Comment: I agree with your explanation

(See in situ)

In reply to comment: It's as old as history... (see in situ)

I agree with your explanation

I agree with your explanation (and I remember Taleb writing on that) of the gut feeling basis for honoring the sacrificial defenders of a community against enemies. It is necessary for any imaginable community that faces real external danger. I'm sure the evolutionary psychologists have made easy work of explaining that one.

But of course this feeling has NOT applied historically to the very common sort of roving mercenary solider, or the tax collecting, elite-defending sort of solider from the imperial capital.

Also... this natural, gut feeling support of the "defender" can be artificially extended by the use of propaganda to support a military establishment, which does not necessarily fit that description. (Every side in the both world wars exploited this image to rally the people in support of the soldiers, and many of the soldiers themselves marched off to battle gleefully singing songs and feeling their heroism, believing in their role as defenders.)

I would not call our military entirely mercenary or entirely a paper-pushing bureaucratic branch of government and career path for the lesser able, but I would say it is at least partially both. So the question is to what extent that traditional and gut level honoring of the soldier is in fact proper to any particular case of modern military. I'd say only very marginally. But that's better than nothing!

The same goes for cops, it really depends where and what cop. Some are just overpaid bureaucrats and others are violent mercenaries, while some are in fact people who wanted to put their necks on the line to help and protect others and fight the scum.

The feeling itself is unrefuted, the question is its applicability.