A recent viewer of Hacksaw Ridge — a movie on an remarkable conscientious objector, who won the Medal of Honor in World War II — mentioned that men would commit suicide if they were rejected from the draft due to a 4F classification.
Even as soon as the Korean War, the situation had changed, as many men would starve themselves to get a 4F classification.
But it is eye-opening to me, that the Japanese were not the only ones with a real-life warrior culture in World War II. There was a genuine warrior culture in the U.S., too.
Certainly, there are benefits to living in a seriously disciplined cultures: one not just dictated from a bunch of leaders above, but naturally rising from the people below. But then again, the distinct lack of such cultures is probably the reason why World War III never kicked off.
The Japanese live well in anime and factories; we live well in our electronic universes; and the Arabs – many of whom really do uphold the warrior culture – live poor and unpleasant lives. When they aren’t ripping each other apart.
The time of the warrior-nation will return, I suspect, but that will be at a very different time than we are in today. And that soldier with a very different sensibility than the soldier of the 1940s, or the regimented foot soldier of the 18th century, or the knights of the Middle Ages, or the Roman legionaries.
For one thing, there will be all these cell phone cameras… and drones… and robots… and genetic/cybernetic upgrades…
(Inspired by North’s review Hacksaw Ridge: a World Long Gone)