Dragging the Poor Slobs Into War

Hermann Goering, speaking at the Nuremberg trials following World War II:

Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Quoted in Ron Paul’s A Foreign Policy of Freedom

2 thoughts on “Dragging the Poor Slobs Into War

  1. “Some poor slob on a farm.”

    Sometimes it’s better to just let your enemies do all the talking.

    A Foreign Policy of Freedom was the first book I bought after hearing Ron Paul in the presidential debates (I soon followed this up with Bastiat’s The Law, upon Dr Paul’s very public recommendation). AFPoF is a collection of speeches Rep. Paul gave in Congress over the years, and what was most remarkable, to me, was not the fact that a Congressman was talking about political theory on the floor, but rather just how prescient Dr Paul’s words have been.

    Theory matters.

  2. “Theory matters.”

    Indeed it does. The next time I start whinging about ‘practicality’ I invite Adam to smack me down. I believe pragmatism should drive tactics but theory sets goals.

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