Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance: 1100 am 11th November 2011

As the EU faces collapse, consider .........will Germany really now abandon their third attempt in less than 100 years to subjugate their European neighbours?

Must Britain, this time be among those nations destroyed and placed under their entire control?

We must ALL fight to regain our national independence!

Two books I recommend for this particularly significant 21st Century day of:

11 - 11 - 11
Barbara Tuckman's  The Guns of August which details the long term planning by the Germans for the barbarity they initially unleashed in the Great War upon Belgium and how Britain became involved through what I would describe as mis-diplomacy with France. Lessons very apt for today's EU disaster!

Secondly to mark the 50th anniversary of its first publication, which falls today, one of the great anti-war books of World War II "Catch 22"by Joseph Heller.

With the EU, we are all in a truly typical Catch 22 situation, and as in the novel, the only winners are the unknown powers that be. Catch 22 itself, always a difficult concept to describe, is very well defined in the Wikipedia entry linked above, from which I quote.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. (p. 46, ch. 5)
Other forms of Catch-22 are invoked throughout the novel to justify various bureaucratic actions. At one point, victims of harassment by military police quote the MPs' explanation of one of Catch-22's provisions: "Catch-22 states that agents enforcing Catch-22 need not prove that Catch-22 actually contains whatever provision the accused violator is accused of violating." Another character explains: "Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing." The theme of a bureaucracy marginalizing the individual in an absurd way is similar to the world of Kafka's The Trial, and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The concept of "doublethink" has definite echoes in Heller's work[citation needed].
Yossarian comes to realize that Catch-22 does not actually exist, but because the powers that be claim it does, and the world believes it does, it nevertheless has potent effects. Indeed, because it does not exist, there is no way it can be repealed, undone, overthrown, or denounced. The combination of force with specious and spurious legalistic justification is one of the book's primary motifs.

In France, the 11th November is also celebrated as the name day for St Martin. I will be  travelling  to the historic town of Poitiers , which has so much significant history between the two countries of Britain and France, both to celebrate that fact together with enjoying a very significant family reunion event. Blogging will therefore at first be lighter than usual.



Post a Comment

<< Home