More than Memory

Mundane day. Also the holy day of Memorial. We are supposed to exalt the memory of those who have been slain in battle. At least the ones wearing uniforms. The non-soldiers are not relevant here. 

It’s a very misused holy day. As originally construed it was all about the second American revolution, the so-called American civil war. In those days everyone who served was either a volunteer (at least on the Confederate side) or accepted a bribe to substitute for someone who was being enslaved. That’s one of the contradictions of this war. The Union – Yankee – side had to compel some men to serve. And since the war is propagandized as being all about ending slavery in Amerika, forcing men to serve in the army – itself a form of slavery – is somehow compromising and contradictory. Of course there were also social compulsions on both sides, but supposedly – and we shall never know for sure otherwise – most of those who served were volunteers.

And honoring those who felt strongly enough to die in combat for their ideal – Nawth or Sowth – is laudable.

Perhaps it is. I can see two sides. Yes, organization has its benefits. Civilization and all that. And we’re going to die anyway so why not do so in a rush of endocrine secretions? Of course, one can ask why one should die for a parasite? That’s what organizations are. They take substance and put it to other uses. Including their own continuance. So there is an overhead. Thermodynamics applies.

The rationale for organization is that it benefits the members of the organizations. Is killing them a benefit? Maybe if they are discorporating of some horrible, painful disease, but does life qualify as such? So if organizations are beholding to us for their existence and are selfish in the process, just what and how much dedication do they deserve from us? 

I admire that those who died, at least purely idealistically, believed enough in their organization to discorporate for it. I am not sure about their rationality, however.