Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Capitalism a murderous infant and its appetite for slaughter

I suppose you could say and truthfully at that; and of course, as well as being an unfortunate fact of life. That violence exists happens and occurs each and every day, everywhere and all-around the world.

Has there ever been a time in man’s history, during his evolution and progression when life has been violent free? And of course I mean everywhere in our lives, domestic, physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, spiritual, cultural, verbal, financial and the neglect along with the wheels of power and control of equality.
I don’t really know the answer myself, I have tried all so many times to think about it, but I cannot think or envisage a time in the world where it has been violence free.

I think that violence and abuse are best understood as a pattern of behaviour intended to establish power and maintain control over family, household members, intimate partners, colleagues or groups. The roots of all forms of violence and abuse are founded in the many types of inequality which continue to exist and grow in our society.

What is the place of violence in such notions of time?

Is it possible to write history without giving primacy to or celebrating violence? These questions are difficult ones I am sure you will agree; or do you think that it could be that "Violence is time-worthy; non-violence is not?”
"And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, and what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages" (Luke 3:14)

This message of John the Baptist to soldiers is more searching today than at any other time in our history. And yet it has been dismissed ignored and generally cast a side so many times throughout history, in one ostensibly Christian country after another.

If we consider, relatively modern history, it seems inane then that in wars such as the First and Second that the chaplains on both sides of the divide where enlisted to bless and give spiritual and religious guidance and comfort or whatever you want to call it to men who would go on to kill and be killed by each other.

Interestingly, when William, Duke of Normandy, invaded Britain in 1066 he had some priests on his staff. His brother, Bishop Odo of Bayeux, led his own hundred and twenty Knights into battle but because the Church objected to priests shedding blood with the sword, he used a mace as a weapon.

By the time of Henry VIII Chaplains had become more established and in 1621 Regimental Chaplains were mentioned in Standing Orders. Oliver Cromwell took things a stage further so that in the New Model Army of 1645 the status of Chaplains was regularised and most Regiments had their own Chaplain ... the Articles of War of 1662 specify the duties of Chaplains.

But it’s not the many contradictions, flaws and inconsistencies of organised religion in regard to war that I have running through my mind, but war itself, as we approach that time of the year in this country where we remember the sacrifice of those how gave up their lives in and during the act of war.

Capitalist society is the most bloody and warlike in human history. The graveyards are piled high with the dead from two world wars, Afghanistan, Iraq and let’s not forget Libya although there were no British troops or casualties on the ground as such. The Labour Party has backed every war, great and small, since it was founded. In spite of this workers have often taken to the streets to try and stop the carnage, time after time.

Capitalism was born a murderous infant and its appetite for slaughter has grown as it has aged. The first capitalist state, England, had no sooner settled accounts with Charles I and the old order than it turned to butchering the inhabitants of its first colonies in Ireland and Jamaica.

Weapons of mass destruction unimaginable before the development of industry has now killed millions, and the reality is it shows no sight or sign of ever giving up who will be next is the question to ask?” Are you thinking what I am – Iran?

Simple calls for peace do not go far enough because they do not address the question of how we get rid of the system which produces war. Also they fail to address the connection between war and the domestic policy of the ruling class. War and oppression abroad always go hand in hand with repression and exploitation at home.

In every war some or all of the following are inflicted on workers: strikes are banned; socialists, anti-war protesters and "aliens" are jailed or interned; taxes are raised and welfare cut; the press is censored; conscription is introduced; wages are lowered and working hours are lengthened; and chauvinism and racism are stoked.

So I contend that war and violence cannot solve working class problems. It (war) elevates violence into the position of arbitrator in place of the common desire for mutual peace happiness. Its effect is wholly evil. It corrupts all the participants by forcing them to concentrate on the best methods of producing misery and of killing each other. It elevates lying, cheating, disabling and murdering opponents into virtues, confers honours on those who practise these means most successfully. But shame of it all, is that young men and women in their most impressionable years have the vile methods of warfare imposed on them and are filled with the idea that violence and not understanding is the final solution in all problems. Many of those who have been subject to the atmosphere of war remain addicted to violence when the hostilities have come to an end, so is it any wonder that violence lingers on in our society. 
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