Why did men fight? The old man had always been a dutiful thinker, never an inspired one. Now his exhausted brain slipped into its accustomed circles: the withered paths, like those of the donkey in the treadmill, round which he had plodded many thousand times in vain. Was it the wicked leaders who led innocent populations to slaughter, or was it wicked populations who chose leaders after their own hearts?

T.H. White, The Once and Future King