An Extract —

In my recent post “Nationalism Is A Lie” there was so much horror behind what I wrote, that I was either going to have to write a textbook-length incoherent screed,* or leave a lot on the table. So I thought that rather than diverticulating into asides, I’d post this piece separately.

Trigger warning: really horrible people doing really horrible things, with a walk-on by the Roman Catholic Church

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Sunday Sermon: Nationalism Is A Lie

The first poem I learned by heart was Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” (here)

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Kipling was more succinct but less visual:
If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.

Weapons of Privilege

About a decade ago, I did a series of talks at various conferences entitled “cyberwar is bullshit” – the problem, I felt, was that the US was talking about being deeply afraid of cyberattack from Eurasia (or was it Eastasia?) but there was considerable irresponsible talk about “weapons of mass destruction-like capability.” Industry insiders like myself wound up divided as to whether it was likely/practical, or good marketing/a chance to make a fast buck. There were a lot of fast bucks made.

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