In his famous essay, “War is the Health of the State,” Randolph Bourne made an important distinction between country and state. One’s country is “an inescapable group into which we re born.” As such, “there is no more feeling of rivalry with other peoples than there is in our feeling four our family.” Country is “a concept of peace, of tolerance, of living and letting live,” wrote Bourne.
The state, on the other hand, “is essentially a concept of power, of competition.” Conflating the two concepts – country and state – sends one into a hopeless and very dangerous confusion.
For the history of the American country is one of “conquest of the land, of the growth of wealth, of the enterprise of education, and the carrying out of spiritual ideals.”
The history of the American state, by contrast, is one of “making war, obstructing international trade, preventing itself from being split to pieces, punishing those citizens whom society agrees are offensive, and collecting money to pay for it all.
.. The average citizen of a militaristic empire is nothing more than a taxpayer/supplier of cannon fodder in the eyes of the state ..
Most people are “rationally ignorant” of almost all of what government does, and they are the most ignorant about foreign policy. This allows politicians to lie nations into war with impunity ..
.. once a war is started most Americans become slavishly obedient to the warfare state and tend to believe all of is lies, no matter how spectacular they may be ..
It may seem trite, but it is nevertheless true that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat its mistakes. Americans are about to repeat the same mistake of squandering their blood and treasure on another military adventure (in Syria) that has nothing whatsoever to do with defending American freedom – or anyone else’s.