David Cameron's decision to splurge £50 million on celebrating the centenary of the start of World War I indicates what a waste of money his expensive private education was.
There is absolutely nothing to celebrate about a conflict over which European powers should hold sway over colonial empires.
Rapidly developing Germany, which had missed out on the 19th century carve-up of Africa, wanted access to the natural resources controlled by the British, French and Russian empires.
The labour movements of Europe saw what was in store long before the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 provided the pretext for a continent-wide mobilisation.
The 1907 congress of the 2nd International of socialist parties had agreed to oppose an imperialist war and, if one was declared, to "utilise the crisis created by the war to hasten the overthrow of the bourgeoisie."
Brave words were followed by cowardly deeds as each party lined up behind its own ruling class and delivered working people into the hands of the recruiting sergeants.
Only in Ireland and Russia was a principled stand against imperialist war taken.
The 1916 Easter Rising, in which Irish Socialist Republican Party leader James Connolly's Irish Citizens Army played an outstanding role, was defeated by the British empire's superior firepower but sowed the seeds of Irish independence.
Russia's Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, transformed a disastrous imperialist war into a virtually bloodless revolution, overthrowing tsarist autocracy, ending colonial oppression of national minorities and beginning the country's social transformation.
Britain's working people, who had been let down by their political leaders, were told that they would march back to a "land fit for heroes."
They returned to rising unemployment and attacks on living standards, which triggered race riots and mass poverty.
The Ottoman empire, which had hitched its wagon to Germany, disintegrated, allowing Britain and France to extend their influence to the Middle East region, denying national determination, dividing different nationalities and laying the foundations for recent tragic events affecting Palestinians, Syrians, Iraqis and others.
As Plaid Cymru MPs Jonathan Edwards and Hywel Williams note in their Commons early day motion, WWI saw 10 million soldiers killed and double that number injured. Seven million civilians perished directly or indirectly as a result of the war.
What kind of political halfwit could wrap himself in the butcher's apron and proclaim such futile slaughter worthy of celebration?
Unfortunately, imperialist wars are not things of the past. Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya bear witness to our ruling elite's eternal determination to subjugate people in other countries in the cause of capitalist greed.
All these wars have proven unpopular, arousing public protests on varying scales, which has provoked a change of emphasis by our rulers.
They extol the bravery and professionalism of "our boys" or "our heroes," implying that refusal to back their efforts in Afghanistan or wherever equates to stabbing them in the back.
Those who betray working-class squaddies are the politicians who send these young people overseas to do their dirty work, ordering them to kill and be killed.
As with WWI, their deaths in combat are described as "brave sacrifices" for the nation. They aren't. They are wasted lives.
The real enemy of Britain's working class, including those in uniform, remains the ruling elite that corners the nation's wealth for itself and cuts living standards for the rest of us.
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