Cutting Off Your Thumb to Spite Your Country

Wallace Breen’s 1970 novel Eagle in the Snow is an excellent read that I couldn’t recommend more highly, the work upon which the 2000 film Gladiator was loosely based. Maximus, a Roman general holding the Rhine before the barbarian migrations of the late fourth century, must shoulder the heavy duty of protecting a civilisation that has lost any conception of itself. He faces young men who have cut off their thumbs to avoid conscription, middle-aged bureaucrats who impede him at every turn seeking to enrich themselves, and old priests who extol the brotherhood of man. “Cross the river,” says Maximus, “and find out what your brothers are like.” I won’t spoil the ending for you; pick it up if you can.

The image of young men severing their own thumbs, rendering themselves incapable of wielding gladius or pilum, left a lasting impression on me, one that was brought recently to mind by an apocryphal story regarding the Ukrainian ambassador. This worthy was asking local high school students whether they would join the Australian military, should the need arise, and was disappointed by the spattering of hands that appeared. It would seem his concern is well documented: the Australian Defence Force report that they are struggling to gain recruits and retain soldiers. This is not unique to Australia, as the United States Army expects to be twenty thousand recruits short next year.

There’s something in these sorts of stories, apocryphal or otherwise, as there are in all the stories we tell ourselves, and we ought to be perhaps a little careful what those stories are. We might consider a little more Thucydides and a little less, well, whatever you receive when you tune in to what our culture presently manufactures.

None of this should cause any eyebrows to rise among those who’ve been paying attention. The schools are the right place to start asking questions and investigating stories, not because the young have any special claim to wisdom—they absolutely do not—but because if you want to know what Australia will look like in the future, that’s where you should look. Those who aren’t here today, as Mark Steyn said, won’t be here tomorrow. Those that are here today are manifestly very different from those who made up the schools even thirty years ago, courtesy of our ill-thought-out and flippant leap into multiculturalism. And as all multiculturalism is premised on the belief, now all but mandatory, that the state of affairs that pre-existed it was irredeemably evil, it’s unsurprising that few want to fight for it, and fewer still want to die for it. Those who do are typically Anglo-Celtic males, whose very existence appears a little problematic according to certain narratives presently in vogue.

We, a nation increasingly propositional in ideation and multicultural in composition, don’t tell the right stories to make the hands fly skyward. All that’s left to love, for the everyman, is ease of living and money to be made, and it doesn’t seem as if those are a given any more, either. On the other hand, the only Australia our elites seem to think matters is the Australia that doesn’t exist yet, an Australia severed from the past and couched in banal progressive sentiments, the Australia imagined by the most fervent university professor, ABC journalist, or member for the Greens. It’s an Australia that could never be born, and even if it could be created, wouldn’t be one worth dying for. The young know this, and this is why their hands do not shoot upwards when asked—why they have, in equivalent terms, cut off their thumbs.

As we tend to address collapsing birth-rates, shortfalls in labour or consumption, and the ever-upward valuation of property by endless immigration, it’s not unfair to assume answers to our military problems might come from the same source; hence a recent proposal to reimport kanakas, with Austeyrs instead of machetes, despite how poorly that went down last time. Hoping for a reimagined version of the foederati to fight our wars might seem a sound plan. After all, Stilicho was a barbarian, and Honorius a Roman. Many Australians from various backgrounds fought bravely in the past, like Billy Sing in Gallipoli, to name only one. But we live in different times now, and the age of the citizen-soldier is gone. The difference then was not merely numbers, but that we gave those characters—as Rome gave Stilicho, even in those darkening days—something to love and aspire to. The “citizen” part of the equation is important, and robust citizenship cannot spring from contempt for a nation’s past.

The truth is that we think we can hold onto the status quo, a status quo that has been predicated on the Anglosphere’s overwhelming advantages, without being prepared to make sacrifices. The fate of those who espouse naive principles in the face of power is that of the Melians in The Peloponnesian War, who badly needed their Dorian brothers across the sea rather than a “great mass of words nobody would believe”. That is no argument against principles; rather, an exhortation that we ought to be careful that our body politic is composed of strong ones, and not prey to bad ones.

The funeral oration by Pericles, where Thucydides relates that the men of Athens meet danger with a light heart but laborious training, has been thrown about as the best defence of democracy from the ancient world. If one thing could be said of the Athenians, it was that they loved their flawed city-state, and were unselfconscious about it. Even the metics, for whom they threw open their city, were expected to serve, if they could never be citizens by simple matter of course, nor form the mainstay of the trireme crew or the hoplite phalanx. The franchise was alive, and mattered, and we take the word idiot from the Ancient Greek for he who was willing to let politics wash over him. The value of such a spirit is not to be expressed in words, as Pericles exhorted; and we must wonder if our spirit, a motley collection of bad principles with no purchase among the young, is worth anything at all.

Christopher Jolliffe is a frequent contributor. He wrote on “The Synthetic Reinvention of Indigenous Culture” in the August online issue and on “The Left and Those They Love to Exploit” in the November issue.



51 thoughts on “Cutting Off Your Thumb to Spite Your Country

  • Paul W says:

    What to do when the tribe can’t even identify itself let alone fight for itself.
    And what about children coming ever later if ever? Men fought in the past because of the real danger to their families. Australia’s blessing is to be physically removed from danger.

  • padraic says:

    I agree with you Christopher – we are in a bit of a pickle when it comes to nationhood these days, especially with what is happening in the schools. The emphasis in schools has to be on pride in belonging to the nation. My father used to say that it took 3 generations to make an Australian (he being the third generation in his family) but that was in the days when his ancestors had come out in sailing ships and they (and their descendants) generally never went back to unpleasant memories and hence adapted very quickly to Australia and made the most of the opportunities here. It is axiomatic that when migrants come to Australia they still retain their culture from where they came but it becomes modified as they live here and hopefully contribute elements of their culture to our native culture in a positive way. In my father’s case his father was born here and went to a local school and he knew nothing of his father’s homeland and was formed by the Australian environment in all its aspects. My father was even further removed as his grandfather died before he was born. These days with modern transport people can easily go back to their country of birth which can be quite stable or like some of the tough situations from which our ancestors came, and hence maintain close links. This means that they will take longer to become “Australian” so it is critical that the education system in which their children will be part of emphasises the positives of the country and make them feel at home and part of our society and proud of it. At present the black armband of history is teaching children to loathe our society and keeps them in their ethnic boxes instead of incorporating them into the ever changing mainstream, but mainstream nevertheless.

  • Necessityofchoice says:

    Reading , ‘Eagle in the Snow’ should be followed up by Robert Graves’ Goodbye to all that’.
    WW I was the beginning of the end of faith in western civilisation’s ability to create a benevolent universe, where inevitable progess into the sunny uplands of the future, was a given.
    We are now served a mess of pottage, attempting to pass for a culture worth supporting. Last week’s Childrens school strike ‘to save the planet’, captures their minds far more effectively than a commitment to ever save their nation.

  • Blair says:

    I was having a chat with my 15 yo grand daughter and the subject of famous women came up. She is very smart , getting excellent results in her schoolwork. She is in Grade 9 at a Melbourne public school.
    I suggested Florence Nightingale. Her response:”Who’s she?”

  • Daffy says:

    It’s a question of visions, as Thos Sowell has written. There’s the ‘constrained’ vision, that of typical conservatives and old style Labor: man is broken but grand and needs the constraints of good government to maintain a cohesive civil society.
    Then there’s the loopy ‘unconstrained’ vision. Here mankind is a wonderful saintly collection of people who are marred only by society and its civil strictures, culture (shared values) and intemperate exclusivist laws that protect it. Get rid of culture and the laws and we will be in a Rousseaun paradise.
    Look around. It’s easy to see which vision is accurate and where each leads. Welcome to the island of the Lord of the Flies! It ends in tribalism.

  • cbattle1 says:

    Classically speaking, Australia has become effete, decadent, and in terminal decline.
    I blame it all on the “Third Wave” type of technological evolution, which has created the “global village”. It has been awhile since I read Toffler’s book, so I don’t know what is likely to be our future.
    With the fragmentation and dissolution of Anglo-Celtic Australia, “Aboriginalisation” is growing, as people search for identity, purpose, legitimacy and pride, etc.

    • David Isaac says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with your last point and the resultant 1% Aborigines ashamed of their preponderant Europeanness. Yet they should be able to find all of those things in their story as Europeans if said story were told to them with good intentions.

      There’s plenty of men in Australia who are not effete but they are not in positions of power. The corporate , media and education worlds have gone from being hierarchical boys’ clubs which generally worked well enough but had their problems, to an affirmative action feminised diversity fest where no-one can say boo to a goose. Companies now tilt at whatever windmill is presented to them by the leftist narrative. This could be, indeed it must be, changed.

    • en passant says:

      I came here 60 years ago, but intend ticking the ‘aboriginal’ box at the next census. so should everyone else.

  • Alistair says:

    In the early seventies while at university I went through the Vietnam War draft. Meanwhile, all my university co-students were out there proudly and loudly draft-dodging, and marching in the street under the banner of the National Liberation Front (North Vietnam’s army )against the Government, against national policy, and against the war . Only a few years later these students graduated from university and BECAME the government – and the future decline of Australia’s was assured. The de-legitimisation of Australian Government that they started at university was complete.
    So who would bother fighting for Australia? Not the draft-dodgers who hated Australia then and who marched for North Vietnam, and who still argue against the legitimacy of Australia’s foundation today. Nor those who were betrayed by the Government of draft-dodgers. Why would anyone put their life on the line for them?
    The “Social Contract” that holds a society together has been broken. One side argues against the legitimacy of Australia’s foundation. The other against the legitimacy of the Australian government to represent them. Good luck Maximus finding your way through that!

    • cbattle1 says:

      “Ho! Ho! Ho-Chi-Mihn, N-L-F is going to win!” That was one of the slogans that may have been heard in those days, but then it was a “whole new generation, with a new explanation”, as one of the contemporary songs explained it.

    • en passant says:

      On my return from service in Vietnam I applied to the Army for time off to attend university part-time. Approved.
      I received a thick wad of administrative rules and how to fill in ‘progress reports’. I would be reimbursed the cost of books and paid expenses for all subjects passed – a worthwhile incentive!
      One line boiled my blood: ‘It is verboeten to attend university in uniform, wear service ribbons or discuss/reveal your Vietnam service on campus to help prevent incidents.’
      I ALWAYS wore my uniform to classes, tutorials, the library, the coffee shop and around the campus for the whole year. I was ‘fighting fit’ and just needed the opportunity. Sideways looks, some avoidance, but not a single comment, challenge, threat or insult. University was a very disappointing experience intellectually, ‘physically’, educationally and socially.
      My next posting was to PNG (where every day was much more like Glasgow on a wild Saturday night). I fitted in and extended my time there twice …
      I do not recognise the caring-sharing, climate-fighting, gender-focused, woke ‘military’ of today. The pacifist Salvos have more fighting spirit and better leaders than the thumb-suckers in Fort Fumble.
      Fun fact: we have more ‘star-rank’ generals managing (not commanding) our military today than we had during WW2.
      However, I found the solution: I moved to Vietnam …

  • David Isaac says:

    Why do men fight? Because they love to fight , they love their countrymen, their mates, their women folk, their wives and lovers, their kith and kin. Because it has been inculcated in them from an early age that it is manly to fight: toy swords, toy guns, bows and arrows, scouts, cadets, army reserve. That was how it was not that long ago.

    Now we are ceasing to be a nation but an economic exploitation zone with a poisonous anti-human public culture which especially targets the very group who have traditionally answered the call to arms. No wonder they’re no longer keen. Let’s have a fearless repudiation of all the nonsense piled upon us in the last fifty years.

    • cbattle1 says:

      Good luck with that!

      • David Isaac says:

        Thanks. Was it really Malcolm Fraser who first opined that ‘life wasn’t meant to be easy’?

        We can at least try to stiffen the resolve of those around us, since they are likely to be going quietly mad under the avalanche of nonsense.

    • Sindri says:

      No, civilised men don’t fight “because they love to fight”. Spare us the Horst Wessel claptrap, thanks. Civilised men do indeed fight to defend “their countrymen, their mates, their women folk, their wives and lovers, their kith and kin”. Whether young people would do so after being taught as children that their country is irredeemably racist, unjust and violent is a question I hope we will not soon have to answer.

      • David Isaac says:

        Although I was referring to men rather than to ‘civilized men’, in my early experience of this outpost of civilization there were plenty of young men who loved to fight.

        • lbloveday says:

          As Scott Atkinson of University Michigan-Flint wrote in The Guardian:
          “I suspect there are plenty of men out there who feel what I do. We know that fighting is dumb, but we still have the instinctive desire to do it
          “Most men feel an instinct to fight as a result of the small voice deep in our caveman brains, the one questioning our manhood if we back down from physical confrontation.

          • lbloveday says:

            And from Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., a professor at Georgetown University :
            “Boys and men tend to participate in ritual opposition more than girls and women,” “Girls will fight, but not for fun.”
            Ritual opposition, or fighting for sport, is a popular activity among males not only across cultures but also across mammalian species. The behavior tends to begin in early childhood, affecting how young kids play. Girls tend to be more verbal, whereas boys tend to socialize through activities like sports and roughhousing.

        • lbloveday says:

          Ever been to Siberia? I reckon every not-old man I encountered would have loved to fight.

        • lbloveday says:

          Kenny Rogers sang:
          “I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you’ve done,
          I’d walk away from trouble when I can.
          Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek
          And Papa, I should hope you understand

          • Sindri says:

            You most certainly do. I haven’t suggested otherwise.

            • lbloveday says:

              I watched “Coward of the County” yesterday with Kenny Rogers as a preacher who explains to his 20-yo nephew (“The Coward”) who he has mentored since his brother died when the boy was 10.
              “The Bible teaches us to turn the other cheek if someone belts you, but says nothing about what to do if he then belts you on that cheek”.
              I loved the implication; but my Bible expert said that yet again I misunderstood His Word and sent me a 45 minute sermon “Loving Your Enemies”

              • Sindri says:

                I’m not a theologian and I’ve never understood how turning the other cheek is compatible with defending yourself and your country, but I don’t lose any sleep over it. Surely no-one deserves greater honour than those who sacrifice their lives in defence of their country.
                I agree, by the way, that plenty of men love fighting, and we should all be grateful to Kipling’s rough men who guard our frontiers so that the rest of us can sleep soundly. Our warlike instincts should be in the service of defending ourselves, not waging aggressive war. There are several posters here who are trying to propagate the supposed virtues of the worldview of Adolf Hitler, together with his preposterous conspiracy theories about Jews. Personally I think they should be laughed to scorn, and encouraged to bugger off. One of this journal’s fundamental founding principles was an implacable hostility to totalitarianism of both the left or right.

                • Katie Donovan says:

                  “Turn the other cheek” is a principle to govern individual interactions, not state policy. “The state does not bear the sword in vain.”

                • lbloveday says:

                  “Personally I think they should be laughed to scorn, and encouraged to bugger off”.
                  I choose to ignore – skim over, but of course can’t help seeing some of it as I do and sometimes get the gist from others’ replies, never respond. Horses for courses, to each his own….

                • john mac says:

                  I guess you mean me, sindri, a staunch supporter of Israel. BTW. Hitler was of the left as all totalitarians are, but the the narrative is too ingrained in lazy minds.

                  • Sindri says:

                    Good lord, John Mac, I didn’t mean you at all and I’m sorry if I’ve given you that impression.

                    • Sindri says:

                      I do remember once reacting sharply to something you wrote, the give and take of this forum, but never intended to refer to you above.

                    • john mac says:

                      Apologies, Sindri. I should have qualified my post of a few weeks ago also. I Gave the impression I was antisemitic when I am not , cheers!

  • cbattle1 says:

    Wasn’t the National Liberation Front (NLF) synonymous with the Viet Cong (VC), which operated in South Vietnam? The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was the regular military force of North Vietnam, which of course was dedicated to the war for unification with the North.

  • Stephen Due says:

    I still believe that the fundamental problems are really structural deficiencies, which in turn are reflected in ideological failures. Australia is over-governed. It has an excessively large permanent administration (no longer accurately described as the ‘public service’). It is over-taxed and too much of the revenue is wasted on vote-buying feel-good projects – socialist enterprises such as government-controlled education and healthcare.
    What Australia needs more than anything now – the way out of this morass – is leadership capable of
    deconstructing the administrative state. With good leadership the people will follow. We desperately need men (preferably) with experience of the real world (therefore not career politicians) who are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to enter the political battlefield. This is not primarily a problem of a younger generation with the wrong values. This is a problem of people who should be showing leadership not turning up on the day. Weak and absent leadership is our problem.

    • cbattle1 says:

      You mean the “Führerprinzip”? I suspect there would be some opposition to its implementation.

      • Stephen Due says:

        That’s exactly what I do not mean. I mean leadership. I mean the ability to see a path forward and persuade people to follow. I mean the courage to stand against the tide and tell people the truth. This is how leadership in a democracy works. When leadership is absent, as now, you get decision-making by opinion-poll. You just get more and more of the same futile, mindless policies. For how many years more are we going to have to put up with the ludicrous Green Agenda and Net Zero? This will go on indefinitely until people capable of formulating counter-narrative policies are prepared to get off their backsides and put some real effort into working for the good of their country, preferably by getting into politics and leading a change of direction. The problem facing Australia is not the younger generation. The problem is at the top. As we saw during the alleged pandemic, when every political leader and public health official chose to crucify the country in the name of ‘safety’ rather than than stand up for what is right and true. I cannot believe there are not Australians with leadership ability who are capable of better than this. Australia needs them the to step up to the plate.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    With the Australian academia and media firmly in the claws of the radical left, I doubt thar any genuine leaders are likely to emerge unscathed in the foreseeable future. Certainly not if they are even slightly to the right of centre. You just have to recall the media-orchestrated contumely heaped on the heads of those two brilliant people, oozing with leadership qualities, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Nyunggai Warren Mundine during the Voice debate. Cross the Left even slightly and you won’t enjoy the result.

    • ianl says:

      Yes, The Press Club treated Jacinta Price with shameless spite when she addressed the assembled. Denied the grand room (later explained with truly feeble lies by the broomless one) to reduce her “optical” value, with the recording camera only ever aimed at Jacinta and the “chair” (who indulged in as many pointless gotchas as he could conjure up) or the small contingent of Jacinta’s relatives and LNP politicians who turned up, to further destroy the “optics”, their spiteful fear was well on show.
      And that fear was well founded – she (and Warren Mundine) blew their silly vanities into nothings.
      So now these same people are pretending that grilling little babies to death in an oven is proportionately defensible. They have certainly moved on.

  • PeterS says:

    Allow me to be a dissenting voice. I am in my mid 80s and I served my country for 26 years in the distant past and in five foreign countries. I watched with interest the National Srrvice schemes come and go from the early 50s and again in the mid 60s. Neither scheme was universally popular and in fact generally unpopular. Nevertheless with a tiny number of notable exceptions Australians of all colours and creeds answered the call often grudgingly. These same men served superbly in Vietnam and in my opinion the system that produced junior officers out of the cream of these men has proven to be one of Australian Defence’s greatest success stories.

    Now for some of the myths. Australians signed up for the First World War out of national loyalty. No they didn’t, a large number were unemployed, many were first generation Brits and most saw it as an adventure rather like the youth of today making their right of passage overseas trips. I can tell anyone from bitter experience that nobody signs up in the expectation that they might be killed; no that will always be ‘the other bloke’. The experience of war automatically draws those who experience it first hand together and the exclusion of those without that experience is not deliberate, just that those outsiders would not understand.

    What about WWII. My family happens to be one of those peculiarities who just seem to be drawn to things military. Not war, just the military. My father and his brother served in WWI in the British Army. Dad joined the inter war Australian Militia after he immigrated and was glad of the extra income it provided during the Depression. When war broke out he like hundreds of other militia officers was made an offer a man of his age with three children couldn’t refuse; an immediate commission in the 2nd AIF on a salary he could never have dreamed of. He signed up on day one disappeared overseas and elsewhere for six years and served with some distinction. He always told us that by far the greatest number of his AIF soldiers were economic conscripts, many glad of the first regular wage they ever had. Dying for their country had nothing to do with it although they faced it honourably when it came. Sure there were some idealists and professional soldiers but they were a minority.

    So let it be with today’s generation. We should remember the Oxford overwhelmingly in the 1930s that they would not fight for king and country. God forbid that my grandchildren or their children would ever need to fight. But I am confident they would however reluctantly and it I’ll behaves us to prejudge them. I’m sure the Ukrainian Ambassador would not have asked that question but if he had asked a bunch of Ukrainian children the same question four years ago he would have got the same answer. I would have written a shorter piece but I didn’t have time.

  • Rebekah Meredith says:

    November 20, 2023
    As for World War I, while I am sure that plenty of people signed up for “the King’s shilling,” it has seemed to me that the depiction in Rilla of Ingleside (one of the Anne of Green Gables books) is probably a fairly good reflection on the motivation of those who went. Anne’s eldest son signed up immediately, thinking that the war would be a short adventure and finding out otherwise (but remaining faithful to King and country nonetheless). Anne’s second son, while not anti-war, was a very sensitive person who could not bear the thought of what war would involve. His battle was fought with himself before he finally resolved to do what he knew he MUST. (He served with distinction before being killed). Anne’s third son turned 18 in 1917–well after the lack of romance in the war was obvious to all. He went to fight “in a cool, business-like mood, as of one doing something, rather dirty and disagreeable, that had just got to be done.”
    At the least, it is an interesting premise.

  • PeterS says:

    When I last looked the Anne of Green Gables series was fiction. There were many writers in the mould of Kipling who were equally as jingoistic. Many renained so, even Kipling who lost his son. The recording of the grim reality was left to the likes of Robert Graves, Sassoon, Owen et al. And don’t forget two referenda were lost by a government here bathing in hubris, (not unlike the referendum just lost.)

  • Rebekah Meredith says:

    Reading fiction from an era, however, often gives a good feel for that era. And, as you said, Kipling retained his outlook despite losing his son. It would seem, then, that the feelings reflected by him and Montgomery (who wrote of people signing up, not being conscripted as they would have been had either of the referenda passed) were just as genuine as those of which you speak.

    • PeterS says:

      I speak from the ignorance of experience. Kipling wrote about war and soldiers; he’d never been to war and he was never a soldier although he eventually suffered a personal loss. Go back to my original statement where I clearly implied that we should not judge kids’ motivations, where there is an imminent threat, by what they say today. We don’t all want to be Kiplings. Very few kids in the past volunteered for Nasho. Most didn’t want to be there but they went because they had no choice and after six months in the Army they were more than willing to go to Vietnam and they made excellent soldiers. ( i admit that the ‘I’ll behaves’ is off putting; of course it should have been ‘ill behoves’ . Cursed auto correct.

      Today’s generation is generally spoiled, cosseted, hedonistic and self absorbed but they have never been put to the test, God forbid they ever will be but I am confident they would come up to the mark.

  • en passant says:

    Extract from: Quadrant Magazine December 2018
    “I enjoy reading both the war jingoists such as Rupert Brooke and Jessie Pope and conversely the dark, stark realism of Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves and Rudyard Kipling. Kipling was very much an enthusiastic supporter of the war and the ‘greatness of the British Empire’, at least until his only son was killed at the Battle of Loos in his very first action.
    Rupert Brooke was always an ‘Empirist’ and enthusiastic warrior probably because he never experienced a battle. However, his poem, ‘The Soldier’ contains the memorable sentiment:
    ‘If I should die, think only this of me
    That there’s some corner of a foreign field
    That is forever England.’
    Brooke ironically got his ‘wish’ as he died either of sunstroke, or more likely of septicaemia from an infected mosquito bite on a hospital ship off the Greek Island of Skyros, where he remains buried. His death on 23rd April 1915 came just two days before the bloody Gallipoli landings in which many more staked out their corner of a foreign field for Australia.
    Robert Graves (I, Claudius, Goodbye to All That, and much more), Wilfred Owen, (who was killed just seven days before the war ended) and Siegfried Sassoon recorded in their poetry the horrors and ugliness of war. Sassoon went from being a reluctant supporter of the war, but willing to do his duty, to being very anti-war to such an extent he came close to being tried for treason! Yet, paradoxically Sassoon displayed such outstanding courage in battle it appeared he was trying to be killed. Instead, he was an invincible super hero who survived every suicidal encounter, killed many Germans and was awarded a Military Cross. He also wrote great poetry while doing so.”

  • whitelaughter says:

    We lost two generations of Australians who believed in Australia to the two world wars.
    The willingness to make sacrifices was exploited, rather than protected, and so it died.

    Those who refused to fight survived and bred.
    Disloyalty is rewarded, so thrives.

  • pmprociv says:

    Getting back to the indoctrination of children, education now, probably from kindergarten and all the way through to university, is truly infested with identity politics and other warped ideologies, as evidenced by that day off for kids to protest for Hamas, plus their other protests against climate change, fossil fuels, extinctions etc. etc.. Having myself been, a long time ago, young, naïve, gullible and idealistic, I’m now convinced it’s a heinous crime to exploit vulnerable schoolchildren as political cannon-fodder, an egregious form of child abuse. Is it any wonder that many of the atrocities under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, and in Mao’s Cultural Revolution, were committed by teenagers? I fear our status quo might be morphing into a status moribundus — and one that even a war won’t fix, like they used to in the old days.

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