Tuesday May 8th 2012 Tim
In the Western
World, the idea of suicide as an expression of a Free Will was one
adopted by French theorists. These were thinkers who survived the second
World War, and who I like to think, may have heard rumors of the
1917 mutinies of French and British Soldiers, from broken down and
tumbled men who did not march on Poppy Days and instead asked why
remember. It was in the summer of 1917, just as the Doughboys
arrived to take part in the slaughter. How many British and French
mutineers there were and how many of them were shot, might be known in
2017, one hundred years after the event. Which is when law takes
the hat off uncomfortable secrets.
Christian believers, remains sinful, a direct path to hell. For
others, it is thought of as an act of cowardice, or mental derangement,
or momentary lapse in pursuit of purpose, or some other frailty such as
selfishness. For theorists, in their lecture halls, negative
attitudes in the wider society toward an individual's choosing to put an
end to it all, demonstrates the working of those invisible chains that
cause a social cohesion, and which sometimes stop making sense. Then on
it goes through contribution through useful work and surrender, into the
defining of success until you come away with an idea of "What Free
Will Should Be," and safe to say that "What Free Will Should Be"
has little connection to a Will that is unconstrained by the chains in
the word normal and in a general understanding of the word free..
Woodrow Wilson, on April the Second
1917, asked the Congress of the United States, to declare War on Germany so
that the world might be made safe again for Democracy. Doughboys were
conscripted men. And as with the English, and the French three years
earlier, many cheered at the prospect of glory days, honor and service to a
mighty and cohesive cause. In the USA, those designated as Objectors
to the call of their country were sentenced to twenty years in Leavenworth.
Of those claiming Conscientious Objection and who were considered insincere
by tribunal, seventeen were sentenced to death, one hundred and forty or so
to life in prison, and three hundred and forty odd were dispatched to labor
camps. Martyrs, I guess.
Today, the US
military dislikes conscription. The citizen army has become the professional
army, an enlisted man a thing of the past. And today, here in the
United States, eighteen veterans of recent military service will probably
kill themselves. That's three quarters of an ex-soldier, every hour, which
means over six thousand volunteers a year. And too easy to call these
fallen soldiers damaged, or deranged, or improperly medicated.