I rarely agree with his politics, but Paul Keating (former Australian PM) is one I curiously can’t help admiring. He still has a way of cutting through and saying things in a way that make you stop and say, ‘shit yeah’. Today, in his speech for Remembrance Day for the end of the First World War, he said:
The First World War was a war devoid of any virtue. It arose from the quagmire of European tribalism, a complex interplay of nation-state destinies, overlaid by notions of cultural superiority peppered with racism … The virulent European disease of cultural nationalism and ethnic atavism not only destroyed Europe; it destroyed the equilibrium of the world … One thing is certain: young Australians, like young Europeans … can no longer be dragooned en masse in the military enterprises of the former imperial variety on the whim of so-called statesmen.