Monday will be a sad day for far too many people who have lost sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and friends to war. Unfortunately, the takeaway from this day – that they died for freedom or some other bromide – only helps ensure future parents, husbands, wives, siblings and friends will share their pain.
Here is the harsh reality we should be confronting every Memorial Day:
War is always a tragedy. It is humanity failing to keep the promise of civil society and abandoning reason to destroy vast amounts of life and property.
It turns responsible adult men back into children, with all accountability removed and license to do what male children love to do: smash and destroy things.
It releases young adult men (and now women) from all the pressures of real life, where one has to produce something someone else buys voluntarily to keep a roof over one’s head and food on the table, while room, board and other expenses are provided by taxpayers, just like mommy and daddy provide them for children.
Yes, there is a risk of death, although far less risk than an oil rig worker or a logger takes, but that is something late teen or early twenties men are eager to embrace while they are in their wildest stage and before they have experienced enough of life to realize they’ve been had.
Let’s remember this weekend that everyone who ever died in a war died for nothing except the profits of a few connected financial interests and the expansion of government power.
War is government doing what it does best: destroying the natural inclination of people to trade with each other and replacing it with annihilation of peace and prosperity on a scale only a government could achieve. War is government freed from all restraint.
Extreme poverty has been cut in half over the past 29 years. That’s the market and free trade at work.
Cities reduced to rubble, families wandering homeless and graveyards full of people who died before their time – that’s government at work. What more proof does one need that government is the scourge of humanity?
Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.