Blogs > Liberty and Power > Which Politician Came Up with the Idea that Dying for Your Country Is a Good Thing?

Aug 16, 2009 2:48 pm

Which Politician Came Up with the Idea that Dying for Your Country Is a Good Thing?

Watched Clint Eastwood's two excellent Iwo Jima movies,"Flags of Our Fathers" and"Letters from Iwo Jima," this weekend. Moral: the world would be a better place if no one thought his country was something to fight or die for. That's also the moral of"The Americanization of Emily." I highly recommend all three movies.

Cross-posted at Free Association.
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Robert Higgs - 4/1/2009

"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

Of course, one might view this statement as, shall we say, somewhat evasive, given that it was made to men who, in substantial numbers, were about to be blown to smithereens, whether it was for something or for nothing.

Sheldon Richman - 3/31/2009

Actually, it was a rhetorical question.

David Friedman - 3/30/2009

I don't know who first came up with the idea, but "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" is from Horace.

William Marina - 3/30/2009

I don't know which politician came up with the idea of dying for one's country, but in the American case, I suppose the first to articulate that was a spy, Nathan Hale, captured by the British during the American Revolution, who supposedly said, just prior to his execution by hanging, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country."

It is increasingly difficult to sustain that view when the country is lied into interminable occupations and wars abroad, that see us playing a role very much like that of the British in the American Revolution. They couldn't hold either Boston or Philadelphia, only New York City, and we are having difficulty controlling and occupying very much turf outside of either Baghdad or Kabul!

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