Being Civilized means Learning from the Past
By Marc Batko
"War is not the Path to Peace" by Andrew Lichterman is available on http://www.lcnp.org/global/IRAQLetter.htm. Eighty articles on anti-militarism can be found on http://www.mbtranslations.com including "From Containment to Pax Americana" by Jurgen Wagner and "No Right of War" by Gerd Winter.
The power of language can overcome the language of power. The following theses can help us reclaim language and community under attack by permanent war, inevitable war, social Darwinism, ramboization of language, legitimization of war, militarization of foreign policy, jungle law and the right of the stronger.
1. Being civilized means learning from the past so the present and future are changed and humanized.
2. Resistance is part of human nature as antibodies are part of our bodies.
Children and nature have rights to exist regardless of market laws and market
3. The '68 movement was an anti-authoritarian movement.
4. The process of self-criticism in facing and overcoming the past (Vergangenheitsbewaltigung) is long and tedious in Germany and the US.
5. Orwell warned of a time when criticism and dissent would be expunged from memories. With all individuality effaced, people give birth for Big Brother. Dostoevsky prophesied that people would surrender their freedom to the Grand Inquisitor for his promise of happiness.
6. "The one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history" (Albert Einstein).
7. The big lie diverts from all the small lies (Goebbels).
8. Hitler declared the Asian hordes were about to cross the borders. All power in the emergency had to fall to the Fuhrer. To Hitler, the soldier was the only model of courage. Colin Powell's idea that the army is one great family should be seen on this historical background. The darkness of authoritarianism fell over Germany for 12 years.
9. Without humility, nations lose their relevance.
10. The profit logic can totally overshadow the social logic. The state has a social character and cannot only be a power and security state. The government of the people should occasionally listen to the people!
11. Resistance culture draws strength from Christian liberation theology. The truth will set us free, not one-hour summits. The Sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath. They that take the sword will perish with their sword and their doublespeak.Language, proclamation, decision, engagement and vision are powers. Disguising attack as defense is an Orwellian perversion undermining language and community. May we live as resistance cultures empowered by all who struggled for self-determination!