Sacrifice! Says who? And why? Have ‘Grown-ups’ really ‘grown-up’? 28 January 2022.


The stern hand of fate has scourged us to an elevation where we can see the great everlasting things which matter for a nation – the great peaks we had forgotten, of Honour, Duty, Patriotism, and clad in glittering white, the great pinnacle of Sacrifice pointing like a rugged finger to Heaven.

(David Lloyd George in his Queen’s Hall speech 19 September 1914)

“That was tripe, but the British, until recently, have been quite fond of tripe” writes Gerard DeGroot (‘Beware of history’s big ideas’, The Times 28 January 2017)

Margaret and David Lloyd George, Charles Mander the Third and Mary Mander at The Mount in 1918

God of Battle – plenty of devotees in 2022

Five Hymns, August 1914, No 1- Rilke (France)

For the first time I see you rising, Hearsaid, remote, incredible War God. How very thickly terrible action has been sown Among the peaceful fruits of the field, action suddenly grown to maturity.

Yesterday it was still small, needed nurture, now it is Standing there tall as a man: tomorrow It will outgrow man. For the glowing God Will suddenly tear his crop Out of the nation which gave it roots, and the harvest will begin. 

At last a God. Since we were often no longer able to grasp The peaceful God, the God of Battle suddenly grips us, Hurling his brand: and over the heart full of homeland

Screams his crimson heaven in which, thunderous, he dwells. 

Rilke by L Pasternak 1928

Evil? Holy -means ‘set apart’, to kill or murder in the name of a ‘God’ …

Evil (Le Mal) Rimbaud

While the red-stained mouths
of machine guns ring
Across the infinite expanse of day;
While red or green,
before their posturing King,
The massed battalions break and melt away;

And while a monstrous frenzy runs a course
That makes of a thousand men a smoking pile
— Poor fools! — dead, in summer, in the grass,
On Nature’s breast, who meant these men to smile;

There is a God, who smiles upon us through
The gleam of gold, the incense-laden air,
Who drowses in a cloud of murmured prayer,

And only wakes when weeping mothers bow
Themselves in anguish, wrapped in old black shawls —
And their last small coin into his coffer falls.

.…. or collect money from mourning mothers to bolster your wealth?

Aye, nothing changes since Arthur Rimbaud died 1891 – people still use their power to exploit others. Such exploitation is the embodiment of evil.

Arthur Rimbaud