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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Heroes

How can people be so cruel?

Dulce Et Decorum Est
Wilfred Owen 1893-1918

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori1
[*].

Office Cadet Wilfred Owen earned four Victoria Crosses the night that he died in The War To End All Wars.

I remain skeptical of the common assumption that “Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it”. But I am certain of this:

Those of us who do study history are doomed to forever dwell in sorrow.

This because the study of history leads one to understand just why so very many innocents lived in Hellish torment and despair. These studies have for my entire life led me to obsess on one single question:

How can people be so cruel?

Nothing other than idle curiosity led me to start with Wikipedia's article on "AgitProp" then proceed to my conclusion that Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a great humanitarian, despite that for example he ordered all the land owners in the new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to be stripped of their clothes - that it could be given to others - lined up in front of shallow trenches then shot, their mortal remains left in mass graves.

And why do I regard him as a great humanitarian?

Because Lenin directed the USSR's effort to teach the peasants to read and write so they could consume Communist Propaganda. Reading and writing because it was so inefficient to transport troops of actors around the country aboard trains.

Had the Communists not found that particularly scalable way to feed their particular variety of Madness to their people, the German Wehrmacht would have driven the Red Army all the way across Ukraine, Russia and Siberia and into the Pacific Ocean.

By the time of the outbreak of hostilities with the German Navy's surprise assault on a Polish Naval Base in 1939, an entire generation of Soviet Citizens had by then become sufficiently literate that they could design the weapons, write the orders and transport the logistics required to defeat Hitler.

A psychiatrist once diagnosed Josef Staling as being a "Classic Paranoid". Three days later that same psychiatrist died of poisoning. Stalin went on to murder tens of millions of his own countrymen by starving and freezing them in Siberia.

I regard Stalin as a humanitarian as well:

The artillery employed by the Western Allies was always self-propelled, that is, mounted on trucks. But Soviet artillery was towed to its emplacements. It could not be moved by the men – or by the women, as women also fought in combat during The Great Patriotic War.

Josef Stalin figured that to immobilize the Red Army's artillery would lead his troops to fight harder. I expect he was right:

The Russians Won.


[*]"It is sweet and right to die for one's country." -- Horace

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