Harry Patch has died. I will be honoured to be one of his pall-bearers, although I am sure I will not be asked.
Yep, we can all play games about which war is inside which section of the Ongoing World War….but I think that 1914-1919 is the third bit of the main modern section of it. The fourth bit started in about 1935, and the fifth bit on 1st Sept 1939. Other bits have been intermittently conflagrating on, here and there, for decades since then. 1950, 1956, 1967, 1973, Lebanon, 1991, 2003 and so on.
The point about Harry Patch is not that he represented War-Statism, even though people like Prince Charles tried to take him over as an icon. What we as libertarians ought to celebrate is that individuals can go through this torment, made for them by States, come out the other side, and survive.
In a world in which there is a Libertarian Civilisation, and also some others that are not this thing, there will be wars, for a time. They will be defensive wars waged by the libertarian polity: sorry, I know it, this is what will be. The other States will not want to allow such a thing to be, for it will expose traumatically their dangerous isolation and total lack of underlying strategic support from their own slaves peoples.
I could not begin to tell you authoritatively what Harry Patch thought he was fighting for. For I did not know him, and I would also have been reticent about asking him that question since he was (a) very old, and (b) probably quite sensitive about what he’d give as an answer. But we can probably agree that what he thought he was fighting for was something not very akin to big-statism, which is to say, fascism as practised by the government today in the UK.
And so the Great War now passes into true history as defined by there being nobody who remembered it. We ought to be careful that libertarianism does not go the same way, as there are actually now too few proper ideological libertarians to do what Chris Tame said “make a difference”.