"A king may move a man. A father may claim a son. But remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of great power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God you cannot say, 'but I was told by others to do thus,' or that 'virtue was not convenient at the time.' This will not suffice. Remember that."
--King Baldwin IV (Kingdom of Heaven)
Memorial Day muse that posits three necessary factors for large-scale evil to flourish: surrender of autonomy, coercion by central authority, and willingness to follow orders.
The author observes that no matter how strong the first two factors, it is impossible for Big Evil to persist without the third. If people are unwilling to follow authoritarian command, then evil can at most skate by in isolated pockets that are unlikely to persist over time.
"Following orders" is not a valid reason for aggressing on others.
The State does not hang a man, the hangman does. Governments and their armies do not kill individuals, soldiers do.