Monday, November 12, 2018

Lest We Forget

The acronym MAIN should never be allowed to get boring. The M is militarism, and if you want to argue about what militarism means my contribution is, "When the leaders of a nation chose to maintain and use military might as a primary expression of national will." The A is for alliances which can be thought of as an agreement between nations to mutually support each other. The I is for imperialism, which is about extending a nations power through diplomatic and military means so as to take over and dominate poorer or weaker nations. The N is for nationalism which basically is a root belief that one nation is better than any another nation. "The English, the English, the English are best, I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest." Substitute your ethnicity as defined by your primary language, color of your skin or whatever and unless you are a nationalist you get the eegit nature of the concept.

Prior to the First World War all the elements of the acronym were thought of as virtues to be nurtured and prized. It wasn't until the end of the Second World War that doubt was expressed, and given the damage, the cost and the intensities of the folly of two world wars some minds did all they could to promote the idea that this collection of MAIN virtues might not be all they were cracked up to be. Alliances certainly, a strong military why not. In 1945 it was the Imperialism and Nationalist part that stuck out like two rabid Wolverines, and they concluded we'd all be much better off if we could achieve mechanisms and structures that nurtured less visceral more cooperative virtues. Either way on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an American Soldier of German descent by the name of Henry Gunther was killed in action one minute before 11am. He was 23 years old when he died, and best to remember him.

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