Our war against ideas

Battle lines have always been drawn like religions and national borders. It matters less where the borders are than that they exist and are known. Everyone with the responsibility of making his or her own choices is irresistibly inducted into one camp or the other, where he or she is deprived of the said responsibility and put to use. Most join directly out of school and then enter into training for their preselected positions. The state has watched them since their youth and knows what’s best for them. Some begin their training at school, and many of these become officers. All armies keep open positions for peeling potatoes and cleaning latrines. Privates have no privacy, but, if you cause no trouble for the cause, that is, if you can be trusted, then you advance, and as you advance you get more power and privilege. Even pushing paper and moving supplies are important in the effort of supporting troops on the front lines, where the difference between hero and cannon fodder is irrelevant, since both are following orders. Conscientious objectors and soldiers who are absent without leave will scatter or head smaller and less organized forces, so they can effectively be ignored. Questioning an order is the worse offense. Casualties occur, some from friendly fire. Our hospitals try to fix them up and many are able to return to active service. For those who survive but whose strength is spent, we have homes. Only officers with the highest ranks are expected to endure for long. They are the ones who support their cause with the least amount of doubt, and who are most invested in continuing the war, but in never either winning or losing it, which would mean the end of their careers and privileges.