poor unfortunate women and children seeking refuge inside. Oh, and Dresden wasn’t strategic either. Winston Churchill claimed that the use of ‘strategic bombing’ against cities was to spread a ‘lively terror’ amongst the german population. Yes, that does fit the definition of a Terrorist…
And why did this happen? Because of a collection of a few vain elites over a map and a glass of brandy. Nationalism is the opium of the masses, for it placates the people into thinking they are part of something higher than themselves, but it allows the ‘high priests’ of Nationalism (i.e. Politicians) to control us, by dictating to us who is our enemy, and who is our friend. And everyone who disagrees, or thinks for themselves, they are called ‘unpatriotic’, and ‘traitors’.
We should feel truly sorry for the ignorant soldiers who were sent out to fight and die for a lie, and we should also feel sorry for their families who lost their loved ones, and whose children lost their fathers. But we should ALSO feel more compassion for the people they fought and killed, the civilians they subjugated in the name of ‘the British Empire’ and the people who suffer to this day due to the division, instability and damage that was caused.
We should all be human first, not patriotic, or nationalistic. And this Remembrance Day, we should not continue to honour a militant culture or continue a cult of martyrs for causes that had nothing to do with justice, or humanitarianism, but everything to do with power, vanity, money and control.
Let us not honour those who fought for their country, but those who thought for humanity. Because for all people who think, will discover that their country is merely just a thought, and only humans (and God) are reality. Its time we fought for reality, not fiction and the vanity of uncaring elites.