self interest v. collective interest -Reply

Wed Jul 19 12:49:41 MDT 1995

(Scott's post snipped-up and appended below.)

The kamekazi thread was about the same thing your post is, Scott,
alleged "self sacrifice for the good of the group".

I knew a VietNam veteran who said that when a grenade came in,
soldiers were known to grab the least-popular or new guy and throw
him on it.  It also made a good joke to throw a dud among your own,
and see if the gung-ho newbie just out of bootcamp would in fact
throw himself on it or not.  This made for a double laugh - one was
the look on his face when the dud did not go off, and he realized
that he was going to live, the other laugh at his expense for being
such an idiot to buy into that crap.  People were also known to shoot
officers, although it was usually sneaky, and it was often said to
prolong their men's lives.

So, we can trade anecdotes forever, but I don't think it is going to
change anybody's mind, nor should it.

I'd rather ask Scott to explain what he means by "rational"
self-sacrifice and how his grenade example would benefit the "working


>>> Scott Marshall <Scott at>  7/18/95, 09:19pm >>>
I'm with Carroll in that I don't know what the Kamikazi thread is all

In any case self sacrifice for the good of the group can also be
found in US military culture. When I was in basic training in the
army, during hand grenade training we were taught to jump on
unexploded grenades if they fell in our foxhole and others could be
saved. You read right (Vietnam era) we were taught this was the thing
to do.
In other words an example of rational self sacrifice for the greater
collective good of the working class.


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