In 1914 David Lloyd George addressed the following words to the London Welsh Division at a farewell banquet before they were to be shipped off to France to fight in World War 1:
“You are fighting for the destiny of the human race for generations to come. If you can contemplate the possibility of our being beaten, can you reflect on what it means? There are two roads you are looking down. One leads to despotism, tyranny, aggression, the downfall of liberty. It is the dominance of anything that is centred and embodied in the spirit of militarism. Look down that road. You can see no end to it except the abasement and degradation of Europe. More than that, you will put back the clock of human progress generations, and it may be centuries. Look at the other road. That is the road onward to human civilisation, to human liberty, to human greatness. That is what you are fighting for, and upon the issue of this war will depend the destiny of the human race for generation to come.”
Of course, George’s comments were based on the nationalistic self-righteousness which lead to such a horrible waste of so much life during the First World War. That being said, his words inspired a cartoonist, J.M. Staniforth, to immortalise his words in THIS cartoon. I came across this cartoon in a history magazine the day after the horrors of Charlottesville this last week and felt the need to reclaim the cartoon for a new era. After Barcelona last night and then the insensitivity of some of an unnamed President’s remarks this morning it seemed all the more appropriate to reclaim the cartoon. After all, cartoons have always served as a medium for social change.
We have a choice too. And a fight on our hands to make it (not one that needs to be fought with physical means though). It involves thinking, in the coming weeks and months and even years, about what our actions say about which choice we’re making. Are we doing things that promote love and tolerance? Or hatred, racism and violence? Because if it’s the latter, no matter how you justify yourself, it’s the wrong choice.
And to restore the intellectual levels of the comic to their normal levels of silliness: think about what happened to those who choose poorly in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade…
Love is the key! ❤