Friday, August 20, 2021

Of Remember And The State

 Old AF Sarge at Chant du Depart (one of the fine authors of the collective there; well worth adding to your blogroll and daily patronage) wrote an especially moving and thought provoking piece yesterday called Remember. It is well worth your time to read.

(Go ahead, I will be here waiting.  It is short...)

In brief, it is the considerations of a (fictional) career military man who served from WW II to Vietnam ruminating as he is at the burial of his grandson about the nature of service and the cost involved.  Even if you are not typically a reader of military fiction, read it.  It asks two very fundamental questions:

1)  What is the reason that men and women serve in the military, sometimes for generations when the cost is known?

2)  When does such devotion become unworthy of the government that it is offered to?

They are meaningful questions, especially in the light of the last week, when it seems to have become  readily apparent that more and more, that the US Government is less and less worthy of such devotion between the military and the (being somewhat generous) fools that run it.

What is the reason that men and women serve?  I cannot truly answer this question, as I have never served in the military.  For some, I am sure, it is a calling as any other calling.  For others, it is a time filler until they decide what they really "want to do".  But either way, by serving they put themselves into harm's way based on the dictates of a government and its policies.

But when do government's reach the status of not being worthy of being served?

Dedication to the state is always, ultimately futile:  The Imperial German Army became the Wehrmacht of WW II, which in turn became The East and West German Armies, before finally reuniting.  Dedication to the Imperial cause was rendered moot in 1918 to all except a few diehards.  The state, in the end, always goes away.

But what if the military made decisions to not serve the state?  What if the German General Staff rejected Hitler and quashed him? History likely would be very different.

 A military junta, from everything one reads, is not something to be encouraged or sought after.  But neither is a military so wedded to a state and its decrees that it allows the state to be pulled into insanity, the sort of insanity we are experiencing right now - where after withdrawing almost all troops, we are having to pump troops back end to defend 1/1,000,000th of the territory that used to be under control.

What would it look like if the military "withdrew consent"?  For that matter, what it would it look like if bureaucrats did the same? (Given the current circumstances, a great many people in the Department of State should be asking themselves hard questions.)  Or what if civilians - you and I - simply stopped showing up?

Of course, it is best if the state or the voters that constitute it addresses its own issues before it reaches the point where others start addressing it instead.  Sadly, we seem to have passed the point where that would have been true.   

The State seems to believe that there is no way out but through this "slightly rough" patch into green pastures - "Trust us as you always have", they seem to say.  Hopefully, everyone else in tow is starting to examine the scenery and beginning to ask the question if they are worthy of such trust and if we should have ever gone this way in the first place.


  1. To discuss it in proper detail requires an in depth discussion of realpolitik. Christians struggle with it to the point that sometimes it is impossible to have a meaningful discussion with them. Their morals and ethics preclude it.

    That was an excellent piece at chant depart.

    1. Glen - Agree, although it is interesting that in large part this issue of realpolitik and Christianity is a relatively modern struggle. The Roman Empire (once Christianized) and the Byzantine Empire had zero problem with marrying the two in a world no dangerous than what we have today in the sense that their existence literally depended on their ability to defend themselves.

      And Christ never admonished against self defense (yes yes, I know: turn the cheek. It was only ever intended to cover personal insults, not personal safety). Has it been misused? Sure. The Crusades were, overall a disaster in this respect (although that is an instance of making war - at least theoretically - in the name of Christianity. One wonders how we would view it if is just another Norman expansion). But Paul denotes that the government bears the sword to administer just and to defend.

      The concept of Just War - I am sure that there are those that can speak more clearly to it - was made to prevent wars of expansion amongst the crown heads of Europe, not to prevent defense of a way of life (no-one, that I am aware of, ever cried out against the defense of Vienna).

      But we may find ourselves, for the first time since Constantine the Great legalized Christianity, that Christians may have to re-examine how they think about such things.

      It was an excellent piece indeed.

    2. I am sure you're right, TB.

      Hope you have a great weekend lined up.

    3. Maybe Glen? I never know if I am right, or I just ponder things a lot.

      But I do think Christians need to take a deep look, regardless. Abdicating our responsibilities to act because we think "This is what Christ said" without really understanding it is not an excuse for inaction.

  2. robert orians5:51 AM

    I opened my eyes to the possibility of a feral government lacking my blessing back in the 70's when my friends were coming home either in a box or to be spat upon by the elitists kids . My heart was hardened towards the government and politicians in particular . This latest fiasco is just another brick in the wall .

    1. Robert, I can see that such would be the case - and that nothing since then would have changed your opinion is such matters.

      It is becoming long since time we discuss such matters openly.

  3. The consent of the governed is the crux of the matter. If enough quit consenting....

    And thank you for rightly dividing the insult vs. self defense of turn the other cheek.

    As far as the crusades goes, have you seen this? The perspective is eye opening...

    1. I’ve seen that one too, STxAR. One has to keep in mind that there is nothing new under the sun; yellow journalism and fake news was as prevalent in antiquity as it is today. I am convinced at least 50% of our history is based on it, and not worth the stone it was graved on or the parchment it was penned on. We must remember this today as well; the crap you see from the mainstream media is exactly what they want you to see.

      The establishment and their media hacks have turned on Biden. Usually they would cover for him and polish tur… apples for him. To me this portends interesting things. They either need to parachute a new leader in, otherwise the filthy stinking masses may revolt and try and install one of their own.

      The real action is not in Afghanistan, methinks… it’s right here at home.

    2. STxAR, thanks for the link. Very interesting.

      Yes, the personal versus defense is a common mis-statement these days. I wish more people would correct it.

      The video was interesting, thank you. It might have been a bit more accurate had it also included the Christian push back (Reconquista in Spain, for example), but I suspect it would have not changed the overall point.

    3. Glen, most history is biased in some way; the work is to find enough sources to drive one to a common conclusion.

      You are correct: the issues ultimately are here, not abroad.

  4. I believe the reasons for serving can be as varied as those doing the serving.

    Thanks for sharing that poignant piece.

    1. You are welcome Kelly. It really is well done.

  5. To describe the current state of affairs as insanity is an insult to lunatics.

    This ends when we break the spell. Simple really.

    The tipping point has been slipped, the dogs are havoc.

    1. Fair, just so, speaking as a lunatic...

      I think a tipping point has been reached. Where it leads, we will have to see.

  6. Anonymous5:40 PM

    TB wrote, "Or what if civilians - you and I - simply stopped showing up?"


    1. Physician, Heal Thyself. Not bad words indeed. Thank you.


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