Monday, 29 December 2014

The First World War: Learning from History

Our first meeting of the New Year will be on the 8th Jan at the new time of 7.30pm at the White Rock Hotel

The Winter Solstice has now passed so the days are lengthening as we climb back towards the renewal of Spring. The night is always darkest before the dawn so the mid-winter celebration is an important age old process for coping with the depredations of winter.  I hope you are all enjoying yours as much as I am…..

Our first subject for the New Year will be:

 ‘What can we learn from the First World War?

We now have the benefit of 100 years of hindsight, so are there any clear lessons that we can learn from the Great War? 

The subject was proposed by George Farebrother of Herstmonceux Quakers, and we hope he can be present to introduce the subject from his point of view.

In 1913 there was an optimistic mood around most of Europe, new innovations were being introduced every day, there was a real optimism for the future and the progress that technology could deliver as the world was getting better and better.  Nobody had any inkling of what was about to come.

Then the disaster of WW1 and 4 years of carnage and destruction which transformed the map of the world, broke up the empires that had survived for hundreds of years preceding and ushered in a transformation in the class system of deference and accelerated the change in the status of women. 

We all know about the trigger for the war, the assassination of the arch Duke Ferdinand at Sarajevo; but what was the cause?

There is little doubt that wars always precipitates a fall in the standard of living of everybody (there are no winners) and today this is likely to be worse in a world in which our interdependencies are growing exponentially and where the costs of a profound dislocation cause by war is bound to be that much higher, Syria being only the most recent and obvious example.

So is pacifism the answer, or does that just give free reign to the international bullies?

We invite everybody with an opinion to come and share it in an open discussion of the subjects.

A poster advertising the meeting is available.

Stephen Milton

1 comment:

  1. Hello - are non-members welcome too?