LOVE - NOT WAR
The Parable of the Old
Man and the Young
Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in the thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.
This famous poem by Wilfred Owen is an indictment of the 'old men' of
Europe, whose war killed him in action just a week before it ended. He had
reached the ripe old age of 25!
comes from another 'old man' - 84 at the time of writing [28 May 2013] - who is
determined to do what he can to ensure that history never repeats itself. He
believes in mixing his drinks. Few would think sex had anything to do with the
issue. I think it has a great deal to do with it
It's now over
to you. What are you going to do about it? I'm not talking about the long term
as there may not be a long term. Time is of the essence. If you scroll to the
bottom of this page, you will find some suggestions for action.
OUR GENERAL PREDICAMENT
a result of global economic collapse, most governments around the world are crippled by debt, having to borrow so heavily they
continue to add huge
amounts of interest to their debts. They are forced to make savage cuts in
their budgets which impact most on those who are already struggling to
make ends meet.
Contrast with this the fact that
global spending on arms worldwide grew 5.9% between 2008 and 2009 to reach a
staggering total of $1.500,000,000,000. The biggest spender by far was the USA,
followed by China and France. Sheer economic necessity forced sales down
somewhat in 2010.
As if this were not grim enough, recent record-breaking
climatic catastrophes have made
our global predicament more acute than it has ever been. What the forecasters call 'extreme weather events' are becoming
all too common.
around the world keep
saying they must cut back on all unnecessary expenditure. Harsh necessity has
even forced them to reduce
their 'defence' budgets - but they refuse to recognise that ALL arms expenditure is not only non-essential
but is actually deleterious. The military hardware the wealthy nations
spend a mint of
money developing, manufacturing and marketing will either never be used (in which
case it will rot into obsolescence and need to be replaced at still greater cost) or, even
worse, it WILL be used, thus adding to the horrendous toll of death and
destruction for which we humans, throughout our history, have been responsible,
never more horribly than in the last century, the age of mass education and
scientific enlightenment - and two world wars culminating in nuclear warheads.
As a result, we are now trapped in a global
economy in which defence budgets play a huge role. We have become so used to
this that we take it for granted as one of the unalterable facts of life -
just as we did with slavery until Wilberforce and company jolted us into a
realisation of the enormity of what our blindness was costing the millions
of human beings sacrificed.
But underlying our complacency there is a conspiracy we
mostly prefer to remain ignorant about. Wendela de Vries is one of Europe's
foremost peace campaigners and he puts it like this: "War
profiteering is one of the main pillars that support war. The
military-industrial complex has a long record of pushing for the development
of a war industry and of battlefields to test its products. War profiteering
has many forms and a wide range of impacts. The most notorious forms of war
profiteering are the arms industry and the arms trade, but there are also
many other forms, such as companies involved in war “reconstruction”,
companies to which military functions are outsourced, financial institutions
backing warfare, companies profiting from the extraction of resources in
conflict areas and many more." [de Vries, email to the ENAAT group, 28 June
If national politicians were
prepared to change this, they would have to find alternative employment for
many millions of people so this is a task they find it very convenient to shelve,
particularly at a time when 'defence' seems the biggest and most stable
element in the national budget.
This dilemma becomes still more acute now that so many nations are toppling
back into recession.
it unbelievably cynical that millions should have to earn their living by
dealing out death for others? What sort of livelihood is this?
The simple truth is that our
tribal ideas about 'security' and 'defence' are a relic of the past. The only
way in which we can have a world without war is by jointly setting up a strong
global authority which will have sole command of all armed force, none of which
will be used except to rid the world of illegally held arms and to
protect the human rights of every citizen. Another function of the global
authority will be the rapid and efficient aiding of populations stricken by
natural disasters or human blunders.
A SUGGESTED UN INITIATIVE:
If delegates to the UN are in favour of putting an
end to even the possibility of war - and why should they not be? - they should jointly propose that every political party in every country be invited to join
an international league of anti-war parties, committed to setting
up, as a high priority:
 A global force which will be the sole
legitimate owner of military weapons and the sole commander of all existing
 This force will replace the existing UN peacekeeping
force. It will be totally secular, having no religious or political affiliation
but committed only to the declaration of human rights and the principle of
 This force will exist solely to establish peace, to remove all
illegitimately held weaponry, to enforce a ban on researching, manufacturing and
marketing new weapons and to react quickly to all reported human rights
abuses in the territories for which it is responsible.
 This force will be commanded by a multi-national global authority,
but will operate through local subsidiary centres scattered across the globe.
force will be recruited and trained in its new tasks by globally administered
colleges set up in each subsidiary centre.
 This force will be monitored by an
independent multi-national body to check for any abuses of its power, which
will be promptly and impartially dealt with.
Of course the detail needs to be worked out but
once the blueprint for such an authority is in existence, voters in all
countries will at last have the opportunity of placing their votes in favour of the
creation of a war-free world.
"The question is not one of "surrendering"
national sovereignty. The problem is not negative and
does not involve giving something up we already have. The problem is positive,
creating something we lack, but imperatively need: the extension of law and
order into another field of human association which heretofore has remained
unregulated and in anarchy." [
The Anatomy of Peace]
In 1945, when The Anatomy of Peace was first published,
we thought we knew better than Reves. We created the United Nations with a
Security Council having, as its permanent members, the main powers who had
defeated Hitler. These core members each had the power to veto proposals they
disliked but surely, after what they had just emerged from, they could be
relied on to see us right?
What idiots we were! In no time the former allies
were at each other's throats and we had a cold war. The resulting nuclear arms
race still threatens to be our undoing. If it has so far prevented WW3 - just - it
nothing at all to prevent the disgusting trade in arms which, ever since, has fuelled endless
little wars, which have slaughtered endless little people. It has also empowered
tyrants, terrorists, pirates and other undesirables. Still existing nuclear
warheads are an ever-present threat to all of us.
Turning the UN into a genuine global authority is obviously going
to be a
massive task and one which involves a huge shift in our thinking.
It can only happen if there is an irresistible surge of grass-roots conviction
right across the globe; it cannot be imposed from above. Old style patriotism (which was often simply tribalism writ large) needs to
give place to a fervent globalism, a real love of the planet without the support of which none of us can survive for a minute. Isn't it ironic that
we inhabit the only planet in the whole of the known cosmos which is
favourable to life, yet we, the pinnacle of life's achievement to date, are
the biggest threat to life on our planet in the whole five billion
years of its history?
A crusading drive to save and enhance this unique planet of ours is the only
banner under which every man jack of us can proudly march. If our national
armies can be handed over to global control, all legal military force
prevented from engaging in warfare but dedicated to peacekeeping and the
protecting of the inalienable rights of every human being, won't that be
It is worth noticing that NATO signatories account for 70% of
all current arms expenditure worldwide. NATO wields formidable force which is
currently deployed under joint US-European command. It needs to be set free
from partisan political control, made into a GLOBAL
SECURITY FORCE, subject to non-political global command, including
big players like Russia, China, India and as much of the rest of the world as
can be recruited. Hopefully there will be no absentees.
Sigmund Freud, in almost his last published work, wrote:
"After long doubts and vacillations we
have decided to assume the existence of only two basic instincts, Eros and the
destructive instinct ...the aim of the first of these basic instincts is to
establish ever greater unities and to preserve them thus - in short, to bind
together; the aim of the second, on the contrary, is to undo connections and so
destroy things" [Sigmund Freud, An Outline of
Psychoanalysis, Hogarth/Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1949, pp5f.]
The ethos we have cultivated over recent centuries has done a
great deal to devalue love and creativity whilst glorifying hatred and
destruction. Look at the way our Western tradition (amongst others) has viewed
maleness: men who fight are heroes - "real men"; men who love each other
warmly and physically are pathetic - "queers". If you don't believe this, take a
look at some of the video games so many youngsters are hooked on.
Freud often used the Greek word for death (thanatos) to
denote the destructive instinct. As we all know, thanatos is
unstoppable; it comes to all of us sooner or later. The last thing we need is
all the war games and nuclear warheads which threaten to give thanatos
the final victory. Here is a quote from a novel first published in the year
I was born - 84 years ago - and still one of the most important ever
written. The writer, after three years of fighting, is wounded and is
surrounded in hospital by many horrendous casualties:
must have been fraudulent and pointless if thousands of years of civilization
weren’t even able to prevent this river of blood, couldn’t stop these torture
chambers existing in their hundreds of thousands. Only a military hospital can
really show you what war is.
I am young. I am twenty years of age; but I know nothing of life except despair,
death, fear, and the combination of completely mindless superficiality with an
abyss of suffering. I see people being driven against one another, and silently,
uncomprehendingly, foolishly, obediently and innocently killing one another. I
see the best brains in the world inventing weapons and words to make the whole
process that much more sophisticated and long-lasting…….For years our occupation
has been killing - that was the first experience we had. Our knowledge of life
is limited to death. What will happen afterwards? And what can possibly become
of us? [All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque, p.180
in Vintage Future Classics ET edition based on 1929 German edn]
Our creativity, our love, our constant striving to improve our
lot, are an unending struggle against the pull of the primal chaos. We may be
tempted to ask if it is worth trying to fight the tide. It might seem simpler
just to go with the flow and eat, drink and be merry. But this is not an option if
we mean it when we say we love our children. We have reached the crucial moment
for decision in the whole history of our species. If we persist in making wrong
choices, we shall very soon have reached the point of no return. We have
created a huge machine with our technology and ingenuity but at present the
machine has no driver; unless it gets one in a hurry, the machine will surely
This website advocates not only the renunciation of war but also
the positive affirmation of our bisexuality, since this is the best possible
antidote to violence. It was again Freud who insisted that the basic
constitution of every human individual is bisexual. In spite of this,
bisexuality is often regarded as a problem area, more of a liability than an
asset. It seems so much simpler to divide the global population into a
'straight' majority and a 'gay' minority. In fact this is a complete refusal
to face facts: an informed, responsible approach to the central issue of our
sexuality may well be the most hopeful pointer to the future for our species
since it will enable men to become much keener to love one another than to
disembowel each other. It would also provide the most creative way of
curbing population growth. David Attenborough has recently noted that the
global population has increased threefold in his lifetime. As he quietly
observes, the planet is finite and simply cannot support ever-growing armies of
humans. World population has reached 7 billion during 2011; this represents a 40%
growth over the past 20 years. We need to do some hard thinking about how to
sexual energy, most of which is surplus to reproductive requirements, in order
to enrich human life and human relationships.
You will be in good company if you read or download* the
following book, which has just been updated [April 2013]:
COMING CLEAN ABOUT
BISEXUALITY: A MALE PERSPECTIVE
To download, open a Word or Works doc
on your computer, click FILE (top toolbar), select destination folder, enter
NAME at bottom and click SAVE. Then simply click on the link above and when
the book opens up, click EDIT then SELECT ALL then right click COPY. Now go to
the Word or Works document you have just created, point cursor in centre of
empty page and right click PASTE. You now have the book.
(visitors from Holland will find a Dutch translation of
Coming Clean about Bisexuality at
http://www.bikring.nl This can also be freely downloaded)
Music, like sex, is
also an international language because it does not depend on words but does
arise from something deeply implanted in all human beings. Hence music can
achieve what few other things can. Just five examples from many we could give:
the Simon Bolivar Orchestra and what it is doing for the youth of Venezuela and
now the world; The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, enabling Jews and Arabs to make
magnificent music together; an inspired young man in the UK becoming known
through TV because of what he can do for macho schools and run-down towns by
getting them singing; a fabulous pianist called Lang Lang whose repertoire
spans the globe and who is now the role model for literally millions of Chinese
youngsters who are inspired by him to play an instrument; "Buskaid", a string ensemble
in Soweto which is changing life for many youngsters.
Sport and athletics
comprise another international language since balls (I am thinking now of the
leather ones!) and swimming pools know no linguistic barriers. Bodies around
the world yearn to do the same things - hence great international festivals
like the Olympics.
Maths is yet
another international language since numbers behave the same wherever you
happen to live. Much the same is true of all the sciences since they use terms
and tables which are international in scope and are dealing with universal
sculpture, dance and the appreciation of natural beauty again are untroubled by
Even religion, that
cauldron of fierce enmities, once it gets free of words, has elements within it
which speak to all of us.
Is it not time we began to feel terribly ashamed for the way we have abused our human
intelligence and to realise at last our enormous potential for corporately
creating an exciting and sustainable future for our
children and for the animals which could and should inhabit this planet?
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT ALL THIS?
The vital thing, obviously, is to decide whether or not
you agree with what is said here. If you would like to express your
view about any part of this site send
me an email at email@example.com with FEEDBACK in the SUBJECT line.
I will then
put your contribution on the appropriate page in the link below. If you want to write to
me privately, please put PRIVATE in the subject line.
Also, you can use the internet to spread
this message either by referring others to this site or
by setting up a site of your own.
You can also maybe get reactions from your political
representative and alert the UN to your concerns.
The important thing is to do everything we can to get
things moving. It is action not mere talk that will get things done and the
pressure will have to come from the grass roots - People Power!
You can find comments already received at: