Day 385: For God and Country

Patriotism was created to ensure that change will never take place. Consider those who are generally patriotic: soldiers. What happens when citizens become restless about their country's ruling regime? Before they decide to take action they must first consider going up against the military. The real question here is: why do the soldiers not participate in the restlessness with the citizens? There are only 2 explanations: either the grievances of the citizens are not really valid/justified, or the soldiers are not acting in the best interests of the people of the country as a whole, and only in the best interests of whoever is their superior officer - in the name of patriotism.

When a country is up in arms, why is there still a military to keep the people in line? Is the purpose of the military to do what is best for the people, or to be thugs for a few in power?

Why do military's exist? To protect and serve. Who decides how best the military can be used in order to protect and serve? A handful of people.

We often hear how soldiers will do things that they may not actually agree with, just because someone told them to. Some may rationalise how this absolves them of any responsibility, others may be consumed by guilt. The reality is that most soldiers who see action regret it - they want to be able to go back in time and undo the horrors they saw or committed. Why then, is the military such an appealing place for so many young adults?

Some do it because they have few alternative choices - limited education and/or skills makes the military one of the more appealing choices in terms of earning an income. Some do it out o a sense of patriotism, they want to protect and serve. What I have seen within humanity is that the most zealous followers of some idea are often the most cruel and discriminating against those who are not a part of their group - patriotism included. So, are those who join the military because of patriotism maybe doing it so that they can be part of a group that accepts and encourages their ideals and beliefs? Because, looking at the function and history of military's across the world in general, they have brought nothing but suffering.

War is an interesting and unique concept created by humans. In the end, it doesn't really mean anything - but to those who experience it's effects, its presence is overbearing. Why do we participate in war if its consequences are so overwhelmingly negative? What good could ever come from war or weapons? Why do we continue to justify it? Why do we allow thousands, upon thousands of young and impressionable adults to take part in the madness, without fully comprehending the nature of war?

It is easy to say that people cannot change, that war will always be a part of our cultures - it is not so easy to stand up and say "I will not accept this abuse of life any more, there is a solution and I will dedicate myself to finding and then implementing it."