Lost now to family, buddies, girlfriend, rabbit hound, society, and himself, this poor young sailor had fallen—not very many miles from Jerusalem—understanding virtually nothing of the situation in the Middle East. He probably believed it involved a struggle between right and wrong, good and evil, freedom and oppression. That was his second mistake. His third mistake was in trusting that even if he didn’t understand the situation, his leaders did. His first—and worst—mistake was blindly doing what he was told to do. Without questioning their methods or their motives, he allowed politicians to make the decisions that led to his early demise.
What is politics, after all, but the compulsion to preside over property and make other people’s decisions for them? Liberty, the very opposite of ownership and control, cannot, then, result from political action, either at the polls or the barricades, but rather evolves out of attitude. If it results from anything, it may be levity.
From Skinny Legs And All by Tom Robbins (p.118 of the May 2003 Bantam trade paperback reissue).