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#55720 - 06/12/11 12:15 AM Conscription: Lesson for Freedom?
Ghostly1 Offline
member


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 147
Loc: NY
I didnt see a post like this one, and the idea has its merits.

Many countries in the world (we wont list them for the sake of simplicity) have conscription as a means to keep the billets in their military force filled. This was especially important with countries with smaller populations then its enemies or neighbors.

The reason I bring this up is I had a flashback from when I was still serving active duty. One of the requirements from the Commandant was to read from his "Commandants reading list" and gain knowledge about different topics all Marines could learn from and apply. One such book stuck with me...

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein.

I know it was made into a movie and it was sort of corny but a ratted torn copy of this book was passed from Marine to Marine in my ranks to pass the time and obey our Commanding Generals standing order. The book was chosen for its leadership qualities. And more importantly, it had a unique social alignment in it which reminded me of stratification.

It "examines moral and philosophical aspects of suffrage, civic virtue, the necessities of war and capital punishment, and the nature of juvenile delinquency." (from Wiki.)

Civic Virtue.... To gain full citizenship status one must serve in the armed forces. Imagine a world where the leaders are chosen by those who protect the freedom of the nation instead of the rich, weak and cowardly who hide behind that freedom they take for granted. Not serving may be your right (at least in the USA) but your rights were bought and paid for by the blood of patriots. Conscripted service would be a character builder. It would force the individual to grow and mature at a rapid pace which will instill better values, morals and foresight into choices they will make which can effect us all. Especially in laws and representation.

Such legislation would never pass.... so I created a bylaw just in case some people wanted a safer way to serve. Make the National guard a local force only, instead of activating them for warfare overseas. The spineless would be used for Disaster relief, and patrol....and civil projects like bridge repair, highway patrolling, and border patrol to boost our defense against trespassers in drug trade. By not seeking active military service you wouldn't be granted all the privileges after separation that a full fledged service member receives like VA benefits, Federal Loans, The GI Bill, etc. It would provide a stronger force to draw from in time of need, freeing up alot of resources and personnel to be used elsewhere, and gives the incentive to be a more active member of the society in which you reside. Sacrifice should be rewarded. Shirk your civic duty and you should be ostracized as the coward you are.

In my view it was a very stable system of checks and balances. Be it fiction, the model it portrayed was a positive one and I felt a bit of hope reading it. If you dont read the book, at the very least watch the movie. (if you haven't already)
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#55737 - 06/12/11 02:34 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Quote:
Imagine a world where the leaders are chosen by those who protect the freedom of the nation instead of the rich, weak and cowardly who hide behind that freedom they take for granted.


I'm not convinced that military service automatically endows anyone with the ability to be an effective leader of a country. And what criteria would we look at to help decide? The number of confirmed kills? Longevity of service? The number of actual firefights they had been in?

 Quote:
Not serving may be your right (at least in the USA) but your rights were bought and paid for by the blood of patriots.


When was the last time the United States fought a war to protect and/or increase the freedoms and rights of the American people? It seems to me that all conflicts lately are about nothing more than furthering the interest of the ruling class.

A quote from a friend of mine concerning why he joined the Army:

 Originally Posted By: SSgt McGilvra
ha ha 'cuss they pay me to kill, I have got to do it a lot and I love doing it never want to do any thing other, i will be chasing war 'til I die! I dont give a fuck about this country's interests or your freedom or any ones. I like most in the infantry I joined to hunt, fight and kill men with guns.


Granted, that is not a representation of the feelings of all service members (current or past) but I suspect that it is a commonly held position.

 Quote:
It would force the individual to grow and mature at a rapid pace which will instill better values, morals and foresight into choices they will make which can effect us all.


That is a matter of opinion entirely.

 Quote:
Shirk your civic duty and you should be ostracized as the coward you are.


I'm shirking my "civic duty" but it is hardly out of cowardice. I have no desire to put my life on the line for someone else's cause. If I am going to die for any cause, it is going to be my own. Now, if the enemies of Uncle Sam want to make the trip to my neck of the woods and bring the fight to front door, I wont hesitate to protect me and mine. But I will not go looking for a fight. You call it cowardice, I call it self-preservation.

Good movie though. The first one was anyway. The other two should never have been made.
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#55739 - 06/12/11 03:18 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
Dan_Dread Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3883
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
 Quote:

Civic Virtue.... To gain full citizenship status one must serve in the armed forces. Imagine a world where the leaders are chosen by those who protect the freedom of the nation instead of the rich, weak and cowardly who hide behind that freedom they take for granted. Not serving may be your right (at least in the USA) but your rights were bought and paid for by the blood of patriots. Conscripted service would be a character builder. It would force the individual to grow and mature at a rapid pace which will instill better values, morals and foresight into choices they will make which can effect us all. Especially in laws and representation.

Wow look at all that propaganda. I think my bullshit-o-meter just exploded. War's fought for 'freedom'? Rights? Better values and morals? 'Patriots'?

You sir, are a slave.
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#55741 - 06/12/11 04:47 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Dan_Dread]
Meph9 Offline
member


Registered: 04/02/11
Posts: 161
As far as war goes I would submit that war is very very rarely fought for "freedom" or "liberty". It is the sword that enslaves man, the pen is what frees him. In the U.S. we often say that our freedoms are secured by the sacrifices of our soldiers, this is sadly not true. Our liberties are defended by those who have the ability to challenge authority and to keep it honest.
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#55744 - 06/12/11 04:59 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
Well, at least there should be more intelligent debate on this topic than what I experienced in that FB post you made, 6 As long as no one stoops to calling me a dick or implying that I'm a whore because my views go against the grain.

Let me start off by saying that I do not intend to insult any military members, active or retired, because my main beef lies beneath the surface.

Patriotism is a form of indoctrination. I think we can all agree on that, yes? The military has always been part and parcel of patriotism, that serving one's country is the highest expression of patriotism. It's been that way ever since this country was founded, and will no doubt continue well into the future. The average citizen goes along (wouldn't want to be seen as anything BUT patriotic--herd mentality) and I believe quite a few service men and women fall for it as well.

There are all sorts of practical reasons for joining the military, especially nowadays with all of the perks the US gov't has to offer. Higher education (providing you aren't sent overseas to get your legs blown off before you get your degree), medical benefits for one's self and family, drawing a paycheck, housing, 10% off at Subway and movie theaters. And who doesn't enjoy being cheered at by strangers in airports? Your meals comped at restaurants and coffee shops? Parades held in your honor? Even if you wind up just being a desk jockey, you still get to take partial credit for the shit your comrades have to go through overseas. Plus, you get to wear a spiffy uniform. Hoorah!

Our current military may appear stratified due to its ranking structure, but it's one of the most socialist and egalitarian constructs we have in our society. Trumping even Medicaid and Social Security! *oh the horror*

 Quote:
Imagine a world where the leaders are chosen by those who protect the freedom of the nation instead of the rich, weak and cowardly who hide behind that freedom they take for granted. Not serving may be your right (at least in the USA) but your rights were bought and paid for by the blood of patriots.

Ah, sounds as though you've bought into the whole "defending our freedoms" bullshit hook, line and sinker. You know who our freedoms really need defending against? Our Senators and Congressmen & women. Those illiterate fools in Afghanistan aren't threatening our freedom, they never have and never will. The CIA and FBI are the ones who are really keeping things under control overseas. Where else would you get your intel? They can easily track domestic terrorists by monitoring their activities online and take care of the problem themselves.

Somali teen arrested in Oregon terror plot

No military personnel were involved. No freedoms were threatened, just some innocent people. I don't hear anyone suggesting that more citizens should work in the CIA and FBI, despite the fact that they are the ones who enable you to do your job properly. I guess because there isn't any hero-worship attached to those positions. They take care of business and keep it under wraps, and let everyone else take home the glory.

And I think that's where the confusion lies--that our country's interests are often threatened (oil refineries, political upheaval, etc) but our freedoms are not. There is nothing particularly noble about being in the military, you are serving the collectivist idea of 'common good' (the definition of which can change on the whim of the current Commander in Chief), not necessarily jumping into burning buildings to save little kids, or pulling someone off of train tracks when they're about to be run over by the 5 o'clock Amtrak.

What makes the military any different from privatized security forces? That one serves a "higher ideal" (which circles back to patriotism) and the other merely does it for the paycheck?

Just because one has served in the military does not automatically make them a hero either.

While I concur that military training does a world of good for one's mind and body (the "soul" part is up for debate), one can sign up for survival, firearm and hand-to-hand combat courses, and all of the other training that a new recruit undergoes, by finding private instructors and classes. You'd just have to pay for it instead of being paid to do it.

*brace for shitstorm*


Edited by Nemesis (06/12/11 08:34 PM)
Edit Reason: Meme removed
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#55753 - 06/12/11 08:05 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Ghostly1 Offline
member


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 147
Loc: NY
 Quote:
I'm not convinced that military service automatically endows anyone with the ability to be an effective leader of a country. And what criteria would we look at to help decide? The number of confirmed kills? Longevity of service? The number of actual firefights they had been in?


I will start here and go through every post. No one (normally) hates war more then those who are forced to fight it. I joined between the two Iraq conflicts, and found myself over in Bosnia briefly, and doing mainly peacetime patrols. The US military usually follows the ratio of societies main groups(racial, and cultural) with a few exceptions.

Our current "war" in the middle east was a direct result of 9/11. We have always maintained a forward presence all over the globe as a deterrent to enemies of the US,and as support to our allies. Much of my time was cross training with foreign armies who wished to be indoctrinated into NATO status. Part of the requirement was cross training with US (NATO affiliated) military units to access their standing.

 Quote:
ha ha 'cuss they pay me to kill, I have got to do it a lot and I love doing it never want to do any thing other, i will be chasing war 'til I die! I dont give a fuck about this country's interests or your freedom or any ones. I like most in the infantry I joined to hunt, fight and kill men with guns.


Tell your friend he is an idiot and I said so. Even in wartime, random killing, and unauthorized use of weapons is a felony and the punishments for it are usually more severe then they would be for a civilian. On aside note, ONA would agree with his sentiment and it would actually condone this type of activity. I wouldn't, but I dont speak for anyone else.

I consider my service to be the best thing I could have done as a young man. Discipline is a good quality to have. But it holds true that if you are a scumbag who merely seeks to learn how to harm others you will continue to be so. I would also like to point out that only a fraction of military personnel actually fight in combat, and most are used in support and training roles.

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Wow look at all that propaganda. I think my bullshit-o-meter just exploded. War's fought for 'freedom'? Rights? Better values and morals? 'Patriots'?

You sir, are a slave.


What makes you think we would be "free" if we didnt have a military? All the citizens would rise up with pitchforks and torches in hand to push back invaders? Wars aren't fought for morals and values... and I never posted anything about war. The quote was from a wiki page about the books contents. War teaches nothing, as I see it as a last resort when diplomacy fails. War is what happens when negotiations fail, and is usually a response to aggression, or in some cases imperialism.

And before this country (The USA) was a free nation, under the duress of the British, we indeed had to fight, and bleed as a nation before we were freed from bondage. The blood cost has been paid countless times, though our nations history. And it continues to be paid today. Ask anyone in a VA hospital who has lost limbs, or suffered horrific injuries why they served...I doubt "killing" would be a primary justification. I know, I am there twice a week for my own medical needs.

Service to my nation, and following in my fathers footsteps to serve isnt slavery Sir. Its pride, and tradition of which I have no regrets. The only slavery I released myself from was religion.

 Originally Posted By: Nemesis
Patriotism is a form of indoctrination. I think we can all agree on that, yes?


I actually disagree. Patriotism defined is loyalty to ones nation. Indoctrination is a forced loyalty, and since all US military personnel are volunteers... it isn't forced on them.

 Quote:
Our current military may appear stratified due to its ranking structure, but it's one of the most socialist and egalitarian constructs we have in our society.Our current military may appear stratified due to its ranking structure, but it's one of the most socialist and egalitarian constructs we have in our society.


By its very nature the military is organized in this way. Pay your dues, and rank increases along with training and experience. Police departments use this same structuring which is why many former military join. The pay isnt bad either, as my local police are the highest paid in the country. Average salary after overtime is $150,000 after 5 years.

The actions in the middle east aren't directed at "freedom" per se, but more peace of mind. Would you be able to ride a train knowing we don't fight the people who place bombs on them? Or Planes, ships and buildings? We are the biggest target in the world, make no mistake about that. Customs enforcement can only do so much from their end of the line. Being proactive is the best medicine for things which go bump in the night.

The media was quite open about the private security firms and their activities in Iraq since the beginning of the current conflict in the middle east. They are usually hired by private citizens and business men as body guards to protect monetary interests which the US forces have no vested interest in.

The military has perks for joining. They do that because it is a hard lifestyle away from friends and family and not offering benefits would make recruiting alot more difficult. But my thinking was of the example set out by the books author, and what that sort of proposition might do to help our society. After all we are all individuals are we not? If we cannot think outside of the box what progress can be made?

I get nearly free healthcare from the VA. I get burial benefits, casket and headstone. I get low interest federal loans for home and whatnot. I took advantage of those things, not just for patriotism, but for an advantage. People will still try to kill us. Wars will always happen. Not having a military won't prevent them from reaching your front door.

I knew this topic would be debated. I don't mind debate. But some things should be explored regardless, and thought out. Not everyone is a Satanist, and a individual. I was a Marine before I was a admitted Satanist. I still don't regret my training, sacrifices such as they were, or the issues I face today for having served. I don't expect everyone to agree with my thoughts, but at least you had something constructive to say. Thank you.
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#55776 - 06/13/11 01:32 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
Meph9 Offline
member


Registered: 04/02/11
Posts: 161
Ghostly1 what makes you think military forces are capable of defending freedom? Look at Syria and then try and tell me that armies are formed to something other than killing things.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not made this country more safe. Sadly the thousands of service people who have fought and died there amounts for nothing, nothing in that region is going change because of the pain they endured. I as recall we did have and effective military force in place on 9/11, having a military force is not going to stop your enemies from coming on your doorstep either.

On the topic of the revolutionary war to say that the colonists were suffering under british oppression/bondage a bit of an exaggeration.

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#55778 - 06/13/11 01:44 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
Hi Ghost, thank you for your rebuttal. We extended this discussion a bit further along in chat the other night, and at least I got the opportunity to expand upon why I feel the way I do about the subject. The attitude expressed in my initial post in this thread was carried over from a previous debate I had on a similar subject. So my bad if it was irksome to anyone.

 Quote:
I actually disagree. Patriotism defined is loyalty to ones nation. Indoctrination is a forced loyalty, and since all US military personnel are volunteers... it isn't forced on them.

Actually, brainwashing is the forced method of indoctrination.

From Merriam-Webster, Indoctrination:
1. To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.
2. To imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view: eg. a generation of children who had been indoctrinated against the values of their parents.


Brainwashing:
1. Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person's basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs.
2. The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation.


What are we are taught from childhood? To love our country, that the US always fights on the side of good, for democracy, human rights, that capitalism is awesome, our role as the "underdog" etc etc. We're not taught to think for ourselves, to make up own minds. Most people are content to wave their flags and cheer their heroes and never give a thought as to why they do it in the first place. Sounds like indoctrination to me.

Patriotism is always used as an appeal to emotion, and honestly the only emotion of mine it appeals to is that of confusion. When I look upon crowds of people saying the Pledge, mouths hanging open, a fervent look in their eye, to me they're no different than Baptists listening to a sermon, or Muslims heeding the words of an imam. Unquestioningly following the ideal of patriotism.

I cannot fathom how someone can love an ideal, or a philosophy or what ever you might class "patriotism". Perhaps I'm too detached and objective on the matter. I love certain people, I love doing a particular thing: reading, going to the beach, enjoying a cool evening, a cup of mint tea, etc. I can affiliate (perhaps "identify" might be a better term) with certain philosophies or ideas, but I cannot love ideals. The concept is foreign to me. It would be like being in love with the idea of "love". Defending one's family against thugs is understandable and completely justifiable, but to extend that instinct to encompass one's country and millions of strangers is beyond me. No disrespect intended.

Patriotism is a tool that is used to justify so many things. Public support for wars, rationing, manufacturing, invasions of privacy, restrictive laws, etc. All in the name of freedom.

 Quote:
The actions in the middle east aren't directed at "freedom" per se, but more peace of mind. Would you be able to ride a train knowing we don't fight the people who place bombs on them? Or Planes, ships and buildings? We are the biggest target in the world, make no mistake about that. Customs enforcement can only do so much from their end of the line. Being proactive is the best medicine for things which go bump in the night.

Which is why I wanted to make the distinction between "defending freedoms" vs. "defending our interests". I'm 110% for being pro-active (we need to keep our pimp hand strong, so to speak, lest it fall into disuse) but at least call it what it is.

But we're not here to really discuss the functions of the military, we both know what it's for if not necessarily how it's perceived by the public. It's the notion of "service" being noble as opposed to other valued professions, and that you feel it should be a prerequisite to being a full citizen of the country.

Why should a soldier's contribution be greater than that of a doctor? Or the roughnecks who bust their asses to satiate our oil consumption? Construction workers and road builders? The service techs who have to climb to the tops of radio towers for repairs? Building satellites for navigation and observation? All of those jobs (and more) are what allows this country to run as efficiently as it possibly can, and many are just as dangerous and in need of skill as that of the military.
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#55779 - 06/13/11 02:02 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
Autodidact Offline
member


Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 428
(Ob: I saw the movie, but have not read the book.)

I think you found a hammer, and now everything looks like a nail.

That's no denigration of the hammer - I'd probably be judged as pro-military, and certainly appreciate all that our military does. But the military is a specific tool, with a specific purpose.

At core, this type of thing springs from a desire to "make things better". I see it in engineers all the time. The fundamental flaw in application is that "making things better" is not really the problem you want to solve. The fact is that human relationships - ie politics - is difficult. It will always be difficult. It will always take a lot of work. You cannot "make things better" (in a political way) without restricting current rights/freedoms (at least, based on the current commonly-accepted ideological principles of government).

As has been pointed out, this particular type of suggestion suffers from massive conflation of emotional and intellectual issues. Enacting something like this would create a permanent privileged upper class, purposefully selected only from those who are best at conducting war, hierarchically beholden to old generals. In other words, a dictatorship.

As for the non-military, well, for their point of view, let's pretend that instead of saying "military" we said "white men" - that's pretty close.

If the world you want is one based primarily on pride and tradition, you are certainly welcome to your own opinion. But you'll have a hard time convincing me that that's "better".
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#55780 - 06/13/11 02:09 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Quote:
I will start here and go through every post. No one (normally) hates war more then those who are forced to fight it. I joined between the two Iraq conflicts, and found myself over in Bosnia briefly, and doing mainly peacetime patrols. The US military usually follows the ratio of societies main groups(racial, and cultural) with a few exceptions.

Our current "war" in the middle east was a direct result of 9/11. We have always maintained a forward presence all over the globe as a deterrent to enemies of the US,and as support to our allies. Much of my time was cross training with foreign armies who wished to be indoctrinated into NATO status. Part of the requirement was cross training with US (NATO affiliated) military units to access their standing.


None of that even begins to address the questions of mine that you quoted and then followed up with those two paragraphs.

1. How does military service automatically endow anyone with the ability to be an effective leader of a country?

2. What criteria would we look at to help decide? The number of confirmed kills? Longevity of service? The number of actual firefights they had been in?

 Quote:
Tell your friend he is an idiot and I said so. Even in wartime, random killing, and unauthorized use of weapons is a felony and the punishments for it are usually more severe then they would be for a civilian


He never said anything about random killing or unauthorized use of a weapon so I see no need to call him an idiot.

 Quote:
I consider my service to be the best thing I could have done as a young man. Discipline is a good quality to have. But it holds true that if you are a scumbag who merely seeks to learn how to harm others you will continue to be so. I would also like to point out that only a fraction of military personnel actually fight in combat, and most are used in support and training roles.


Again, none of this even addresses any of the points I made.
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#55784 - 06/13/11 02:40 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Autodidact Offline
member


Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 428
 Originally Posted By: 6Satan6Archist6

1. How does military service automatically endow anyone with the ability to be an effective leader of a country?


I'm reminded of Truman's quote about Eisenhower when the latter won the Presidential election: "Poor Ike! When he was a general, he gave an order and it was carried out. Now he is going to sit in that big office and give an order and not a damn thing is going to happen."

My understanding is that Eisenhower was actually better than that, but the point remains - promoted military leaders and elected civilian leaders are similar, but the one is not automatically superior to the other.
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#55800 - 06/13/11 07:49 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Meph9]
Ghostly1 Offline
member


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 147
Loc: NY
 Originally Posted By: Meph9
Ghostly1 what makes you think military forces are capable of defending freedom? Look at Syria and then try and tell me that armies are formed to something other than killing things.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not made this country more safe. Sadly the thousands of service people who have fought and died there amounts for nothing, nothing in that region is going change because of the pain they endured. I as recall we did have and effective military force in place on 9/11, having a military force is not going to stop your enemies from coming on your doorstep either.

On the topic of the revolutionary war to say that the colonists were suffering under british oppression/bondage a bit of an exaggeration.


What makes me think that? For starters I served in the military, and by your statement you have not. And if not the military, who protects your freedom? Boy scouts? Pit bull terriers? Harsh language? I suggest reading deeper into world history, and who was responsible for protecting the people when war broke out.
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#55803 - 06/13/11 08:02 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Nemesis]
Ghostly1 Offline
member


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 147
Loc: NY
 Originally Posted By: Nemesis
Actually, brainwashing is the forced method of indoctrination.


When I enlisted, you are required to sign a contract. It is legally binding, and failure to fulfill this contract has some penalties, not all of them severe. A Bad conduct discharge is like having a minor offense on your personal record, and some employers frown on it. In bootcamp, you can still quit. The harsh treatment and discipline has multifaceted purposes. One is to weed out those who really dont want to be there. Second it purposely puts each recruit under stress, so those training them can ascertain if they will survive and perform under combat situations. Thirdly, it is to ensure despite stress, and hard conditions the recruits when they are in active service can follow orders despite being afraid. It is like training in martial arts to develop muscle memory. We fight how we train, the harder the training, the easier combat will be. You will be conditioned to take stress, and obvious hardship better with fewer side effects. Quitting is an option, as was not joining at all. I was not brainwashed. But I was indoctrinated to love the Marine next to me, so if he fell in combat I wouldn't hesitate to save him(or her).

 Quote:
I cannot fathom how someone can love an ideal, or a philosophy or what ever you might class "patriotism". Perhaps I'm too detached and objective on the matter. I love certain people, I love doing a particular thing: reading, going to the beach, enjoying a cool evening, a cup of mint tea, etc. I can affiliate (perhaps "identify" might be a better term) with certain philosophies or ideas, but I cannot love ideals. The concept is foreign to me. It would be like being in love with the idea of "love". Defending one's family against thugs is understandable and completely justifiable, but to extend that instinct to encompass one's country and millions of strangers is beyond me. No disrespect intended.


Of course not. But think of it like this: The government of this country isn't going to put guards on your front lawn. They are posted thousands of miles away from their families, hoping that what they do, as altruistic as it is, benefits their loved ones as much as yours. Men especially feel a sense of duty to protect people. Woman are of course capable of this, especially their children but boys will be boys as they say. The Military "gang" protects its turf..... know what I mean?

 Quote:
But we're not here to really discuss the functions of the military, we both know what it's for if not necessarily how it's perceived by the public. It's the notion of "service" being noble as opposed to other valued professions, and that you feel it should be a prerequisite to being a full citizen of the country.


The ideal wasn't perfect of course. But the book, and its story captivated me still. I wanted to share it with all of you, and get your input, negative or positive. It indeed started debate, and talking and that was still a good thing in my book.
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#55804 - 06/13/11 08:09 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Autodidact]
Ghostly1 Offline
member


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 147
Loc: NY
 Originally Posted By: Autodidact
(Ob: I saw the movie, but have not read the book.)

I think you found a hammer, and now everything looks like a nail.

As has been pointed out, this particular type of suggestion suffers from massive conflation of emotional and intellectual issues. Enacting something like this would create a permanent privileged upper class, purposefully selected only from those who are best at conducting war, hierarchically beholden to old generals. In other words, a dictatorship.

As for the non-military, well, for their point of view, let's pretend that instead of saying "military" we said "white men" - that's pretty close.


This was of course an opinion, even one as flawed as this deserved some attention, and reflection. Which it succeeded in doing.

I dont agree with the "military-white men" assumption at all. As many of the most respected people I have ever known in military circles were not of Caucasian decent. Colin Powell comes to mind.... fabulous leader, who was repressed by a poor cabinet. (another opinion)

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#55805 - 06/13/11 08:17 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Ghostly1 Offline
member


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 147
Loc: NY
 Originally Posted By: 6Satan6Archist6
1. How does military service automatically endow anyone with the ability to be an effective leader of a country?

2. What criteria would we look at to help decide? The number of confirmed kills? Longevity of service? The number of actual firefights they had been in?


How does a President in office less than 6 months win the Nobel peace prize? It was a common held belief in my unit that we did not trust anyone to lead us who had never personally served in ANY capacity in the armed forces of our nation. Considering its the most powerful military force in the world. They did not know what it meant to suffer, and train for combat, let alone any other MOS. How would we know they would take our lives seriously? I served under Clinton. Another draft dodger who we didnt particularly like. And his distaste for Marines was known to us. One of my Corporals was a presidential guard who informed me of this fact.

Confirmed kills and number of firefights is IRRELEVANT as service itself would be sufficient enough for many. And service records are usually made public during elections.....you might not, but much of the country looks to those as character references.

This pretty much sums up character
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#55808 - 06/13/11 08:51 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
 Quote:
How does a President in office less than 6 months win the Nobel peace prize?


That's a good question; one that I too have asked. But I don't really see how that has any relevance to the discussion at hand.

 Quote:
It was a common held belief in my unit that we did not trust anyone to lead us who had never personally served in ANY capacity in the armed forces of our nation. Considering its the most powerful military force in the world. They did not know what it meant to suffer, and train for combat, let alone any other MOS. How would we know they would take our lives seriously?


Well then it is a good thing that it isn't the President who plans military operations.

 Quote:
I served under Clinton. Another draft dodger who we didnt particularly like. And his distaste for Marines was known to us. One of my Corporals was a presidential guard who informed me of this fact.


Your personal feelings towards a certain President also aren't relevant to any points I have raised.

 Quote:
Confirmed kills and number of firefights is IRRELEVANT as service itself would be sufficient enough for many.


Those were merely examples. I was asking you to cite specifics since you are the one who is making the claim that military service some how qualifies someone to be a more effective (better) leader of a country than someone who hasn't.

 Quote:
And service records are usually made public during elections.....you might not, but much of the country looks to those as character references.


A character reference is not proof positive of someone's ability to perform their duties. I've worked with plenty of people who were really cool and nice, I can't think of any reason they would be given a bad character reference. However, they were also terrible at their job. I liked them as people but not as co-workers. And they would have made shitty bosses as well.
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#55812 - 06/13/11 09:50 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
Meph9 Offline
member


Registered: 04/02/11
Posts: 161
 Quote:

What makes me think that? For starters I served in the military, and by your statement you have not. And if not the military, who protects your freedom? Boy scouts? Pit bull terriers? Harsh language? I suggest reading deeper into world history, and who was responsible for protecting the people when war broke out.


Who defends my rights? Me. How? By knowing what rights the law of the land grants me(constitution) and knowing what kinds rules I am willing to live by. The very thought that some force outside of yourself is truly defending your liberty, your freedom is an admission that you have already surrendered those right to whatever you depend on the look after you.

How is the military in Syria defending its citizens? What ways did the SS help the german jews in the second world war? Who was it that opened fire at Kent State? Was it the really the protesters who shot first at Tiananmen Square?

Military force is created and designed to fight, and so this is what it does best. Hell lets go back to the statement about the revolutionary war, where the british officers there to help protect the liberty of the colonists?

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#55829 - 06/14/11 10:59 AM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
Autodidact Offline
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Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 428
 Originally Posted By: Ghostly1

This was of course an opinion, even one as flawed as this deserved some attention, and reflection. Which it succeeded in doing.


Agreed, and it's been a little testy, but not overly so. It could turn into an interesting discussion if it remains objective.

 Originally Posted By: Ghostly1

I dont agree with the "military-white men" assumption at all.


It wasn't an assumption, it was a comparison. Let's try it this way - compare these two:

"One must be a military veteran to become a full citizen. Non-military cannot vote."

"One must be a white man to become a full citizen. Non-whites and females cannot vote."
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#55848 - 06/14/11 05:42 PM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Autodidact]
Ghostly1 Offline
member


Registered: 04/10/11
Posts: 147
Loc: NY
 Originally Posted By: Autodidact
"One must be a military veteran to become a full citizen. Non-military cannot vote."

"One must be a white man to become a full citizen. Non-whites and females cannot vote."


You are going beyond mere comparison to taking it out of context. Not in any of my posts in this thread did I once mention it being race specific. And as for the book, both men and women, were on the front lines in co-ed units. If you would have read the book, or watched the movie you would know that already.
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#55869 - 06/15/11 11:21 AM Re: Conscription: Lesson for Freedom? [Re: Ghostly1]
Autodidact Offline
member


Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 428
 Originally Posted By: Ghostly1
You are going beyond mere comparison to taking it out of context.


Not at all - I think this is exactly the same context.

The OP suggested discussing that "to gain full citizenship status one must serve in the armed forces" - this would change the default to everyone not being a "full" citizen, and establish an arbitrary criteria controlled by the whims of a small segment of the population.

The movie (and I assume the book, though I have not read it) portrays military service in a very positive light, as do some of the posts here, and I would agree with that. But suggesting that military service is thus ideal as a prerequisite to citizenship (ie, voting, ie ruling class) is no different than any other group claiming the same thing.

Consider these as comparison:
- Only military veterans should rule, because "your rights were bought and paid for by the blood of patriots"
- Only farmers should rule, because only by their efforts can you eat and live at all
- Only white men should rule, because on average they are richer and better educated
- Only bankers should rule, because only by their efforts can you work to afford food and shelter
- Only PoliSci majors should rule, because they best understand the art of ruling

(Based on our current society,) these all fail for the same reason - politics is not a game of who "deserves it more". As 6 alluded, these are all subjective, emotionally-evocative judgments that are irrelevant to being able to become a successful politician.

Restricting power to a small group would take us backwards. Human history shows how well that usually works out. The reality of human nature is that this would lead to a less stratified society - for instance, on day 2 of this society I imagine there'd be a new law that only the children of current officers are eligible to become officers. On day 3 there'd be a new law that only officers can be executives or managers in companies. And so on.


Edited by Autodidact (06/15/11 11:22 AM)
Edit Reason: typo
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