They were not patriotic. They were occasionally outraged by the enemy. But if a recording had been made of almost any casual chatter by any WW II military group in any wardroom or mess and sent back home, the generals probably would have court-martialed the lot.
“We ourselves have been mauled and oppressed for two decades of false accusation at the hands of an enemy so blood spattered he looks more like a vampire than a man.”
And what has happened since. The expatriate loyal governments of our allies were forgotten. Their countries were turned over to communists or revolutionary hands. Name them off, they are many. 750,000,000 human beings at a modest estimate were tamely passed under the communist yoke. And through inept “peace-making” and incompetent foreign relations, since 1945 there have been wars and more wars.
The United Nations came up with the answer. An absence of human rights stained the hands of governments and threatened their rules. Very few governments have implemented any part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These governments have not grasped that their very survival depends utterly upon adopting such reforms and thus giving their peoples a cause, a civilization worth supporting, worth their patriotism.
It is vital that all thinking men urge upon their governments (for the governments’ own sake if no other) sweeping reforms in the field of human rights.
Human rights do not mean corn and games. That was the Roman idea and Rome was torn to rubble in the civil wars that had as their fundamental causes the abuses of rights under law.
False accusations. Unlawful seizure of persons and property. The torture and oppression of the individual and social groups. These were what destroyed the Roman Empire.
Such things mocked any pride in “being a Roman.”
Eventually her troops did not win battles anymore. They did not care. And so the curtain fell on the “grandeur that was Rome.”
The infamous “lettres de cachet,” granting as they did the right to seize any person at the whim of any noble and imprison him for life, brought the foremost empire of its day, France, to the tumbril and guillotine at last.
Most governments live on in the myth of their own tradition. They see it in the law book. They teach it in the school. They brag about it in the press and patriotic speeches. And personal experience calls it a lie. A man is accused. Some mountebank has said that he is insane. Bang, he is in prison. Crash, his property is seized. A shower of sparks or the flash of a knife, he is castrated, depersonalized. And very soon dead.
A whispered malicious word. A man is implicated in a murder, he knows not how. He is imprisoned “awaiting trial.” His name, repute are wrecked, his life ruined whatever the outcome.
Even in the little matter of a parking ticket he is at risk. It is put under the windshield wiper, not properly served. It blows away. He never sees it. He is brought to court, fined for something he knew nothing about.
So, in the long run, injustices big or small add up to insecurity, to a feeling one is being attacked or could be. The citizen is expected to protect the government. He looks at his tax-shredded paycheck, sees no way out. He decides it isn’t a two-way proposition. So he ceases to protect and begins to attack the government. His attack may be as small as simply not acting.
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