History Repeating Itself?

Tuesday 22nd July

We are living in dangerous times.  Actually I think I have always lived in dangerous times.  As a child, only a few years after the war, the Cold War was raging.  This was a war of words and small wars between proxy states between the forces of Communism and Capitalism.  Or so we were told.  Other theories are that it was all about selling increasingly deadly weapons so that we could all live in Peace.  Hahaha.  Then there was the was against Islam.  For the last twenty years we have been involved in conflicts with Muslim countries.  Sometimes to oust a dictator, sometimes to steal their oil, and again to sell weapons of increasing barbarity.  History may see it differently, we will have to wait and see.

We are poised on a precipice at the moment.  There is danger in the air.  The latest incident, the downing of the Malaysian plane over the Ukraine may be the latest in a series of events dragging us closer towards disaster.  One hundred years ago, a small incident led to a series of events, positions were taken that could not be reversed without losing face and we stumbled into War.  There is no doubt that Russia is helping the rebels in Eastern Ukraine.  But we are helping the Ukrainian government too.  We encouraged the ousting of a democratically elected President and now support his replacement.  Rather than insisting on the “integrity” of Ukraine we should be trying to work out a formula to establish, all over the world where people may be in dispute, self-determination.  Too many countries exist as areas which were administered by their old colonial masters whereas things on the ground are always more complicated than that.  In a way the idea of Europe was to blur nationality and to establish a commonality of Europeness.  That idea is going out of fashion, but it wasn’t a bad one for all that.

If you think about it is really absurd for anyone to die for their country.   All men are brothers, after all.  Nationality is a man-made concept to administer power and wealth.  But it seems we do not learn, and History may well be repeating itself again quite soon.