When I was at school – and yes it was a long very long time ago – history lessons in my early years concentrated initially on the kings and queens of England, the rise of parliamentary democracy and how it all led to the greatest empire the world has ever seen and is ever likely to see on which “the sun never set”.
Maps of the world were in every classroom which reinforced the message with swages of “pinkish red” showing just how great “Great” Britain was up to the start of the First World War.
We learned the states and capitals of “our” empire and especially for some reason those of Australia – but never for some reason New Zealand – perhaps because Australia was the destination of choice for ‘Brits’ emigrating as what were and are known as the “£10 Poms”.
As for the United States of America we were taught it was a nation created by nothing more than an ungrateful bunch of ingrates who simply didn’t understand how well off they were under British rule or how a true parliamentary democracy works.
The USA was an experiment that was eventually doomed to fail as the ordinary people became subject to the corruption and tyranny of their own government as the wealthy increasingly gained control over the government and rule of law.
Matters became complicated of course in 1917 and 1941 when the USA entered the two world wars contributing to allied victory of which they remind us whenever anyone has the temerity to criticise them.
I’ve lost count of the number of times an American has reminded me of the sacrifice of those who died on the Normandy Beaches without any sense of irony that they were fighting not solely to support the allies but also for their own freedoms.
As an ex- serviceman who has experience of having served my country for over twenty three years I can assure people that if there is one thing I will never forget it is the sacrifice not only of my contemporaries but those that went before us and those that have come afterwards.
Perhaps the critics who trot out the banal ” what about….” may wish to consider that there was 57,500 Americans – incidentally many who were American Citizens by right of being born in the USA of immigrant parents – and 75,215 British and Canadian on the Normandy Beaches in 1944 many of who had been in the theatre of war for over four years.
But I digress..
What annoyed – at the time – the established “Empires” and their aristocracy, merchants and religious leaders about the whole idea of the United States of America was that enshrined within its constitution were freedom, rule of law and most importantly independence from their former rulers.
The question now is did and have the people of the United States achieved the level of freedom and independence under their founding fathers constitution that they fought the Revolutionary Wars for or are they still subject to control from the “old world” bankers and global institutions.
Perhaps, just perhaps fascism, anti-semitism and intolerance that those Americans, British, Canadians and allies who lost their lives on the Normandy Beaches wasn’t really defeated?
And if so are we really surprised to see it rearing it’s ugly head in nations across the world leading not only to an increase in dislike bordering on hatred between nations but also by different groups within nations.
Which raises the question of why?
Is it a hatred based envy or ignorance or something much worse namely a pursuit of power in the self-interest of those pursuing power?
For centuries the United Kingdom – or should I say “Great Britain” as we called ourselves – dominated world trade and replaced the control of nations from military imperialism with economic imperialism.
It was designed for one purpose and one purpose only which was to ensure that the British Empire continued to supply and support the “old money”, aristocracy and those who believe that they have an “entitlement” to rule based on their history, family and wealth.
Is it really any wonder or surprise that across the globe there are countries who hate the USA and UK?
Is it that they hate our freedoms as President George W Bush put it, hate our freedom to speak without fear, freedom to worship -if we are so inclined – any god we wish to, freedom to assemble, freedom to vote and gather together and even freedom to disagree with each other?
It is ironic that the very reasons George W Bush gave for why some nations hate us are as I write this being eroded not by those opposing nations leaders but our very own Governments.
So much some might say for Democratically Elected Governments.
On the other side of the argument of course is the question of why do the UK and USA dislike other nations especially in the Middle East.
Is it because they are totalitarian states with self-elected leaders who maintain their position through fear and intimidation or is it because they refuse to accept the now established International power of the banks, corporations and financial might of the Western nations and the “old money” controlling structures.
It figures that after centuries of building structures to protect their own interests including sending millions of their citizens to war to protect or increase their interests it is only natural that nations and their leaders on both sides of the argument will go all out to protect them including being deceitful to their own people.
How else are they going to keep control of the financial institutions and their own wealth without resorting to the historically method of going to war and people killing each other – for the politicians and powerful.
It is increasingly more difficult of course if you have an educated population who cannot be sold the illusion or belief in nationalism.
There is no doubt that the world has certainly made progress against such ideas since 1945 through the European Union and United Nations.
Which is why it is at the same time both fascinating and alarming to see nationalism, fascism, racism and isolationism taking hold across the world and especially across the Western Democracies.
Information is being fed to the media from politicians who seem unable to tell the truth even when they know what it is so they sprinkle some slight elements of truth amongst their lies making them very difficult to unravel.
They manipulate goods and services, the financial institutions and the media starving the people of information (or at least the truth) and they employ a legion of people whose only purpose in life is to reinforce the lies in order to keep us in our place and their agenda safely on track.
Freedom is a very emotive word and is now one that conjures up fears amongst those who would seek to control every aspect of our lives whether in a totalitarian or an elected capitalist democratic state.
If ever there was a time for people to engage with the political system and resolve to resist the rise of fascism, racism, xenophobic and tyrannical political and military leaders that time is now.
Only then will honesty, fairness and compassion for others have any chance to defuse the current hate and lies to which the world’s people are being subjected by and from their leadership.