There has been much talk of serving one’s county. Such talk will intensify as we come to the season of remembrance when we collectively mourn those who served their countries and died for it. In the United Kingdom (still more or less united) folk will wear plastic poppies as a sign of respect for the dead, making small contributions to help the families of the dead and to help the war wounded.
Those who died served their country, but not always in the best way. The best way undoubtedly to serve one’s country is to refuse to partake in any wrong that the country may commit. This will frequently take more courage than most of us have, and a clarity of thought and judgment, untroubled by convention, that almost none have. Most soldiers did not join the army in order to think what they should do, but in order to be told what they should do. Most political servants joined politics in order to think what to do, but have their thoughts limited by dogma and party loyalty. They do not understand that they are violent when they sustain a government that is violent.