"Back in 2005, LewRockwell.com published an essay of mine about Memorial Day called 'Remember.' I just completed a slideshow based around that essay and thought you might like to view it."
The following thoughts are based on an article, "Memorial Day or Government Day?" from May 23, 2009.
"War is the health of the state." - Randolph Bourne
Memorial Day is the day we set aside each year to honor the men and women who died fighting America's wars.
But it might just as well be called Government Day. If you've never paid much attention to history it probably hasn't occurred to you that governments are absolutely crucial when it comes to war-making. Without governments, people have a really hard time getting a good war off the ground.
By many accounts, the Twentieth Century, which oddly consists of all those years that begin with the number 19, was the bloodiest century in the history of the world. Not only did governments fight wars against each other, like World War I and World War II and a Korean War and a Vietnam War and hundreds of smaller wars all around the planet, but many governments made war against their own citizens. National Socialist Germany and Soviet socialist Russia and Communist China and the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia used their governments to murder millions upon millions of unarmed people for committing the crime of not being liked by the leaders of their governments.
Some historians allow as how the governments of the Twentieth Century killed more people than all of the governments in all of the other centuries put together.
So you see, this is one of the reasons why libertarians don't much like governments. They have a saying, "War is the health of the state." What that means is that the more governments wage war the bigger, meaner, uglier, nastier, stronger – in other words, healthier – governments get.
Family feuds and greedy land grabbers and gangs of bootleggers can kill lots of people in local areas but only governments can manage the mass slaughter of millions over the entire globe.
Perhaps some day the good-hearted, loyal, patriotic people of America will figure out the difference between fighting for their country and fighting for their government, and the power-craving politicians who run it.
Until then, by all means honor those who died fighting in America's wars. Almost all of them, as well as the loved ones they left behind, genuinely believe that they were fighting to preserve our freedoms.
But of course the megalomaniacs who arrogantly fight and claw their way up the political power ladder to become the nation's "leaders" know better. They known that the vast majority of America's wars have nothing to do with threats to our freedoms. Wars are fought for the glorification of the politicians' overweening egos, nothing more.
So maybe, in reality, this day should be called Government Day, because only government can fill our national cemeteries in such obscenely enormous numbers.