“Patriotism is the Virtue of the Vicious.”

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Canadian victory at the battle of Vimy Ridge, and there’s a lot of politicians and political memes going around saying something to the effect of “those men died for our freedoms.” First off, WW1 was not fought to protect our values or freedoms or democracy or any of that, it was a horrible grotesque conflict instigated by European blue bloods for the maintenance of their Empires in which droves of young impressionable men were forced into trenches and died. No outcome of that war would have had any effect on our freedoms or values here in Canada. It grinds my gears to see politicians manipulate and tweak a historical incident to fit some contemporary jingoistic narrative that that war had something to do with the maintenance of our way of life (that’s fascism). That being said, yes Canadians should be proud of that victory, it was in many ways the genesis of our national awakening, and that should be celebrated, but the First World War was not fought for freedom or humanity, (you’re thinking WW2). In WW1 there were no good guys or bad guys, only princes and kings who slept comfortably in their beds while the common folk fought in trenches whilst getting gangrene. It was a stupid stupid war, that had no effect on our democratic way of life (the Kaiser didn’t care about your freedom of speech, or private property rights). Ambitious politicians should be called out and denounced when they do such slime ballish Orwellian tactics. And I think this message is now more relevant than ever especially when there’s a fresh batch of tomahawks carelessly being dropped on Syria, and rumours of a looming war with North Korea. WW1 encapsulates precisely what happens when a citizenry chooses to be ignorant about global affairs, and simply swallows the war mongering tripe force fed to them by their elites (“they died so that we could live peacefully in freedom” sentiment). At the start of WW1 there were a lot of people waving flags saying the war would be done by Christmas, only for 4 years later millions of people to be killed at a cost that was in vain. Pictures of dead babies from chemical weapons used in some Syrian village you or I have never heard of have the same intention. “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.”