The complete essay needs to be read as Koenigsberg reveals how violence breeds violence. It appears to arrive from the idea that young men are born to experience the glory of running out on the battlefield to be gunned down.
Dying on the battlefield has mostly been portrayed as sudden death but that's not how it happens all the time or most of the time. Sometimes they lie on the field in excruciating pain - intestines falling from a gaping wound, arms and legs blown off, eyes ripped out, faces blown away, cold icy rain on frozen mud. Or prisoners transported in cattle cars without food or water, the stench of urine, pus, for days, weeks or more, knowing that wherever they arrive it will not be good.
Megaphones spouting the glory of giving your life to war, worshiping the men who designed the battles - Kemal, Ludendorff, Hindenburg, Hitler, who told the people in various words - we do not ask you to fight but to die for your nation.
Now I am thinking of ideologies preached by a few candidates of the Republican Party that are clearly destructive to those who have had the privilege of living in a peaceful, almost democratic nation. Their policies are not about running a nation but about preparing people for war through hatred and division. Fascist parties in Europe and America are not interested in governing a nation - they are looking to centralize power.
Why do they focus on hate? Is it because they/we are seeking revenge? Is it because we cannot imagine a world that is just and so we think it useless to work towards a better world? Has the system created the means to destroy us as soon as we enter school through ritual humiliation and competition, so we grow up valuing things more than ourselves?
Would it be that education, compassion, social justice, cooperation, wisdom and social responsibility would take back the power from those who preach that our worth, our only worth, is when we become the means of aggrandizing the emperor?
Would you like to die on a bloody field or coffee shop with your limbs blown out of reach, or in a cattle car with the stench of pus and urine, or a slow and painful death as a refugee carrying your infant to nowhere?
Who benefits from this global contempt for life?