In war, the moral is to the material as three to one.
The warrior ethos that emerged in the modern Western world has its origins in the warrior myth as embodied by Achilles, the hero of the Trojan War in the Iliad. In America, the warrior ethos evolved into a covenant that binds warriors to one another and to the citizens in whose name they fight and serve. It is grounded in values such as courage, honor, and self-sacrifice. The ethos reminds warriors of what society expects of them and what they expect of themselves.
One might wonder why this esoteric …
This article appears as “The Corrosion of the Warrior Ethos” in the November 15, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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