“The fundamental principle underlying all justifications of war, from the point of view of human personality, is ‘heroism’. War, it is said, offers man the opportunity to awaken the hero who sleeps within him. War breaks the routine of comfortable life; by means of its severe ordeals, it offers a transfiguring knowledge of life, life according to death. The moment the individual succeeds in living as a hero, even if it is the final moment of his earthly life, weighs infinitely more on the scale of values than a protracted existence spent consuming monotonously among the trivialities of cities. From a spiritual point of view, these possibilities make up for the negative and destructive tendencies of war, which are one-sidedly and tendentiously highlighted by pacifist materialism. War makes one realise the relativity of human life and therefore also the law of a ‘more-than-life’, and thus war has always an anti-materialist value, a spiritual value. Such considerations have indisputable merit and cut off the chattering of humanitarianism, sentimental grizzling, the protests of the champions of the ‘immortal principles’, and of the ‘International’ of the heroes of the pen. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that, in order to define fully the conditions under which the spiritual aspect of war actually becomes apparent, it is necessary to examine the matter further, and to outline a sort of ‘phenomenology of warrior experience’, distinguishing various forms and arranging them hierarchically so as to highlight the aspect which must be regarded as paramount for the heroic experience.”
Ask yourself if you subscribe to the aristocratic, supernatural, and heroic ideal of death in war and self-sacrifice or the bourgeois, worldly, civilian ideal of living comfortably and sacrificing everything for wealth.