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

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Festive Dinner

The Festive Dinner will be going ahead on December 11th at the White Rock Hotel. So far we have 14 definites who will be there, but any others will be very welcome. We need to finally confirm numbers a few days in advance, so please let us know if you want to join us but have not yet told the Chairman Stephen Milton. It is £15 per head and we will need to pay on the night or before.

Note that this meeting is at our usual start time of 7pm. The later start time for the new year does not apply until January.

It was suggested that we bring along the names of Heroes of  Humanism as a subject of conversation. There may also be time for party pieces.