'An order is an order' was not an excuse to do the wrong thing. You couldn't just blindly follow a government order ... This whole issue of should the Supreme Court be the final arbiter of what is or isn't constitutional, was settled at Nuremberg. People everywhere need to understand and need to follow that.
In most cases, obviously, soldiers fought because a government drafted them and gave them a rifle. At every point too, we see the role of nationalistic sentiment, commercial rivalries, and simple greed. But can we ever separate out such motives from the religious? Was that not also true of the medieval crusades?
Democracy is just a word. You have to give it meaning. The US is not a democracy. Most Americans do not vote. We haven't had a real choice for a long, long time now. Wealth rules. Corporations rule. The US is a plutocracy - government by wealthy people. Certain people control multinational corporations. You couldn't get elected in the US without lots of money.
We would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. Only in superstition is there hope. If you want to become a friend of civilization, then become an enemy of the truth and a fanatic for harmless balderdash.
... often analysis seems to be based on the assumption that future economic output is almost entirely determined by inexorable economic forces independently of government policy so that devoting more resources to one use inevitably detracts from availability for another.