“I Was Only Following Orders”

By | October 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

This non-excuse became infamous during the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. Nazi war criminals were put on trial, so their crimes would be etched into the world’s memory. Following orders that are immoral is an excuse only in a totalitarian nation.

And that’s the point.

I went through four years of ROTC in high school and college. I rose to the rank of corporal but was a squad leader. I led my squad in manual of arms and close-order drill, which taught us three things:
1. To march in a military manner.
2. To develop a sense of group cohesion.
3. To obey orders without thinking.

Squad attention. Right face. Right shoulder arms. Forward march. Column left march. To the rear march. Column right march. Squad halt. Right face. Order arms. Parade rest. At ease.

We weren’t doing anything or going anywhere. We were practicing how to follow meaningless orders without thinking or complaint. I enjoyed barking orders more than I enjoyed following them. But the lesson stayed with me. So I recognized what was going on with the pandemic.

Covid not spread person-to-person. Spread person-to-person. Nothing to worry about. Be very afraid. Masks not useful. Masks essential – wear two. Large gatherings no problem. Large gatherings forbidden. Medications no help. Medication may be game-changer, wait for it. Vaccine protective, return to normal. Vaccine less protective, no return to normal. Vaccine protection durable. Vaccine protection wanes, may need third dose and booster. Shortage of health care workers, import more. Fire hundreds of nurses and techs who refuse vaccination. Doctors are independent professionals. Doctors forbidden to prescribe ivermectin.

Some heard an endless series of self-contradictions and unapologetic 180-degree reversals. But I heard something familiar from my past: A series of orders meant to condition people to unthinking obedience.

So now, many of these people see nothing wrong with Australia’s army-enforced lockdown. They envy China’s forcible vaccinations. The process worked. With profound regret, we must admit that “I was only following orders” works just as well in America as it did in Nazi Germany. This isn’t a dress rehearsal for totalitarianism, it is totalitarianism.

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