When Individuals Beat Governments - Christmas 1914

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Remember that old saying, what if they gave a war and nobody came? Well the next best thing happened during the Christmas season of 1914. The leading governments of Europe had already started the war and millions came. However, on Christmas Eve things began to change. The German soldiers started decorating their trenches and began singing Christmas songs. This caused the British soldiers to respond in kind. The next thing you know, the grunts from both sides are out in no-man's land shaking hands and exchanging gifts! If it continued and spread, the war would have ended. The loyal lifers in the officer corps of both armies, acting on behalf of their governmental political war-mongers, saw to it that peace would be destroyed that Christmas. The governments that started and carried on World War I used lies to encourage young men to join their 'cause' and thus to kill the 'enemy.' I remember being at the US Marine Memorial Hotel in San Francisco looking at old Marine recruiting posters. The one that struck me the most had a silhouette of a WW I German soldier with a baby stuck on his bayonet and the caption, 'The Huns Kill Women and Children - Tell It To The Marines!' This type of dramatic and emotional falsehood worked, and still works, to win converts for cannon fodder from the young and trusting. Not only was it a lie to say the German soldiers killed women and children, it was a lie to refer to Germans as Huns. As most people know, the Huns were not Germans, but were Asians under the leadership of Attila around the year 450 CE. I learned this when I was about ten years old and heard my great-aunt tell the story of her little sister who was pointed out to her class by her teacher during WWI as being a Hun because she was German. Her older brother came to school the next day and taught the teacher the difference between Germans and Huns. During the Christmas truce of 1914, soldiers from both sides were able to shake off the BS their governments had filled them with and realized the guy they were trying to kill just the day before was more like himself than his own officers were. The grunts from the English and German armies gradually made their way out of their trenches and into the middle of no-man's land to greet 'enemy' fellow soldiers who could have been their brothers. While they were singing Christmas songs together and playing soccer/football with each other, the officers were getting upset. How could they advance their military careers if their troops would not fight, kill, and die??? In some sectors of the front the truce lasted only one day while in other sectors it went on into the new year. When soldiers who were taking part in the natural truce wrote home about it, many of their letters made their way into some of the major newspapers of the day. This had to terrify the plutocrats and banksters who were benefiting from the war. What if peace on earth actually became a reality? From a governmental perspective, this had to stop immediately. The brass from both armies quickly sent word down to their inferiors to see to it that the troops broke off their friendships with the 'enemy' and returned to their governmental/patriotic duty of killing their fellow human beings. It was made clear that strict and harsh penalties would be the consequence for any soldier who dared disobey this military restriction on kindness and brotherhood. Even with orders from on high, the grunts persisted in doing what is natural--having fun and building friendships with those their governments had decreed to be their enemies. According to the documentary The Christmas Truce, one British officer had his fill of the commoners disobeying orders and ordered some troops to shoot into the crowd of celebrating men. After receiving the order, the troops who the officer thought would kill their comrades refused. The celebrating and camaraderie between the British and German soldiers continued. Finally, a British officer shot one of the German soldiers and both sides ran back to their trenches. It was a scary time for the plutocrats and their henchmen. If there had been men of good will in the ranks of the lifers and the plutocrats, millions of lives would have been saved.

Unfortunately, the only place were men of good will could be found were in the trenches with no authority or power. As is the case today, they were just pawns for the powerful and corrupt to use and abuse. The Christmas truce so frightened the brass and politicians, they made sure it would never happen again in WWI by increasing artillery shelling during the remaining Christmas seasons of the war. The brave soldiers who went against government orders and instead followed a much higher calling during the Christmas truce of 1914 have taught us that it is very possible to defeat the government. The government can't take advantage of us if we ignore it. It's kind of like a drug addiction. All you have to do to break a drug addiction is not take drugs. Likewise, all we have to do to break the government is not listen to it. Ignore it. When this first happens in mass, the government won't know quite what to do. Then, when they fall back on using violence to keep their unnatural power over people, the only natural reaction from people is to respond in kind.

This, of course, is guerilla warfare, and governments can't win a guerilla war as was demonstrated in the America Revolution, in Vietnam, and is now being proven in Iraq. It would be just a matter of time until the monster of government came crashing down. Perhaps through the difficult to control internet we can educate enough people and eventually bring about a world free of oppressive and deceitful gangs that are known as governments.

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Robert L. Johnson's picture
Columns on STR: 94

Robert Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web site devoted to Deism, www.deism.com.  He is listed in Who's Who in Hell and is the author of Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.  He wrote the introduction to The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and also writes for Examiner.com.