Do Different Generational Perspectives on Patriotism and War Line Up?

Originally published at Unrhetorical.

I’m curious about how well Remarque’s perspective in All Quiet on the Western Front resonates with today’s soldiers as they think about the teachers, mentors, and media that encourage us to fight. Seems like a timeless observation:

“While they continued to write and talk, we saw the wounded and dying. While they taught that duty to one’s country is the greatest thing, we already knew that death-throes are stronger. But for all that we were no mutineers, no deserters, no cowards–they were very free with all these expressions. We loved our country as much as they; we went courageously into every action; but also we distinguished the false from true, we had suddenly learned to see. And we saw that there was nothing of their world left. We were all at once terribly alone; and alone we must see it through.” (Chapter 1)

Leave a Reply