The Silent Revolution

For a good number of years I have produced a picture to mark Remembrance Day. It is just something I do; believing that history is our best guide and teacher for the future. My picture for 2013 is unusual in that it is a recording of a scene that occurred quite randomly. Visibility had been close to zero practically all day as I walked the high fells of Yorkshire. I was thinking about conflict; not war but human conflict. Why do people fight? The thick mist lifted and this was the scene:

The fell opposite had been planted for forestry; each tree protected with a white plastic guard. Sheep grazed the lower ground which was criss-crossed with drainage trenches among the reeds. The final scene from Black Adder sprang to mind and I saw the lines of war graves and the overgrown trenches of the Somme or Ypres. I stood in silence and pondered on the cost and futility of war. The magnitude and tragedy of the loss of so much youth; wasted before they had chance to achieve or even formulate their dreams.

It wasn't long before the mist descended once more and I was left with the grass under my boots and my own thoughts as I restarted my trek. I got to thinking is war (as it was) becoming out dated. Historically war was about territory but is territory becoming obsolete? We often hear the phrase "Global Village" on social media and the internet has certainly made the world a smaller place. National pride has now got nothing to do with nationalism as we individually form relationships and friendships that cross the globe and breach those national boundaries. Is the internet our human reward for all the sacrifice and conflict of the past? Perhaps it has the potential to restrain us from repeating the follies of that past?

For the first time in our history we each individually have the power to render our own information. En masse we can reject what, as a population we are fed through the press. We can be heard, voice our opinion and hold our peers and leaders to account. Before the Internet Globe we had our political vote; sure we could stand up and be counted but did we really have a voice? The internet and our access to it has been The Silent Revolution. We each now have the tools and, if we are willing to put in the time and effort, can make a wave or splash equal to any brand or politician. Having that potential reach and influence bestows on each  of us a degree of responsibility. We can no longer just sit back and blame the "powers at be." We should use or new found freedom and power wisely.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Wars are made by politicians and fought by populations. I suspect that the internet will be made by populations and fought by the politicians.

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